The OVPR’s Business blog recently posted a story about services that MSI is providing to a research and development team at Cargill. The project involves a problem related to poor aeration in a fermenting process. MSI assisted Cargill staff to license and install specialized software on one of the supercomputers, and are using the system to model possible solutions.


You can read the article on the Business blog. 


The Virtual School of Computational Science and Engineering (VSCSE) is holding two courses this summer. These courses are open to graduate students, post-docs, and young professionals who want to expand their skills with advanced computational resources. The courses are offered at institutions around the country, allowing participants to go to the most convenient location.


Descriptions of the courses are shown below. You can register at the XSEDE portal. Questions can be mailed to


Summer 2013 VSCSE Courses:


Data Intensive Summer School (July 8 – 10, 2013)

From the VSCSE website: The Data Intensive Summer School focuses on the skills needed to manage, process and gain insight from large amounts of data. It is targeted at researchers from the physical, biological, economic and social sciences that are beginning to drown in data. We will cover the nuts and bolts of data intensive computing, common tools and software, predictive analytics algorithms, data management and non-relational database models. Given the short duration of the summer school, the emphasis will be on providing a solid foundation that the attendees can use as a starting point for advanced topics of particular relevance to their work.


Proven Algorithmic Techniques for Many-Core Processors (July 29 – August 2, 2013) 

From the VSCSE website: Studying many current GPU computing applications, we have learned that the limits of an application's scalability are often related to some combination of memory bandwidth saturation, memory contention, imbalanced data distribution, or data structure/algorithm interactions. Successful GPU application developers often adjust their data structures and problem formulation specifically for massive threading and executed their threads leveraging shared on-chip memory resources for bigger impact. We looked for patterns among those transformations, and here present the seven most common and crucial algorithm and data optimization techniques we discovered. Each can improve performance of applicable kernels by 2-10X in current processors while improving future scalability.




Two MSI PIs, Daniel Bond and Jeffrey Gralnick, were recently highlighted in a UMNews feature story. The two are both associate professors in the Department of Microbiology and are also members of the BioTechnology Institute. They study metal-reducing and metal-oxidizing bacteria. These bacteria can change the properties of metals via a process of electron transfer.


Both Professor Bond and Professor Gralnick use MSI resources to perform gene sequencing in the bacteria they are studying. This helps them to define the genes involved in the microbial metabolic process.


Three MSI PIs are featured in a recent UMNews article about research in the emerging field of nanomedicine. The PIs are Professor John Bischof (Mechanical Engineering), Associate Professor Christy Haynes (Chemistry), and Associate Professor Sang-Hyun Oh (Electrical and Computer Engineering).


Professors Bischof and Haynes and their colleague Professor Michael Garwood of the radiology department are working on a system to use iron-oxide nanoparticles to destroy cancer tumors with heat. Professor Bischof uses MSI for a number of projects involving biological systems. His work specific to this tumor-fighting project involves modeling heat transfer around nanoparticles. Professor Haynes uses MSI to study the immune system at the cellular level. This involves microfluidics research that requires powerful computational resources to study the fluid dynamics of the systems considered.


Professor Oh’s group uses MSI as part of research to develop metallic nanostructures. One application for these nanostructures is as sensors to study how proteins interact with molecules, which is part of the process used in developing new drugs. The Oh group is working with researchers at the Mayo Clinic who plan to use this method to test a possible treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS).


Professor Gunda Georg (Medicinal Chemistry) will receive the Volwiler Research Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) for her outstanding research and contributions to the field of synthetic medicinal chemistry. The award will be presented at the AACP Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois in July. An article about this award appeared last week in the Wall Street Journal,  which was included in the April 30, 2013 “U in the News” summary on the University’s website.


Professor Georg is the Director of the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Design and is Head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry. She and other faculty at the ITDD use MSI resources for their cutting-edge drug-discovery and development research.


Update, 5/7/13: An article about Professor Georg appears in the Minnesota Daily.