Virginia Tech Performs Mission-Critical Computing Research for NSF

January 12, 2022

Jan. 12, 2022 — For the past 14 years, Virginia Tech has served as one of only four university-based research sites for the National Science Foundation’s Center for Space, High-Performance, and Resilient Computing (SHREC).

Wu-Chun Feng, a co-director of the Center for Space, High-Performance, and Resilient Computing (SHREC), welcomes members for the mid-year workshop hosted by Virginia Tech in 2019. Credit: Peter Means for Virginia Tech.

SHREC is dedicated to assisting U.S. industrial partners, government agencies, and research organizations in mission-critical computing, with research in: space computing for earth science, space science, and defense; high-performance computing for a broad range of grand-challenge applications; and resilient computing for dependability in harsh or critical environments.

Virginia Tech shares this distinction with the University of Pittsburgh, Brigham Young University, and the University of Florida, where each university receives $750,000 over a five-year period resulting in a total of $3 million for the center.

The science foundation’s collaborative research centers, known as Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC), have a special expertise focused on mission-critical computing, in terms of space, high-performance, and/or resilient computing. Every year, more than 2,000 students engage in industrially-relevant research at centers nationwide, giving them on the job training for a career in the private sector. About 30 percent of these student researchers are hired by the member companies.

“Being a IUCRC can recruit better students and better prepare them through graduate studies with member interaction for supercharged career opportunities after graduation,” said SHREC Director Alan George, who serves as department chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

Each year, SHREC brings together close to 40 academic, industry, and government organizations to exchange their ideas and bring updates from their respective areas. While these conferences have traditionally been in person, the meetings have more recently moved to a virtual format, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Virginia Tech has benefited from the IUCRC program over the last 14 years, the past four years have been marked with exceptional momentum, said Wu Feng, one of four co-directors of SHREC and professor in the Department of Computer Science, the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Virginia Tech – Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.

A launchpad for talent

Center for Space, High-Performance, and Resilient Computing (SHREC) faculty and graduate students from member universities gather together at the 2019 mid-year workshop. Credit: Peter Means for Virginia Tech.

Since 2018, Virginia Tech has received more than $1.5 million for their portion of SHREC, including a $600,000 NSF IUCRC grant. In addition, the center has received $850,000 of associated research funding from the Department of Defense, AMD, Capital One, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory. This funding could not have timed better with the launch of Virginia’s Higher Education Package, including the new Innovation Campus in Alexandria, Virginia.

Both SHREC and the higher education package are examples of front-facing models that move the economy forward to develop talent. The higher education project will propel Virginia’s colleges and universities to produce 25,000 new degrees in computer science and related fields by 2039 to create a tech talent pipeline to support Virginia’s high-tech industry.

With this collective funding, Virginia Tech’s presence in SHREC was augmented with the recent addition of two computer science professors: Chris North in 2020 and Doug Bowman in 2021.

North, who serves as associate director of the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, shared, “SHREC has provided an excellent opportunity for our graduate students to engage with external partners during the course of their research, for the purpose of attracting funding, meeting with stakeholders on a regular basis, and making their thesis work more relevant and impactful.”

Propelled by partnerships

Support for SHREC’s research portfolio comes from academic, industrial and federal partners, but also through equipment and tools provided by leading vendors of technologies in high-performance reconfigurable computing and related areas.

World Wide Technology (WWT), a privately held technology services provider, recently donated a $40,000 experimental computing system to augment the research of both Virginia Tech’s Synergistic Environments for Experimental Computing Center and SHREC. This allows for immediate hands-on access to the latest reconfigurable computing technology — capabilities previously non-existent at Virginia Tech, said Feng. “Think of this as a computer brain (processor) that can change the way that its synapses fire (or operate). The exclusive access to the WWT-donated resource means that we can complete the lengthy process of “re-wiring” the computer brain more quickly and more easily,” he said.

“Virginia Tech is an innovator in conducting groundbreaking research,” said Shawn Rodriguez, vice president of state and local government and education at World Wide Technology. “We are proud to support Virginia Tech and its research programs.”

Student-centric center

SHREC currently supports the research of 49 graduate students across the four member universities, translating to approximately $2 million per year. One of these students is Frank Wanye, a third-year computer science Ph.D. student whose research interests include parallel and distributed computing, graph processing, and big data. He is currently working on two projects funded by SHREC , while also serving as a graduate research assistant at the SyNeRGy Lab, led by Feng.

In 2019, Wanye and Feng received a Student Innovation Award in the MIT/Amazon/IEEE Graph Challenge at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) High Performance Extreme Computing Conference, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology. Their research was directly supported by SHREC.

The Graph Challenge “encourages community approaches to developing new solutions for analyzing graphs and sparse data derived from social media, sensor feeds, and scientific data to enable relationships between events to be discovered as they unfold in the field.” Wanye’s paper tackled the community detection problem as part of the Graph Challenge, which included identifying groups within many real-world datasets from sources including social media, the world wide web, communication networks, and biological systems.

At the same conference, Feng, along with co-authors Mohamed Hassan, a Ph.D. student in electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech, and Scott Pakin, a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, received the Innovative Paper Award for their groundbreaking work on quantum computing.

One of SHREC’s principal goals includes addressing a shortage in the mission-critical computing workforce by training students with the knowledge and skills necessary to solve the many challenges facing this growing industry.

