posted on December 1, 2014

On Wednesday, December 3, from 04:00 - 15:00, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to the network and various systems.

During this maintenance period, we will be performing the following updates:

• Lab Queue and Workstation Panasas Client Updates (briefly affecting login nodes on most DB hosting machines, Galaxy, and login nodes)
• Lab Queue Moab and Torque Updates
• Launch of MSI's global scratch system via Panasas  (28 days deletion policy and existing scratch systems will be seamlessly replaced except the Lustre scratch system on Itasca)
• Network Media Changes (briefly affecting connectivity)

Systems status is always available on our Status page.

If you have any questions, please email


posted on November 17, 2014

Regents Professor David Tilman, an MSI Principal Investigator in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (College of Biological Sciencesand Fellow of the Institute on the Environment, has published a study in the prestigious journal Nature showing the link between human diet and human health but also the environment. The paper compiles and analyzes global data quantifying relationships between diet, environmental sustainability, and human health. Stories about his paper have appeared on the websites of Time magazine, Eat Drink Better, and Red Orbit. It has also been written up on the University of Minnesota’s Discover blog.

The paper can be found on the Nature website.

Professor Tilman is the Director of the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, an NSF Long-Term Ecological Research Site owned by the University of Minnesota. MSI resources are being used to manage the very large datasets containing information collected at CCESR since 1964.

posted on November 14, 2014

MSI Principal Investigator Jian-Ping Wang (Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Science and Engineering) led a team that developed the z-Lab, a device that may eventually help physicians diagnose serious ailments with just a drop of blood. Z-Lab has won a $120,000 prize from the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE. The device detects biomarkers in the blood sample and identifies those that are associated with disease.

Several news outlets have published this story:
Minnesota Daily

Professor Wang uses MSI for theoretical studies of the electronic structure of various materials. This work complements lab experiments.


posted on November 10, 2014

Professor Harry Orr, an MSI Principal Investigator from the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (Medical School) has been elected to the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine. Election to the IOM is one of the highest honors in the field of health and medicine.

Professor Orr’s research is involved with the genetics of human immunity and neurodegenerative diseases. He has been using MSI’s next-generation sequencing tools for genetic studies of spinocerebellar ataxia type 1, a condition that affects movement and can involve other problems.

You can read more about Professor Orr’s work and this award on the U's Health Sciences website.


posted November 7, 2014

MSI’s newest supercomputer, an HP system, now has a name: Mesabi.

The Mesabi Range is the largest of the four major iron deposits in northern Minnesota that collectively make up the area known as the Iron Range. It is the chief deposit of iron ore in the U.S. The name comes from an Ojibwe word meaning “immense mountain.” This name also ties in with an informal term for supercomputers, “Big Iron.”

Three people independently nominated “Mesabi” as the name for our new machine during MSI’s New Supercomputer Naming Contest. We had over 140 nominations. A group of staff members selected the top five names, and these finalists were voted on by the entire MSI staff to select the final winner.

The three nominators were:
Aaron Barnes
Paul Lindstrom
an anonymous nominator

Thanks to everyone who participated in the naming contest.

See the Status Page for Mesabi's installation and testing.