University of Oregon Uses Supercomputer to Power New Research Advanced Computing Facility

December 6, 2017

Dec. 6, 2017 — A supercomputer that can perform more than 250 trillion calculations per second is powering the UO’s leap into data science as the heart of a new $2.2 million Research Advanced Computing Services facility.

Known as Talapas, the powerhouse mainframe is one of the fastest academic supercomputers in the Northwest. Its computing horsepower will aid researchers doing everything from statistical studies to genomic assemblies to quantum chemistry.

“It’s already had a profound impact on my research,” said Eric Corwin, an associate professor in the Department of Physics who employed the center’s supercomputer to examine a physical process known as “jamming.” “Computational tasks that would otherwise have taken a year running on a lab computer can be finished in just a few days, which means we can be much more exploratory in our approach, which has already led to several unexpected discoveries.”

The new center, which opens officially Dec. 6, is already available to faculty members who register as principal investigators or to members of registered research teams. The center, known by the acronym RACS, offers access to large-scale computing and will soon add high-speed data transfer capabilities, support for data sharing and other services.

In addition to boosting the university’s capacity for big data, the new center opens new doors of discovery for faculty across the spectrum of disciplines, schools, colleges and departments. Director Nick Maggio says the center will also help train students for the careers of tomorrow and make the UO more competitive in recruiting new faculty and securing research funding.

“It allows our researchers to evaluate novel technologies and explore new paradigms of computing that weren’t available to them before,” Maggio said. “We’re here to lower every barrier possible so that research computing can flourish at the University of Oregon.”

Talapas is 10 times more powerful than its aging predecessor, ACISS. In just the first few months of testing, the center has helped faculty members performing molecular dynamics simulations, image analysis, machine learning, deep learning and other types of projects.

Bill Cresko, a professor in the Department of Biology who serves as an associate vice president for research, directs the UO’s Presidential Initiative in Data Science. He points to the high-performance computing center as a crucial element of the initiative.

The center will bring together existing faculty and recruit new faculty across the UO’s schools and colleges to create new research and education programs. The center and the initiative are funded through the $50 million Presidential Fund for Excellence announced earlier this year by UO President Michael Schill.

“Research is becoming more and more data-intensive every day, and it’s crucial that we have the capacity to perform the kinds of larger and larger simulations that the high-performance computing center enables,” Cresko said. “The center will play a key role in our continued success as a research institution and our commitment to discovery and innovation.”

The Research Advanced Computing Services center has a staff of four that includes Maggio, a computational scientist and two system administrators. Among other things, the team has been tasked with transitioning users off of the old system and bringing researchers up to speed with the powerful new technology.

The center is one of nine research core facilities supported by the UO’s Office of the Vice President of Research and Innovation.

“It’s a real jewel in the midst of our growing research enterprise,” said David Conover, UO’s vice president for research and innovation. “It goes a long way toward our goal of advancing transformative excellence in research, innovation and graduate education, and it’s exciting to think about all of the new discoveries and new collaborations that will grow out of the facility.”

Although the machine is physically located in the basement of the Allen Hall Data Center, researchers from any department can sign up to access its services from their desktops. Increasingly, Maggio said, researchers who previously didn’t use such computational approaches are becoming computational researchers after encountering new research projects that quickly overwhelm the limits of their local resources.

“With the data explosion that’s occurred over the last 10 years, new opportunities for computational research exist in every field,” Maggio said. “There is no such thing as a non-computational discipline anymore.”

Maggio credits Schill and the UO Board of Trustees with seeing the importance of high-performance computing and prioritizing the funding and creation of the new center in under two years. Joe Sventek, head of the Department of Computer and Information Science, led a faculty committee that developed plans for acquiring the computational hardware, implemented the hiring of key staff such as Maggio and helped launch RACS — all in record time.

“The fact that Joe and the committee completed this task so quickly is simply amazing,” Conover said.

Looking to the future, Maggio envisions more and more researchers accessing the new facility.  Already, more than 300 different lab members from nearly 80 labs have requested access, and high-performance computing will likely play an increasing role in powering new research initiatives, such as the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.

