Blue Waters is a project to deliver a supercomputer that can provide petascale-level computing power. It is located at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. One year ago, they began a partnership with Cray, Inc. to install this system.


The Blue Waters system has entered the availability testing period. The Blue Waters team has published a report that describes their progress over the past year. You can read the report on the NCSA website or as a PDF attachment


MSI Principal Investigator Daniel Frisbie, who is a Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, is highlighted on the OVPR’s Research blog. Professor Frisbie studies how organic materials might be used in electronic devices, as silicon is in current technology. He and his group are using MSI resources to support their study of organic semiconductors.

posted November 8, 2012

MSI Principal Investigator Gary Muehlbauer (Agronomy and Plant Genetics and Head, Plant Biology) is part of a large international team of researchers that has produced a “draft” of the barley genome. This work has been published in the prestigious journal Nature.

An article by the University News Service describes Professor Muehlbauer’s research. He and his group use the Computational Genetics Lab for their investigations of barley and other crops, including wheat, soybean, and maize.


MSI Principal Investigator David Largaespada (Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development) has received the American Cancer Society’s Research Professor Award. According to the ACS website, this award is presented to “mid-career investigators who have made seminal contributions that have changed the direction of basic cancer research.” The award includes a five-year grant that can be renewed for an additional five years. Only two researchers are selected each year. A story about Professor Largaespada appears in the People section of the University website.


Professor Largaespada’s research involves using a transposon system called Sleeping Beauty to find new cancer cells. The approach can be used to understand the genetic basis for many types of cancer. Professor Largaespada and his research group have been using MSI since 2002. They use various software packages to analyze their data.


The only other University of Minnesota recipient of this award, Stephen Hecht (Laboratory Medicine and Pathology), has been an MSI PI for over a decade. He held the award during 2000-10. Professor Hecht uses MSI resources for his research into tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines, which are considered to be among the major carcinogens in tobacco products.


The OVPR’s Business blog recently put up a post comparing the “olden days” of University computing with today. The piece includes insights from MSI Director Jorge Vinals about the differences between computers of the 1960s and those of today.


To learn about MSI’s early days in the 1980s, see the article that appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of the MSI Research Bulletin.