As a reward for winning the OVPR contest for "highest increase in participation" in the 2011 Community Fund Drive, the MSI staff was treated to a serenade by Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy on December 1. VP Mulcahy, in appropriate attire, performed a song set to the music "La donna e mobile" from the opera Rigoletto by Verdi.


The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) has installed a new graphics processing unit (GPU) system that it hopes will enable researchers to take advantage of this new technology for innovation and improved performance for research.


This new system complements MSI's current set of GPU tutorial nodes (four nodes with four Nvidia GTX480 GPUs) and the S2050 GPUs available to NIH researchers on the Koronis system. The new system includes a Dell R710 dual-socket, quad-core head/login node in a C6100 chassis, with 48 GB of memory; eight Dell compute nodes, each with dual X5675 six-core 3.06 GHz processors and 96 GB of memory; and 32 Nvidia M2070 GPUs.


Each compute node is connected to four GPU nodes, and the GPUs, together, have 448 3.13 GHz cores and 3 GB of memory per card. Moreover, each GPU is capable of 1.2 single-precision TFLOPS and 0.5 double-precision TFLOPs. The external chassis allows for easy expansion of the system to a larger node count and also connection to a variable number of GPUs per node. The system is interconnected by QDR infiniband and cooled with a passive, water-cooled door. Installation was completed the week of Dec. 6-10, 2011.

Kevin Mohsenian, a senior in the biomedical engineering department and a researcher in the group of MSI Principal Investigator Matt Johnson, recently won the Biomedical Engineering Society's Undergraduate Research Award for 2011. The award was for his simulation work, "Computational Modeling of Pedunculopontine Nucleus Deep Brain Simulation," which is part of the Johnson group's work highlighted in the December Research Spotlight (see sidebar on left of page) and in the MSI Annual Research Highlights 2011.

Recent research by MSI Principal Investigator David Tilman (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) discusses the possibility that global food demand could double by 2050. This could have serious effects on the environment, but could be avoided by changes in agricultural practices. UMNews has published a news release about this research. Professor Tilman's work is also featured in MSI's Annual Research Highlights 2011.

UMNews article about the research of MSI Associate Fellow Nevin D. Young is featured on the U website. Professor Young and his collaborators recently published a paper in Nature (November 16) concerning their genomic research with legumes. This research increases our knowledge about how legumes produce natural nitrogen fertilizer, which is important to sustainable agriculture.