HPCwire Awards Highlight Supercomputing Achievements in the Sciences

By the Editorial Team

January 3, 2019

In November at SC18 in Dallas, HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice awards program commemorated its 15th year of honoring achievement in HPC, with categories ranging from Best Use of AI to the Workforce Diversity Leadership Award and recipients across a wide variety of industrial and research sectors. In this editorial, HPCwire highlights the awards that celebrated the biggest and brightest developments in HPC for the sciences in the past 12 months.

Recognizing HPC’s contributions to tackling global challenges

With the world rising to meet global challenges in energy production and climate change, 2018 became a banner year for HPC in the energy and climate sectors. A team from Northwestern University won the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in Physical Sciences, using the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center’s Bridges system (with Intel, Nvidia and HPE technologies) to discover more efficient compounds for use in lithium batteries and energy production – a potentially huge step toward drastically higher-capacity batteries for electric vehicles, among other applications.

The Readers’ Choice for Best Use of HPC in Energy celebrated another breakthrough achievement in energy science. Awarded jointly to the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and GENCI, the award recognized leaps toward the harvesting of “blue energy” – energy produced when seawater and freshwater meet and mix. These advances were made possible by advanced molecular simulations performed over nearly 30 million combined core hours on the MareNostrum and Curie supercomputers. “PRACE is pleased to receive this prestigious award from the readers of HPCwire,” said Serge Bogaerts, PRACE’s managing director. “It is a priority for PRACE to support excellent pioneering research which has a potentially significant impact to our society and strengthens European competitiveness.”

SciNet also used fluid dynamics to tackle global issues, winning the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in Physical Sciences in the process. As a part of stress testing the powerful new Niagara cluster, researchers used Lenovo and Mellanox technologies on it to create spatial resolution models of the Pacific Ocean. The models, led by Richard Peltier of the University of Toronto, seek to finally answer a theory of ocean dynamics proposed nearly 50 years ago. These more accurate models will help SciNet to improve the skill of its climate models, aiding projections of global climate change and assuring researchers that “when we do put an ocean model to work in the context of a global warming calculation … that we can feel secure that the physical process is properly represented,” Peltier said.

Recognizing HPC’s contributions to our grasp of the universe

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications won the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Use of AI for its use of deep learning for real-time gravitational wave discovery. This breakthrough allows astronomers to study gravitational waves more quickly while using less computational power. Furthermore, it allows for the detection of new classes of gravitational wave sources that may have gone undetected using other methods.

The Editors’ Choice Award for Top HPC-Enabled Scientific Achievement went to XSEDE, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and the Open Science Grid (OSG) — in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stanford University — for simulations that helped the NSF pinpoint the origin of cosmic neutrinos. The simulations were performed on the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center’s Bridges supercomputer, SDSC’s Comet supercomputer and the OSG.

Recognizing HPC’s contributions to understanding health and the human body

Of course, massive calculations are not only for massive systems – a whopping five of HPCwire’s 2018 awards went to outstanding projects that used HPC to improve our understanding of health and the human body.

Two of those awards recognized efforts to understand the human brain. The Readers’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in Life Sciences went to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center’s Brain Image Library. Funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) as part of the federal BRAIN initiative, the Brain Image Library allows researchers to “deposit, analyze, mine, share, and interact with large brain-image datasets” – affording them access to such high-resolution images that they can zoom in to the level of a single neuron or synapse.

The Editors’ Choice Award for Best Use of the HPC in Life Sciences, meanwhile, was awarded to an international team led by the San Diego Supercomputer Center and UC San Diego for research that may explain some of the genetic roots of neurodevelopmental disorders. The researchers used the Comet system, built by Dell EMC, to analyze the genomes of 9,274 subjects from 2,600 families and identify rare inherited variants in regions of non-coding DNA that may be linked to autism.

The Wellcome Sanger Institute also won an award – the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in the Cloud – for its work in genomic analysis. Using a private OpenStack cloud IT environment, the Sanger Institute enabled the sequencing and assembly of 100 complete human genomes per day. This work is part of the UK Biobank Vanguard project, which will sequence 50,000 genomes from volunteers.

