News

A BICB trainee at the University of Minnesota Rochester has won a prestigious IBM Ph.D. Fellowship for work he has done with Blue Gene and MSI on metabolic pathways. MSI provides computational resources to the BICB (Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology) program and is a partner with the program in a Shared University Research (SUR) Program grant from IBM.

MSI Fellow and Principal Investigator Fotis Sotiropoulos, Director of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, is leading a team that has recently received a $8 million grant from DOE to study wind energy development. Professor Sotiropoulos leads a consortium made up of researchers from the Institute of Technology, the University of Minnesota Morris, Syracuse University, and Dakota County Technical College. The team will also collaborate with industry. For more information, see this article on the Institute of Technology website.

The NSF is soliciting proposals for computing time on the Blue Waters petascale computing system now under construction at the University of Illinois. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences at NIH is hosting a virtual workshop and applicant briefing on Blue Waters to encourage the development of high-impact community proposals for computing time on this new resource.

The videocast is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 17, from 1-3 p.m. CST. You will be able to access it at http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?live=8324.

More information can be found here: https://loop.nigms. nih.gov/index.php/2009/12/03/propose-research-using-the-worlds-most-powerful-supercomputer/.

MSI held an Open House on Wednesday, November 4. The event was free and open to the public. Activities included a panel discussion, talks about MSI and supercomputing, software and hardware demonstrations, displays of research at MSI, and tours. For more information, please see the Open House website.

Contacts:

  • Amy Danielson, Office of the Vice President for Research, (612) 625-1453, dani0139@umn.edu
  • Patty Mattern, University News Service, (612) 624-2801, mattern@umn.edu

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (11/17/2009) —

The University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for Advanced Computational Research (MSI) announced today its addition of HP ProLiant blade servers for a new high performance computing (HPC) system to support research across a broad range of disciplines. This powerful new system placed No. 67 on the November 17 TOP500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers. The new system will increase MSI's high-performance computing capacity, improving its ability to support researchers at the University of Minnesota and across the state. Powered by 1,083 HP ProLiant BL280 G6 servers with 8,664 computing cores, the new supercomputer, named "Itasca" by MSI, delivers 97 teraFLOPS of theoretical computing performance—three times the aggregate theoretical peak performance of MSI's other core computing resources.

The HP supercomputer at MSI features 24 gigabytes of RAM per node, a 40 Gb QDR InfiniBand interconnect, and more than 150 terabytes of attached storage. With a dramatic increase in its number of cores, MSI anticipates substantially improved capacity for running applications to resolve research problems.

More than 4,000 active users across a wide range of disciplines utilize MSI's diverse computational resources, making MSI a focal point of collaborative research at the University of Minnesota. MSI currently supports almost 500 active research groups by providing complete high-performance computing environments including systems, software, storage, support, and services. MSI resources have helped these researchers to be awarded $103.9 million in external funding in the past year. With the new HP supercomputer, MSI will be well poised to expand its established role of serving engineering and the physical and life sciences, and to provide services to many disciplines not traditionally served by MSI.

"Today, high-demand computation is absolutely central to a wide array of important research areas that are vital to putting the University of Minnesota in a leadership position," said Tom Jones, interim director of MSI. "This new computing system is a big step above what most other universities can call on, so our faculty and students are really excited by the big boost in computational resources they will have to drive the frontiers of knowledge."

"To maximize the effectiveness of their new supercomputer, MSI needed high system performance combined with ease of deployment and energy efficiency," said Steve Cumings, director of marketing, Scalable Computing and Infrastructure, HP. "MSI's choice of HP ProLiant BL280c blade servers for their new system shows its value in a complex HPC environment, enabling MSI to expand their support and speed of active research, ultimately driving innovation."

Top 500 Rankings The TOP500 ranking of supercomputers is released twice a year by researchers at the University of Tennessee, University of Mannheim, Germany, and at NERSC Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The list ranks supercomputers worldwide based on the Linpack N*N Benchmark, a yardstick of performance that is a reflection of processor speed and scalability.

About MSI The University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for Advanced Computational Research (MSI) is celebrating its 25th anniversary as an interdisciplinary research program spanning across all colleges of the University of Minnesota. MSI has established itself as a vital resource to the University of Minnesota by facilitating groundbreaking research, attracting top faculty and students, and enhancing researchers' competitive advantage in the search for external funding. For more information, visit www.msi.umn.edu.

Visit MSI in booth 155 at the SC09 supercomputing conference in Portland, Oregon, today through Nov. 20 for demonstrations showcasing research at the University of Minnesota. More information about MSI at SC09 is available at https://www.msi.umn.edu/events/sc09/.

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