News

On April 26, 2016, MSI held the seventh annual Research Exhibition. This event is a judged poster session with posters from MSI users. Posters compete in one of two categories: Biological and Medical Sciences or Physical Sciences and Engineering. Winners receive travel awards, with a Grand Prize winner and two finalists in each category. This year, the two Grand Prize winners each received a $1,500 travel award and the four Finalists received $1,000 travel awards.
On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, from 8:00am – 4:00pm CST, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to the network and various systems. Maintenance during this period will impact the following systems:
The Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) in association with Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC) will hold the seventh edition of the Programming and tUning Massively Parallel Systems summer school (PUMPS) this summer. PUMPS is aimed at enriching the skills of researchers, graduate students and teachers with cutting-edge technique and hands-on experience in developing applications for many-core processors with massively parallel computing resources like GPU accelerators.
The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) is soliciting proposals for computer time for biomolecular simulations on Anton, designed by D.E. Shaw Research (DESRES). A next-generation Anton machine (Anton 2) will be installed in Fall 2016, replacing the original Anton system that is currently in production use at PSC (Anton 1). This Anton 2 system will be approximately 4 times faster than Anton 1 and nearly 100 times faster than the previous state of the art.
PepsiCo has recently begun to use the U’s bioinformatics research resources, including the University of Minnesota Genomics Center (UMGC) and MSI, to help them with crop research and development. PepsiCo’s scientists are using MSI’s bioinformatics hardware and software to process genomics data generated by the UMGC. PepsiCo researchers can use MSI’s resources from their locations in St. Paul or New York state. Also, since the datasets generated for this research are huge, data transfer can be a problem.
The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) has published a list of patents that have been awarded to University researchers during the past few months. Several MSI Principal Investigators, shown below, are on this list. The complete list can be found on the OVPR’s Inquiry blog, "Patent roll call, spring 2016." 
In a recent paper that appeared in The American Naturalist, MSI PI Allison Shaw, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, and her colleague Sandra Binning in Switzerland described a mathematical model that allowed the researchers to vary costs and benefits of various factors. These included migration, parasites, lifespan, reproduction rate, and others.
The University of Minnesota’s GroupLens Lab has received wide attention recently for a paper about how people can interpret various emoji differently. An article about the research was posted to the lab’s blog. The GroupLens Lab uses MSI for research into recommender systems and social computing. Some of the media outlets that have featured this paper include:
MSI users can now sign up for the Globus file-transfer system. It uses an easy, convenient web interface that allows users to transfer data between computer systems. It typically has much faster data-transfer speeds than other methods. Complete instructions for signing up for Globus and how to use it can be found in the MSI FAQ. This is an MSI BETA service, so it is still being tested.  
The University of Minnesota is part of a $317 million grant to develop next-generation “smart” fabrics and fibers. Dozens of academic and industry partners are involved in this project. MSI PI David Pui, a professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Center for Filtration Research, is one of the lead project researchers at the U.
MSI PI Robert Reich (Forest Resources) is the lead researcher on a recent paper showing that plants can adapt to a warming climate and release less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than previously thought. The findings come from a five-year project called “B4WARMED,” which simulated the effects of climate change on plots of trees in open-air settings.
Three MSI Principal Investigators have been named Distinguished McKnight University Professors for 2016: William Arnold (Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering), Sarah Hobbie (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior), and George Karypis (
The Open Science Grid (OSG) User School is soliciting applications for students to attend the 2016 session, July 25-29, 2016. This school is intended for researchers who want to learn how they could use high-performance computing in their work. The school takes place on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Financial support for basic travel, hotel, and food costs is provided. It is primarily targeted at graduate students, but there are some places for post-docs, faculty, staff, and advanced undergrads.
On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, from 4:00am – 4:00pm CST, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to the network and various systems. Maintenance during this period will impact the following systems:
Two MSI PIs from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Professor George Karypis and the late Professor John Riedl, will receive the 2016 Seoul Test of Time Award at the World Wide Web Conference in Montreal, Canada later this month. Professors Karypis and Riedl, along with Professor Joseph Konstan and former University Ph.D.
One petabyte of tape storage for under $10,000? Leveraging new advances in tape media, the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute has expanded its storage portfolio to offer easy access to deep archival storage at low cost. MSI currently offers a high-performance storage solution from Panasas (3.2 PB of storage) and a second tier of storage (3.2 PB) available via an S3 interface with lower performing hardware. The demand for storage is rapidly increasing and we are constantly looking for low-cost alternatives for long and medium term storage.
Professor David Blank, an MSI PI from the Department of Chemistry, has received the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) 2016 George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Service. This award recognizes outstanding service to the University of Minnesota. An article about the award appears on the CSE website.
Professor Theresa Reineke, an MSI PI in the Department of Chemistry, has received the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) 2016 George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Research. This award is given to younger faculty members for outstanding research. An article about the Taylor award can be found on the CSE website.
MSI PI and Director of the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development Gunda Georg presented research at this week’s American Chemical Society National Meeting that describes progress towards development of a male contraceptive pill. The research describes adjustments made to various compounds that may make them more suitable as a male contraceptive.
MSI PI Kelvin Lim, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry, was interviewed last week by local news outlet MinnPost. Professor Lim is an expert in brain disorders and answered questions about traumatic brain injury (TBI). Topics include the long-term effects of TBI and new strategies for treating it.