LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19, 2021 — The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), based at the University of Southern California, has won the HPCwire Editors’ Choice Award for “Best Use of HPC in the Physical Sciences,” selected by a panel of HPCwire editors and thought leaders in the world of high-performance computing (HPC). For decades now, SCEC researchers have used HPC resources to simulate how the ground would shake following major earthquakes in California. These simulations allow experts to evaluate how earthquakes (large and small) affect the built environment and help decision-makers and communities to best prepare to survive and recover. Announced at the 2021 Supercomputing Conference (SC21), the HPCwire award recognizes the important contributions of dozens of researchers and computer scientists working together under the SCEC umbrella to advance earthquake science.
“Access to HPC systems is critical in allowing us to advance earthquake science on multiple fronts,” says Dr. Christine Goulet, Executive Director for Applied Science at SCEC. “Large earthquakes are unpredictable and infrequent, but they can upend an entire region within minutes. SCEC researchers develop computer models to improve our understanding of earthquake processes and associated ground motions. We test our models against available data to keep improving our simulation capabilities in support of greater seismic resilience.”
To perform these simulations at the scale and level of complexity required, SCEC uses the largest and fastest HPC systems available to researchers through the National Science Foundation’s XSEDE and Department of Energy’s INCITE allocation programs. In 2021 alone, SCEC used HPC systems such as Frontera and Stampede2 from the Texas Advanced Computing Center, Bridges-2 from the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, as well as Theta and Summit from the Argonne and Oak Ridge Leadership Class Facilities respectively. The HPCwire award was primarily motivated by this year’s suite of computations completed on Frontera that generated earthquake sequences across California and ground motion products for specific events.
“Every year it is our pleasure to connect with and honor the HPC community through our Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards, and 2021 marked an exceptional showing of industry innovation,” said Tom Tabor, CEO of Tabor Communications, publisher of HPCwire. “Between our worldwide readership of HPC experts and an unparalleled panel of editors, the Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards represent resounding recognition throughout the industry. Our congratulations go out to all of the winners.”
More information on the HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards can be found at the HPCwire website (http://www.HPCwire.com) or on Twitter through the following hashtag: #HPCwireAwards.
The animation depicts a computer simulation of the 2019 M7.1 Ridgecrest, CA earthquake, which is based on a mathematical model of the earthquake faulting process and 3D wave propagation phenomena. Credit: SCEC.
About The Southern California Earthquake Center
The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) is headquartered at the University of Southern California (USC) and supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). SCEC studies why and how earthquakes occur, evaluate their effects, and help societies prepare to survive and recover. Learn more: SCEC.org.
Source: The Southern California Earthquake Center