Supercomputing, big data and artificial intelligence are crucial tools in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Around the world, researchers, corporations and governments are urgently devoting their computing resources to this global crisis. This column collects the biggest news about how advanced technologies are helping us fight back against COVID-19.
Researchers at the University of Hull in the UK have dedicated spare time on their Viper supercomputer to the crowdsourced computing project [email protected] Viper will be contributing toward detailed rendering of protein movements in the viral cells of COVID-19. “It has been humbling to see how the University has responded to the challenges posed by COVID-19,” said Chris Collins, research systems manager at the University of Hull. “From a team producing face shields for the NHS, to helping retrain former NHS staff, the University is doing everything it can in this difficult time.” To read more, click here.
Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory led a team to develop epidemiological models to simulate COVID-19’s spread through city-scale representations of Chicago populated by simulated people. These “CityCOVID” simulations were run on Argonne’s Theta supercomputer, a Cray system that delivers 6.9 Linpack petaflops. To read more, click here.
AMD and Penguin Computing have announced that New York University, MIT and Rice University will be the first three universities to receive complete HPC systems from AMD’s HPC fund for COVID-19 research. AMD also announced that it will contribute a cloud-based system for researchers around the world. Combined, the systems will offer more than seven petaflops of computing power. To read more, click here.
Another national laboratory has joined the cause, with Idaho National Laboratory (INL) joining the COVID-19 HPC Consortium, through which INL will evaluate and accept COVID-19 research projects matching its supercomputing capabilities. “Most of us want to be doing something productive to help with this global challenge,” said Eric Whiting, director of the Advanced Scientific Computing Division at INL. “As an energy laboratory with powerful computing capabilities, this is one way to support those who are engaged in this critical work.” To read more, click here.
Researchers at the University of North Texas (UNT) are running COVID-19 pharmaceutical simulations on four different supercomputers. Specifically, the researchers are investigating various inhibitors for two proteins on the COVID-19 virus with the aim of identifying promising candidates for clinical trials. Among the four supercomputers is Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Summit system, which currently holds the top spot on the Top500 list of the world’s most powerful publicly ranked supercomputers. To read more, click here.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded two researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) $200,000 to organize COVID-19 information into a “transdisciplinary knowledge network” that integrates multiple realms of data in order to help researchers better track cases and improve forecasting for the San Diego region. To read more, click here.
The public-private COVID-19 HPC Consortium has expanded to include more than 56 research teams and now encompasses various supercomputing centers and programs across Europe. These European institutions include members of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE), which is pledging systems like Piz Daint ( ranked sixth on the most recent Top500 list). The consortium’s aggregate supercomputing power now stands at 430 petaflops. To read more, click here.
Do you know about COVID-19 research that should be featured on this list? If so, send us an email at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.