“I’m delighted for the teams, who thoroughly deserve this award,” said Tim Cutts, head of scientific computing. “Their creativity and dedication to overcoming the unique challenges posed by storing and analysing genomic data means that we are not only able to cope with, but can also explore at scale, the vast volume of data being generated by our sequencing operation, and to deliver that capacity quickly. Winning the Readers’ Choice award is especially humbling as it means that our peers worldwide acknowledge the groundbreaking work of our scientific computing and informatics teams.”

Researchers from the NIH and the University of Delaware won the Readers’ Choice Award for Best HPC Collaboration (Academia/Government/Industry) for their research in the fight against HIV. Working with the Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center and using the D.E. Shaw Research Anton 2 supercomputer, the team discovered a “brake” that disrupts HIV’s development, preventing the protein shell that covers the virus from forming. “Science is moving away from the single scientist being able to peer at things at atomic resolution,” said Tatyana Polenova, professor at the University of Delaware. “It’s no longer the situation of doing one thing as a single investigator. Now, we all come together.”

NASA, meanwhile, examined somewhat more peculiar stressors on the human genome, with its Twin Study winning the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC High Performance Data Analytics. Using Bridges’ large-memory nodes, NASA examined the genomic differences between twins Mark Kelly (earthbound) and Scott Kelly (an astronaut). The study represents the first application of genomics in evaluating risks that space can pose to the human body.

Recognizing revolutionary HPC systems in the sciences

NASA — in partnership with HPE — also won the Readers’ Choice Award for Top HPC-Enabled Scientific Achievement, having launched the first supercomputer into space and kept it fully functional for an entire year. The one-year mark is a crucial goal for the Spaceborne supercomputer, with a year being roughly the amount of time it will take a ship to travel to Mars.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, IBM, Nvidia and Mellanox won both the Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards for Top Supercomputing Achievement for the launch of the Summit and Sierra supercomputers — the world’s #1 and #2 fastest supercomputers, respectively. Summit has already been making its mark on science, with five of 2018’s six Gordon Bell Prize finalists using Summit in their work.

The project responsible for advancing the United States’ future leadership supercomputing capabilities — the Exascale Computing Project — was also recognized, receiving the Editors’ Choice Award for Best HPC Collaboration (Academia/Government/Industry). The Exascale Computing Project is a collaborative effort by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to accelerate delivery of a “capable” exascale system by working with other federal agencies and technology vendors in a “whole-of-nation” approach. Application development is a core thrust.

Recognizing leaps forward for scientific institutions

Not all leaps forward for HPC in science are purely scientific. The Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) South Africa in collaboration with TACC, Cambridge University, Dell EMC, and the Department of Science & Technology (South Africa) were recognized by HPCwire readers with the Workforce Diversity Leadership Award for leading the re-purposing and re-deployment of high-performance computing systems in Africa under the HPC Ecosystems Project. The project is responsible for re-deploying decommissioned HPC systems across the African continent as a means to facilitate computational science, human capital development, and in all cases to further HPC-awareness in Africa.

HPC Ecosystem Team with Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire, at SC18

Our Editors’ Choice Workplace Diversity Leadership Award went to the National Science Foundation for its INCLUDES program, which looks to enhance U.S. leadership in STEM fields by proactively seeking and developing talent from all sectors and groups. “NSF INCLUDES addresses populations largely missing in the current science and engineering enterprise,” said NSF director France Córdova. “Their inclusion is essential in helping the U.S. maintain its position as the world’s leader in innovation. Through NSF INCLUDES, we are funding researchers and others who have great proposals that would move the needle.”

The HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards are a way for our community to recognize the best and brightest innovators within the global HPC community. To see the full list of the 2018 winners, click here.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

SC19’s HPC Impact Showcase Chair: AI + HPC a ‘Speed Train’

November 16, 2019

This year’s chair of the HPC Impact Showcase at the SC19 conference in Denver is Lori Diachin, who has spent her career at the spearhead of HPC. Currently deputy director for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Read more…

By Doug Black

Microsoft Azure Adds Graphcore’s IPU

November 15, 2019

Graphcore, the U.K. AI chip developer, is expanding collaboration with Microsoft to offer its intelligent processing units on the Azure cloud, making Microsoft the first large public cloud vendor to offer the IPU designe Read more…

By George Leopold

At SC19: What Is UrgentHPC and Why Is It Needed?

November 14, 2019

The UrgentHPC workshop, taking place Sunday (Nov. 17) at SC19, is focused on using HPC and real-time data for urgent decision making in response to disasters such as wildfires, flooding, health emergencies, and accidents. We chat with organizer Nick Brown, research fellow at EPCC, University of Edinburgh, to learn more. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

China’s Tencent Server Design Will Use AMD Rome

November 13, 2019

Tencent, the Chinese cloud giant, said it would use AMD’s newest Epyc processor in its internally-designed server. The design win adds further momentum to AMD’s bid to erode rival Intel Corp.’s dominance of the glo Read more…

By George Leopold

NCSA Industry Conference Recap – Part 1

November 13, 2019

Industry Program Director Brendan McGinty welcomed guests to the annual National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Industry Conference, October 8-10, on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana (UIUC). One hundred seventy from 40 organizations attended the invitation-only, two-day event. Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake, STEM-Trek

AWS Solution Channel

Making High Performance Computing Affordable and Accessible for Small and Medium Businesses with HPC on AWS

High performance computing (HPC) brings a powerful set of tools to a broad range of industries, helping to drive innovation and boost revenue in finance, genomics, oil and gas extraction, and other fields. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Data Management – The Key to a Successful AI Project

 

Five characteristics of an awesome AI data infrastructure

[Attend the IBM LSF & HPC User Group Meeting at SC19 in Denver on November 19!]

AI is powered by data

While neural networks seem to get all the glory, data is the unsung hero of AI projects – data lies at the heart of everything from model training to tuning to selection to validation. Read more…

Cray, Fujitsu Both Bringing Fujitsu A64FX-based Supercomputers to Market in 2020

November 12, 2019

The number of top-tier HPC systems makers has shrunk due to a steady march of M&A activity, but there is increased diversity and choice of processing components with Intel Xeon, AMD Epyc, IBM Power, and Arm server ch Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SC19’s HPC Impact Showcase Chair: AI + HPC a ‘Speed Train’

November 16, 2019

This year’s chair of the HPC Impact Showcase at the SC19 conference in Denver is Lori Diachin, who has spent her career at the spearhead of HPC. Currently Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray, Fujitsu Both Bringing Fujitsu A64FX-based Supercomputers to Market in 2020

November 12, 2019

The number of top-tier HPC systems makers has shrunk due to a steady march of M&A activity, but there is increased diversity and choice of processing compon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel AI Summit: New ‘Keem Bay’ Edge VPU, AI Product Roadmap

November 12, 2019

At its AI Summit today in San Francisco, Intel touted a raft of AI training and inference hardware for deployments ranging from cloud to edge and designed to support organizations at various points of their AI journeys. The company revealed its Movidius Myriad Vision Processing Unit (VPU)... Read more…

By Doug Black

IBM Adds Support for Ion Trap Quantum Technology to Qiskit

November 11, 2019

After years of percolating in the shadow of quantum computing research based on superconducting semiconductors – think IBM, Rigetti, Google, and D-Wave (quant Read more…

By John Russell

Tackling HPC’s Memory and I/O Bottlenecks with On-Node, Non-Volatile RAM

November 8, 2019

On-node, non-volatile memory (NVRAM) is a game-changing technology that can remove many I/O and memory bottlenecks and provide a key enabler for exascale. That’s the conclusion drawn by the scientists and researchers of Europe’s NEXTGenIO project, an initiative funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program to explore this new... Read more…

