NSF’s Most Powerful Computing Resource Has Opened Its Doors to Six Science Teams

 National Science Foundation(03/21/12) Lisa-Joy Zgorski

 The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the University of Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) recently selected six teams to use the Blue Waters’ Early Science System before the full supercomputing system is deployed later this year.  “It began as an idea, and now thanks to sustained collaborative efforts by the entire project team, the vendor, and researchers, this computational tool is beginning to advance fundamental understanding in a wide range of scientific topics,” says NSF’s Irene Qualters.  NSF and NCSA awarded more than 24 research teams with time to use Blue Waters on compelling research queries.  A smaller group of six teams was chosen to use the Early Science System.  The six teams will pursue research in modeling high-temperature plasmas, simulating the formation and evolution of the Milky Way’s distant past, examining the protein that encases the HIV-1 genome, exploring explosive burning in Type 1a supernovae, and simulating the end of both the 20th and 21st centuries to explore changes in frequency and intensity of extreme events.  Once fully deployed, Blue Waters is expected to make arithmetic calculations at a sustained rate of more than 1 petaflop per second.

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