posted on June 4, 2014

A study headed by MSI PI Professor Julian Marshall (Civil Engineering; Institute on the Environment) has been receiving a great deal of recent media attention. The study analyzes pollution distribution across the U.S. and shows that people of color are exposed to higher levels of atmospheric pollution than whites. The study includes other factors, such as income level. MSI PI Associate Professor Dylan Millet (Soil, Water, and Climate) is also part of this research study. Both Professor Marshall and Professor Millet use MSI resources to model atmospheric pollution.

An article about this study appeared in the prestigious journal The Economist in May ("The colour of pollution," The Economist, online edition, May 24, 2014,, downloaded May 28, 2014). The study and an interview with Professor Marshall also appeared in April on the Minnesota news site (Ibrahim Hirsi, "Huge gap in pollution exposure by race surprises U of M researchers," MinnPost,, downloaded June 3, 2014).  The data from this research project appears on Professor Marshall's website.


posted on June 2, 2014

On Wednesday, June 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:

•  The MSI central filesystem, Panasas, will be upgraded to the latest server version. We expect clients to enter an IO wait period during this update, meaning that any running jobs should enter the wait state and resume once the upgrade is finished. Login resources will be unavailable during the upgrade period of 1 - 2 hours.
•  Citrix systems will be updated.

Systems status is always available on our Status page.

If you have any questions, please email


posted on May 16, 2014

Assistant Professor Rafael Fernandes (Physics and Astronomy) has been selected by the Department of Energy (DOE) to receive an award from the Early Career Research Program. This program is intended to provide support to outstanding researchers in the early years of their careers. It is being given to only 35 scientists in the U.S. this year.

Professor Fernandes specializes in theoretical condensed matter physics. He uses MSI for research into superconductivity in iron-based compounds.

An article about Professor Fernandes and this award appears on the College of Science and Engineering website.

posted on May 13, 2014

Associate Professor Elizabeth Amin (Medicinal Chemistry) is featured in the 2013 Annual Report from the College of Pharmacy. Professor Amin specializes in the design of countermeasures to chemical and biological warfare agents. The Amin group is pursuing four related major research areas: the mechanisms of the anthrax lethal toxin factor; designing ricin toxin A inhibitors; developing enzyme-based environmental cleanup agents; and developing new computational schemes for modeling energy surfaces in large metal-bearing molecules.

A description of the Amin group’s work at MSI, along with a bibliography of publications, can be found on their abstract page

posted on May 9, 2014

MSI PI Colum MacKinnon, an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology in the Medical School, specializes in research concerning the effects of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Professor MacKinnon is studying a PD-related issue called “freezing of gait,” in which the patient is unable to start or continue walking. He is the director of the Movement Disorders Laboratory.

The Academic Health Center’s Health blog recently published a post about Professor MacKinnon’s research, including a study that is investigating why visual cues, like a flashing light, sometimes help a patient break the “freeze.” It is hoped that, eventually, using appropriate cues may allow patients to overcome or avoid gait freezes without the use of medications. The group is using MSI storage resources for the huge amounts of data that they are generating from high-speed video recordings, force platforms, and multi-channel EMG recordings.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has also recently published an article about the Parkinson’s disease research being performed at the University of Minnesota.