By Jan Rowell

MLPerf Releases First Inference Benchmark Results; Nvidia Touts its Showing

November 6, 2019

MLPerf.org, the young AI-benchmarking consortium, today issued the first round of results for its inference test suite. Among organizations with submissions wer Read more…

By John Russell

Azure Cloud First with AMD Epyc Rome Processors

November 6, 2019

At Ignite 2019 this week, Microsoft's Azure cloud team and AMD announced an expansion of their partnership that began in 2017 when Azure debuted Epyc-backed instances for storage workloads. The fourth-generation Azure D-series and E-series virtual machines previewed at the Rome launch in August are now generally available. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Launches Credit Card-Sized 21 TOPS Jetson System for Edge Devices

November 6, 2019

Nvidia has launched a new addition to its Jetson product line: a credit card-sized (70x45mm) form factor delivering up to 21 trillion operations/second (TOPS) o Read more…

By Doug Black

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Using AI to Solve One of the Most Prevailing Problems in CFD

October 17, 2019

How can artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) solve mesh generation, one of the most commonly referenced problems in computational engineering? A new study has set out to answer this question and create an industry-first AI-mesh application... Read more…

By James Sharpe

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

D-Wave’s Path to 5000 Qubits; Google’s Quantum Supremacy Claim

September 24, 2019

On the heels of IBM’s quantum news last week come two more quantum items. D-Wave Systems today announced the name of its forthcoming 5000-qubit system, Advantage (yes the name choice isn’t serendipity), at its user conference being held this week in Newport, RI. Read more…

By John Russell

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Crystal Ball Gazing: IBM’s Vision for the Future of Computing

October 14, 2019

Dario Gil, IBM’s relatively new director of research, painted a intriguing portrait of the future of computing along with a rough idea of how IBM thinks we’ Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Intel Confirms Retreat on Omni-Path

August 1, 2019

Intel Corp.’s plans to make a big splash in the network fabric market for linking HPC and other workloads has apparently belly-flopped. The chipmaker confirmed to us the outlines of an earlier report by the website CRN that it has jettisoned plans for a second-generation version of its Omni-Path interconnect... Read more…

By Staff report

Kubernetes, Containers and HPC

September 19, 2019

Software containers and Kubernetes are important tools for building, deploying, running and managing modern enterprise applications at scale and delivering enterprise software faster and more reliably to the end user — while using resources more efficiently and reducing costs. Read more…

By Daniel Gruber, Burak Yenier and Wolfgang Gentzsch, UberCloud

Dell Ramps Up HPC Testing of AMD Rome Processors

October 21, 2019

Dell Technologies is wading deeper into the AMD-based systems market with a growing evaluation program for the latest Epyc (Rome) microprocessors from AMD. In a Read more…

By John Russell

Rise of NIH’s Biowulf Mirrors the Rise of Computational Biology

July 29, 2019

The story of NIH’s supercomputer Biowulf is fascinating, important, and in many ways representative of the transformation of life sciences and biomedical res Read more…

By John Russell

Xilinx vs. Intel: FPGA Market Leaders Launch Server Accelerator Cards

August 6, 2019

The two FPGA market leaders, Intel and Xilinx, both announced new accelerator cards this week designed to handle specialized, compute-intensive workloads and un Read more…

By Doug Black

When Dense Matrix Representations Beat Sparse

September 9, 2019

In our world filled with unintended consequences, it turns out that saving memory space to help deal with GPU limitations, knowing it introduces performance pen Read more…

By James Reinders

With the Help of HPC, Astronomers Prepare to Deflect a Real Asteroid

September 26, 2019

For years, NASA has been running simulations of asteroid impacts to understand the risks (and likelihoods) of asteroids colliding with Earth. Now, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are preparing for the next, crucial step in planetary defense against asteroid impacts: physically deflecting a real asteroid. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cerebras to Supply DOE with Wafer-Scale AI Supercomputing Technology

September 17, 2019

Cerebras Systems, which debuted its wafer-scale AI silicon at Hot Chips last month, has entered into a multi-year partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as part of a larger collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This