“This is the fastest and largest computing asset that the University of Oregon has ever had and it’s still growing,” Maggio said. “This is an incredibly exciting time to be engaged in computational research at the University of Oregon.”

To request access to large-scale computing resources, contact the Research Advanced Computing Services center at racs@uoregon.edu.


Source: University of Oregon

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!

InfiniBand Still Tops in Supercomputing

July 19, 2018

In the competitive global HPC landscape, system and processor vendors, nations and end user sites certainly get a lot of attention--deservedly so--but more than ever, the network plays a crucial role. While fast, perform Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC for Life: Genomics, Brain Research, and Beyond

July 19, 2018

During the past few decades, the life sciences have witnessed one landmark discovery after another with the aid of HPC, paving the way toward a new era of personalized treatments based on an individual’s genetic makeup Read more…

By Warren Froelich

WCRP’s New Strategic Plan for Climate Research Highlights the Importance of HPC

July 19, 2018

As climate modeling increasingly leverages exascale computing and researchers warn of an impending computing gap in climate research, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) is developing its new Strategic Plan – and high-performance computing is slated to play a critical role. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Are Your Software Licenses Impeding Your Productivity?

In my previous article, Improving chip yield rates with cognitive manufacturing, I highlighted the costs associated with semiconductor manufacturing, and how cognitive methods can yield benefits in both design and manufacture.  Read more…

U.S. Exascale Computing Project Releases Software Technology Progress Report

July 19, 2018

As is often noted the race to exascale computing isn’t just about hardware. This week the U.S. Exascale Computing Project (ECP) released its latest Software Technology (ST) Capability Assessment Report detailing progress so far. Read more…

By John Russell

InfiniBand Still Tops in Supercomputing

July 19, 2018

In the competitive global HPC landscape, system and processor vendors, nations and end user sites certainly get a lot of attention--deservedly so--but more than Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC for Life: Genomics, Brain Research, and Beyond

July 19, 2018

During the past few decades, the life sciences have witnessed one landmark discovery after another with the aid of HPC, paving the way toward a new era of perso Read more…

By Warren Froelich

D-Wave Breaks New Ground in Quantum Simulation

July 16, 2018

Last Friday D-Wave scientists and colleagues published work in Science which they say represents the first fulfillment of Richard Feynman’s 1982 notion that Read more…

By John Russell

AI Thought Leaders on Capitol Hill

July 14, 2018

On Thursday, July 12, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology heard from four academic and industry leaders – representatives from Berkeley Lab, Argonne Lab, GE Global Research and Carnegie Mellon University – on the opportunities springing from the intersection of machine learning and advanced-scale computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Serves as a ‘Rosetta Stone’ for the Information Age

July 12, 2018

In an age defined and transformed by its data, several large-scale scientific instruments around the globe might be viewed as a ‘mother lode’ of precious data. With names seemingly created for a ‘techno-speak’ glossary, these interferometers, cyclotrons, sequencers, solenoids, satellite altimeters, and cryo-electron microscopes are churning out data in previously unthinkable and seemingly incomprehensible quantities -- billions, trillions and quadrillions of bits and bytes of electro-magnetic code. Read more…

By Warren Froelich

Tsinghua Powers Through ISC18 Field

July 10, 2018

Tsinghua University topped all other competitors at the ISC18 Student Cluster Competition with an overall score of 88.43 out of 100. This gives Tsinghua their s Read more…

By Dan Olds

HPE, EPFL Launch Blue Brain 5 Supercomputer

July 10, 2018

HPE and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausannne (EPFL) Blue Brain Project yesterday introduced Blue Brain 5, a new supercomputer built by HPE, which displ Read more…

By John Russell

Pumping New Life into HPC Clusters, the Case for Liquid Cooling

July 10, 2018

High Performance Computing (HPC) faces some daunting challenges in the coming years as traditional, industry-standard systems push the boundaries of data center Read more…

By Scott Tease

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17

Altair

AMD @ SC17

AMD

ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack

CEJN @ SC17

CEJN

DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17

Huawei

IBM @ SC17

IBM

IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17

Intel

Lenovo @ SC17

Lenovo

Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17

Microsoft

Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17

Supericro

Tyan @ SC17

Tyan

Univa @ SC17

Univa

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