posted on December 10, 2013

The College of Biological Sciences recently profiled MSI Principal Investigator Ran Blekhman, an assistant professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development. Professor Blekhman, who specializes in the genomics of humans and other primates, came to the U just recently, in the fall of 2013. He is studying how bacteria in the human body (the body being considered a "host" for the bacteria) are connected to a person’s genes and how this connection may be related to chronic diseases and conditions. More discussion of Professor Blekhman’s work can be found in the blog post “The message in microbiomes” on the CBS Connect blog

Professor Blekhman uses MSI’s supercomputers to support his group's research into host-bacteria interactions. The group uses large-scale genomics datasets and are developing and using computational, statistical, data-mining, and populations-genetics techniques. 

posted December 5, 2013

The Blue Waters project has issued a call for applications for its Graduate Fellowship Program for HPC Research. PhD students selected for this program will receive a stipend, tuition allowance, an allocation on the Blue Waters system, and a travel allowance to attend a Blue Waters-sponsored symposium. Preference will be given to applicants who have a multidisciplinary research project.

Complete information about the Fellowships, including specific application requirements and a link to the application form, can be found on the Blue Waters website.

See a PDF flyer describing the program: Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship.pdf

The deadline for applications is February 3, 2014, at 9 p.m. EST 

posted on December 4, 2013

Long-time MSI Principal Investigator and Fellow J. Ilja Siepmann, a professor in the chemistry department in the College of Science and Engineering, has been named as a Fellow of the American Physical Society. This honor is in recognition of Professor Siepmann’s outstanding research contributions. The citation reads, “For the development of efficient Monte Carlo algorithms and accurate force fields and for applications to predictive modeling of complex chemical systems.” A story appears on the Department of Chemistry’s website.

Professor Siepmann has used MSI’s high-performance computing resources to support this research for many years. He has been a Fellow of the Supercomputing Institute since 1999. His current research at MSI involves using Monte Carlo algorithms to investigate multi-component multi-phase systems, accurate and transferable force fields with multiple levels of resolution, and first-principles simulation approaches. More information about this research is on the MSI website.

posted on December 3, 2013

On Wednesday, December 4, 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:

  • Network firmware updates and modifications will be performed affecting external connectivity for up to 1 hour.
  • Panasas software update (widespread outage, clients could hang).
  • Stork, Overclocked lab nodes, and elmod will be offline for updates and relocation.


Systems status is always available on our Status page.

If you have any questions, please email


Posted on November 22, 2013

The Minnesota Population Center (MPC) was recently awarded $3.2 million to fund a project that will expand the Center’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. The project will add data on more than 600 million US individuals, greatly expanding the scope of the database. The OVPR Research blog has an article about the project and the MPC.

MSI provides high-performance computing resources that the MPC and its Executive Director, Regents Professor Steven Ruggles, use for “big data” and informatics analyses.