News

  MSI Fellow and Principal Investigator Efi Foufoula-Georgiou (Civil Engineering, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory) is one of the lead investigators on a new $720,000 grant just awarded to the University of Minnesota by the National Science Foundation. The University will be the lead organization in an international, multi-university virtual institute, called Linked Institutions for Future Earth (LIFE), which will study Earth-surface systems with emphasis on watersheds and deltas.  
  MSI Principal Investigators in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science were recently awarded a $1.8 million research grant. Michael Tsapatsis is the lead researcher; Prodromos Daoutidis is also on the research team.  
  MSI participated in the College of Science and Engineering’s Family Fun Fair on November 17, 2012. This annual event, which is designed to introduce children to science and math in fun and interactive ways, had nearly 2,500 participants this year. At the MSI booth, hundreds of kids created models of sodium chloride and methane out of marshmallows, pretzels, and toothpicks. The attendees also watched a 3D visualization of a molecule on a 60” monitor.  
  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.  
  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.
  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.
UPDATE: The new storage system will be activated on January 9, 2013. All data should be migrated to the new system during January - July 2013. Complete information can be found on the Panasas Migration Guide webpage.    The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) is putting into a production a new Panasas ActiveStor 14 data-storage system.
On September 17, 2012, MSI held an Informational Session to present an overview of our services. Slides and videos from this session are now available. See the links at the Informational Session webpage.
  MSI Fellow Efi Foufoula-Georgiou (Civil Engineering) has been named by President Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. The Board is an independent agency whose purpose is to provide independent scientific and technical oversight to the DOE’s program for managing and disposing of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. More information can be found in the University’s news release.  
  The University of Minnesota announced recently that discoveries by University researchers were used to launch 12 startup companies in fiscal year 2012. This is a record number. You can read the news story describing the companies on the Office of the VP for Research (OVPR) Business blog.   Several of the researchers are MSI Principal Investigators:
  MSI Principal Investigators Robert Patterson (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation), Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos (Computer Science and Engineering), and Ned Mohan (Electrical and Computer Engineering) were among University faculty who were awarded patents during the past quarter.  
MSI is augmenting the capabilities of Itasca with an addition of 51 Intel SandyBridge nodes. The expansion includes 39 nodes with 16 cores per node, 64 GB of memory, and a 146 GB hard drive. There are also eight nodes with 128 GB of memory and 8 nodes with 256 GB of memory. The higher-memory nodes will also include larger local disk drives of 600 GB each. The larger memory and large local disk nodes target users with greater demands of per-core of node memory and also users who need large local scratch drives.