HPCwire Awards Highlight Supercomputing Achievements in the Sciences

By Oliver Peckham

January 7, 2020

In November at SC19 in Denver, the HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice awards program celebrated its 16th year of honoring remarkable achievements in high-performance computing. With categories ranging from Best Use of HPC in Energy to Top HPC-Enabled Scientific Achievement, many of the winners contributed to groundbreaking developments in the sciences. This editorial highlights those awards.

Recognizing HPC’s contributions to our understanding of Earth

A number of awards went to researchers working to better model crucial Earth systems. Pawsey Supercomputing Center helped to build detailed 3D models of Perth’s groundwater aquifers using near-real-time data processing, earning the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in Physical Sciences. “The detailed knowledge of the groundwater system provided by this model assists the government in sustaining this valuable water resource,” said Mark Stickells, Pawsey’s executive director. “It is a great example of Pawsey-enabled collaborative research that has a direct impact on our community and quality of life.” The research is already being used to assist the Australian government in assessing groundwater sites.

The Ocean Conservancy also worked on modeling the world’s water, performing over 75 50-year ocean simulations on AWS to understand climate change’s effects on underwater ecosystems (and winning the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in the Cloud). “The computational density of this would never have been possible on premises, even using the supercomputers available at the world’s largest universities,” wrote Amazon CTO Werner Vogels on his blog.

The Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ), meanwhile, focused on even deeper systems, constructing 3D models of past shifts in tectonic plates and the Earth’s mantle, improving the safety of fossil fuel extraction processes and earning LRZ the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in Energy. The research, which used the SuperMUC-NG supercomputer, will help energy companies minimize their environmental impacts. “We are happy to be supporting cutting-edge research such as Prof. Bunge’s,” said Prof. Dieter Kranzlmüller, director of LRZ. “We are honored that this collaboration resulted in an HPCwire Editors’ Choice award, and are always happy when the HPC community hears about some of the innovations happening at LRZ specifically and the three GCS centres generally.” 

Finally, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the University of Minnesota and Ohio State University won the Editors’ Choice Award for Best HPC Collaboration for their ongoing work to produce an unprecedented, high-resolution elevation model of the entire planet. “NCSA is honored to be awarded for our contributions in geospatial research,” said William “Bill” Gropp, director of NCSA. “Congratulations to our research partners, and thank you to HPCwire for this recognition.” The collaboration is planned as a “long-term strategic relationship” that will span “many years.”

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

Moving from the macro to the micro, many of this year’s awards celebrated advances in human biology and disease treatments. Stony Brook University researchers used the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Computer’s Bridges and Bridges-AI systems to examine tumor tissue biology and build predictive, individualized treatment models, winning the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in Life Sciences – PSC’s tenth year with a win in the awards. “Having PSC’s contributions being recognized for ten years by the HPCwire awards, granted by the top trade publication in HPC, is a clear and strong sign that reaffirms PSC’s unwavering commitment to the advancement of science and engineering through HPC,” said Paola Buitrago, PSC’s director of artificial intelligence and big data.

CEA also tackled tumors, earning an Editors’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in Life Sciences by leveraging a PRACE allocation on GENCI’s Curie machine to implement a new algorithm that could lead to better breast cancer tumor detection. In essence, the researchers are using massively parallel codes to explore conversion of laser light into various forms, which they hope will lead to a breakthrough in high-resolution medical imaging and cancer detection. “PRACE is honored to receive the HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in Life Sciences,” said Serge Bogaerts, PRACE managing director. “This award acknowledges the endeavour of PRACE as a research infrastructure to support excellence in science.”

Research on other diseases was also recognized; another Editors’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in Life Sciences was awarded to a team from the University of Michigan, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) for their work using a model to examine differences in visualizations to better understand tuberculosis – specifically, how tuberculosis granulomas form and spread. “We’re delighted to be recognized once again,” said SDSC director Michael Norman, calling the life sciences “a key element of [SDSC’s] strategic thrust.”

Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital, meanwhile, collaborated with Minerva HPC and won the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Use of High Performance Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence for their development of an AI platform to detect neurodegenerative diseases using machine learning. The platform, called the Precise Informatics Platform, analyzed digitized microscopic slides of tissue samples to create a convolutional neural network capable of identifying “tangles” that serve as markers for neurodegenerative diseases. “Thank you @hpcwire for the #hpcwire Editors’ Choice Award,” Minerva HPC tweeted. “We couldn’t be more proud of our researchers and partners @Lenovo who have worked so hard.”

