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February 12, 2014

NCSA Announces Creation of Blue Waters User Advisory Committee

Feb. 12 — The Science and Engineering Team Advisory Committee (SETAC) brings together a diverse group of Blue Waters users to provide guidance on the project’s growth and development through an end-user perspective. As a part of their role in the SETAC, chosen representatives will make annual recommendations for positive change and improvement within the Blue Waters project.

The following SETAC committee members represent current science and engineering teams and were selected to reflect the breadth of research being done on Blue Waters. This includes appointees from each of the Blue Waters user groups: Petascale Computing Resource Allocation (PRAC); Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation (GLCPC); University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; and industrial affiliates.

The SETAC will be expected to provide guidance on the overall vision of Blue Waters through various functions. With access to Blue Waters operation monitoring, the committee will be able to better provide guidance for delivering the best possible performance to enable achieving science and engineering teams’ objectives. They will be able to make recommendations on technical directions, strategies, and management while identifying potential challenges for petascale applications. As users themselves, the SETAC will also provide advice for solving common issues that arise from moving applications to Blue Waters and from system software at scale. Members will also be expected to offer suggestions on how to improve communications between the project and its science and engineering communities and the general public.

SETAC Members:


  • Paul Woodward, Physics and Astrophysics, University of Minnesota
  • Tom Cheatham, Chemistry, University of Utah
  • Patrick Reed, Civil and Environmental Engineering – Systems Optimization, Cornell
  • Klaus Schulten, Physics and Molecular Dynamic, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • David Ceperley, Physics and Material Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Tiziana Di Matteo, Physics and Cosmology, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Dave Randall, Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Colorado State University


  • Joe Paris, Academic & Research Technologies in Information Technology, Northwestern University (Chair for 2013/2014, followed by Jorge Vinals, Structural Mechanics and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, Chair for 2014/2015)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • So Hirata, Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


  • Rick Authur, General Electric Global Research, Computer and Software Engineering

Membership on the SETAC will be for staggered two-year terms, with rotations beginning after year two. The committee will meet three to four times each year, producing one report per year that will include an evaluation of the project’s performance and recommendations for the next year.

About Blue Waters

Blue Waters—supported by National Science Foundation and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and led by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications—is one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and is the fastest supercomputer on a university campus. Scientists and engineers across the country use the computing and data power of Blue Waters to tackle a wide range of challenging problems, from predicting the behavior of complex biological systems to simulating the evolution of the cosmos. Built from the latest technologies from Cray, Inc., this supercomputer uses hundreds of thousands of computational cores to achieve peak performance of more than 13 quadrillion calculations per second.


Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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