Finally, Tanmay Bakshi, a 15-year-old Canadian systems architect, used Nimbix Cloud to develop a neural network to create a new kind of biometric identification: Heart ID, which identifies an individual based on the unique electrical activity of their heart. Nimbix highlights how Heart ID requires no expensive hardware and has a very small software footprint, allowing it to run on many lightweight devices, including existing smartwatches with ECG sensors. Bakshi won the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Use of High Performance Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence. “Thank you to the @hpcwire community,” Nimbix tweeted, “and congratulations to [Tanmay Bakshi] for this incredible accomplishment!”

Recognizing HPC’s contributions to our grasp of the universe

Yet other researchers set their sights on the heavens, leveraging immense supercomputing power to enhance our understanding of the cosmos. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory used Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Summit supercomputer to conduct three of the largest cosmological simulations in history to study the makeup of the universe. In the process, they broke records when the massive simulations necessitated a massive 2.9 PB data transfer, the largest single data transfer in history – winning them the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in Physical Sciences.

SDSC, TACC and the Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center (PSC) conducted supercomputer simulations under the National Science Foundation (NSF) XSEDE program to uncover new insights into the behavior of gravitational waves. They did this by analyzing the structures of neutron stars in “eccentric” configurations, such as binary neutron stars. The research, which was conducted in collaboration with the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Theoretical Physics Program of the University of Arizona, won the Readers’ Choice Award for Top HPC-Enabled Scientific Achievement. “We’re honored to receive these awards from the community,” said Dan Stanzione, TACC’s executive director.

Last but not least, the Editors’ Choice Award for Top HPC-Enabled Scientific Achievement went to the Event Horizon Telescope team, which crunched petabytes of data to produce groundbreaking cosmological images, including the first-ever image of a black hole, which went viral in April 2019. To find out more about the creation of the black hole image, which required crunching four petabytes of data, read HPCwire’s story here.

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 2019 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!

NSF Budget Approved for $8.3B in 2020, a 2.5% Increase

January 16, 2020

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been spared a President Trump-proposed budget cut that would have rolled back its funding to 2012 levels. Congress passed legislation last month that sets the budget at $8.3 bill Read more…

By Staff report

NOAA Updates Its Massive, Supercomputer-Generated Climate Dataset

January 15, 2020

As Australia burns, understanding and mitigating the climate crisis is more urgent than ever. Now, by leveraging the computing resources at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has updated its 20th Century Reanalysis Project (20CR) dataset... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Atos-AMD System to Quintuple Supercomputing Power at European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

January 15, 2020

The United Kingdom-based European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), a supercomputer-powered weather forecasting organization backed by most of the countries in Europe, has signed a four-year, $89-million Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Julia Programming’s Dramatic Rise in HPC and Elsewhere

January 14, 2020

Back in 2012 a paper by four computer scientists including Alan Edelman of MIT introduced Julia, A Fast Dynamic Language for Technical Computing. At the time, the gold standard programming languages for fast performance Read more…

By John Russell

Quantum Computing, ML Drive 2019 Patent Awards

January 14, 2020

The dizzying pace of technology innovation often fueled by the growing availability of computing horsepower is underscored by the race to develop unique designs and application that can be patented. Among the goals of ma Read more…

By George Leopold

AWS Solution Channel

Challenging the barriers to High Performance Computing in the Cloud

Cloud computing helps democratize High Performance Computing by placing powerful computational capabilities in the hands of more researchers, engineers, and organizations who may lack access to sufficient on-premises infrastructure. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Intelligent HPC – Keeping Hard Work at Bay(es)

Since the dawn of time, humans have looked for ways to make their lives easier. Over the centuries human ingenuity has given us inventions such as the wheel and simple machines – which help greatly with tasks that would otherwise be extremely laborious. Read more…

Andrew Jones Joins Microsoft Azure HPC Team

January 13, 2020

Andrew Jones announced today he is joining Microsoft as part of the Azure HPC engineering & product team in early February. Jones makes the move after nearly 12 years at the UK HPC consultancy Numerical Algorithms Gr Read more…

By Staff report

Atos-AMD System to Quintuple Supercomputing Power at European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

January 15, 2020

The United Kingdom-based European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), a supercomputer-powered weather forecasting organization backed by most of Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Julia Programming’s Dramatic Rise in HPC and Elsewhere

January 14, 2020

Back in 2012 a paper by four computer scientists including Alan Edelman of MIT introduced Julia, A Fast Dynamic Language for Technical Computing. At the time, t Read more…

By John Russell

White House AI Regulatory Guidelines: ‘Remove Impediments to Private-sector AI Innovation’

January 9, 2020

When it comes to new technology, it’s been said government initially stays uninvolved – then gets too involved. The White House’s guidelines for federal a Read more…

By Doug Black

IBM Touts Quantum Network Growth, Improving QC Quality, and Battery Research

January 8, 2020

IBM today announced its Q (quantum) Network community had grown to 100-plus – Delta Airlines and Los Alamos National Laboratory are among most recent addition Read more…

By John Russell

HPCwire Awards Highlight Supercomputing Achievements in the Sciences

January 7, 2020

In November at SC19 in Denver, the HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice awards program celebrated its 16th year of honoring remarkable achievements in high-performance computing. With categories ranging from Best Use of HPC in Energy to Top HPC-Enabled Scientific Achievement, many of the winners contributed to groundbreaking developments in the sciences. This editorial highlights those awards. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Blasts from the (Recent) Past and Hopes for the Future

December 23, 2019

What does 2020 look like to you? What did 2019 look like? Lots happened but the main trends were carryovers from 2018 – AI messaging again blanketed everything; the roll-out of new big machines and exascale announcements continued; processor diversity and system disaggregation kicked up a notch; hyperscalers continued flexing their muscles (think AWS and its Graviton2 processor); and the U.S. and China continued their awkward trade war. Read more…

By John Russell

ARPA-E Applies ML to Power Generation Designs

December 19, 2019

The U.S. Energy Department’s research arm is leveraging machine learning technologies to simplify the design process for energy systems ranging from photovolt Read more…

By George Leopold

Focused on ‘Silicon TAM,’ Intel Puts Gary Patton, Former GlobalFoundries CTO, in Charge of Design Enablement

December 12, 2019

Change within Intel’s upper management – and to its company mission – has continued as a published report has disclosed that chip technology heavyweight G Read more…

By Doug Black

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

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

SC19: IBM Changes Its HPC-AI Game Plan

November 25, 2019

It’s probably fair to say IBM is known for big bets. Summit supercomputer – a big win. Red Hat acquisition – looking like a big win. OpenPOWER and Power processors – jury’s out? At SC19, long-time IBMer Dave Turek sketched out a different kind of bet for Big Blue – a small ball strategy, if you’ll forgive the baseball analogy... Read more…

By John Russell

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

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

Julia Programming’s Dramatic Rise in HPC and Elsewhere

January 14, 2020

Back in 2012 a paper by four computer scientists including Alan Edelman of MIT introduced Julia, A Fast Dynamic Language for Technical Computing. At the time, t Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Debuts New GPU – Ponte Vecchio – and Outlines Aspirations for oneAPI

November 17, 2019

Intel today revealed a few more details about its forthcoming Xe line of GPUs – the top SKU is named Ponte Vecchio and will be used in Aurora, the first plann Read more…

By John Russell

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

Leading Solution Providers

SC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

AMD
AMD
ASROCK RACK
ASROCK RACK
AWS
AWS
CEJN
CJEN
CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
IBM
IBM
MELLANOX
MELLANOX
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
SIX NINES IT
SIX NINES IT
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL
WEKAIO
WEKAIO

IBM Unveils Latest Achievements in AI Hardware

December 13, 2019

“The increased capabilities of contemporary AI models provide unprecedented recognition accuracy, but often at the expense of larger computational and energet Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

SC19: Welcome to Denver

November 17, 2019

A significant swath of the HPC community has come to Denver for SC19, which began today (Sunday) with a rich technical program. As is customary, the ribbon cutt Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

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

Jensen Huang’s SC19 – Fast Cars, a Strong Arm, and Aiming for the Cloud(s)

November 20, 2019

We’ve come to expect Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang’s annual SC keynote to contain stunning graphics and lively bravado (with plenty of examples) in support of GPU Read more…

By John Russell

Top500: US Maintains Performance Lead; Arm Tops Green500

November 18, 2019

The 54th Top500, revealed today at SC19, is a familiar list: the U.S. Summit (ORNL) and Sierra (LLNL) machines, offering 148.6 and 94.6 petaflops respectively, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

51,000 Cloud GPUs Converge to Power Neutrino Discovery at the South Pole

November 22, 2019

At the dead center of the South Pole, thousands of sensors spanning a cubic kilometer are buried thousands of meters beneath the ice. The sensors are part of Ic Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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

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