Traveling to workshops, interacting with other graduate students, and meeting the sponsors — all by-products of being a part of SHREC — has been a tremendous benefit for Wanye. “Talking to others and sharing my work through poster presentations gives me a great understanding of what everyone is working on,” he said.


Source: Jenise L. Jacques, Virginia Tech

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!

Meta’s Massive New AI Supercomputer Will Be ‘World’s Fastest’

January 24, 2022

Fresh off its rebrand last October, Meta (née Facebook) is putting muscle behind its vision of a metaversal future with a massive new AI supercomputer called the AI Research SuperCluster (RSC). Meta says that RSC will b Read more…

Supercomputer Analysis Shows the Atmospheric Reach of the Tonga Eruption

January 21, 2022

On Saturday, an enormous eruption on the volcanic islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Haʻapai shook the Pacific Ocean. The explosion, which could be heard six thousand miles away in Alaska, caused tsunamis across the entir Read more…

NSB Issues US State of Science and Engineering 2022 Report

January 20, 2022

This week the National Science Board released its biannual U.S. State of Science and Engineering 2022 report, as required by the NSF Act. Broadly, the report presents a near-term view of S&E based mostly on 2019 data. To a large extent, this year’s edition echoes trends from the last few reports. The U.S. is still a world leader in R&D spending and S&E education... Read more…

Researchers Achieve 99 Percent Quantum Accuracy with Silicon-Embedded Qubits 

January 20, 2022

Researchers in Australia and the U.S. have made exciting headway in the quantum computing arms race. A multi-institutional team including the University of New South Wales and Sandia National Laboratory announced that th Read more…

Trio of Supercomputers Powers Estimate of Carbon in Earth’s Outer Core

January 20, 2022

Carbon is one of the essential building blocks of life on Earth, and it—along with hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen—is one of the key elements researchers look for when they search for habitable planets and work to unde Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

shutterstock 718231072

Accelerating drug discovery with Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

This post was contributed by Cristian Măgherușan-Stanciu, Sr. Specialist Solution Architect, EC2 Spot, with contributions from Cristian Kniep, Sr. Developer Advocate for HPC and AWS Batch at AWS, Carlos Manzanedo Rueda, Principal Solutions Architect, EC2 Spot at AWS, Ludvig Nordstrom, Principal Solutions Architect at AWS, Vytautas Gapsys, project group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, and Carsten Kutzner, staff scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. Read more…

Multiverse Targets ‘Quantum Computing for the Masses’

January 19, 2022

The race to deliver quantum computing solutions that shield users from the underlying complexity of quantum computing is heating up quickly. One example is Multiverse Computing, a European company, which today launched the second financial services product in its Singularity product group. The new offering, Fair Price, “delivers a higher accuracy in fair price calculations for financial... Read more…

Meta’s Massive New AI Supercomputer Will Be ‘World’s Fastest’

January 24, 2022

Fresh off its rebrand last October, Meta (née Facebook) is putting muscle behind its vision of a metaversal future with a massive new AI supercomputer called t Read more…

Supercomputer Analysis Shows the Atmospheric Reach of the Tonga Eruption

January 21, 2022

On Saturday, an enormous eruption on the volcanic islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Haʻapai shook the Pacific Ocean. The explosion, which could be heard six tho Read more…

NSB Issues US State of Science and Engineering 2022 Report

January 20, 2022

This week the National Science Board released its biannual U.S. State of Science and Engineering 2022 report, as required by the NSF Act. Broadly, the report presents a near-term view of S&E based mostly on 2019 data. To a large extent, this year’s edition echoes trends from the last few reports. The U.S. is still a world leader in R&D spending and S&E education... Read more…

Multiverse Targets ‘Quantum Computing for the Masses’

January 19, 2022

The race to deliver quantum computing solutions that shield users from the underlying complexity of quantum computing is heating up quickly. One example is Multiverse Computing, a European company, which today launched the second financial services product in its Singularity product group. The new offering, Fair Price, “delivers a higher accuracy in fair price calculations for financial... Read more…

Students at SC21: Out in Front, Alongside and Behind the Scenes

January 19, 2022

The Supercomputing Conference (SC) is one of the biggest international conferences dedicated to high-performance computing, networking, storage and analysis. SC Read more…

Q-Ctrl – Tackling Quantum Hardware’s Noise Problems with Software

January 13, 2022

Implementing effective error mitigation and correction is a critical next step in advancing quantum computing. While a lot of attention has been given to effort Read more…

Nvidia Defends Arm Acquisition Deal: a ‘Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity’

January 13, 2022

GPU-maker Nvidia is continuing to try to keep its proposed acquisition of British chip IP vendor Arm Ltd. alive, despite continuing concerns from several governments around the world. In its latest action, Nvidia filed a 29-page response to the U.K. government to point out a list of potential benefits of the proposed $40 billion deal. Read more…

Nvidia Buys HPC Cluster Management Company Bright Computing

January 10, 2022

Graphics chip powerhouse Nvidia today announced that it has acquired HPC cluster management company Bright Computing for an undisclosed sum. Unlike Nvidia’s bid to purchase semiconductor IP company Arm, which has been stymied by regulatory challenges, the Bright deal is a straightforward acquisition that aims to expand... Read more…

IonQ Is First Quantum Startup to Go Public; Will It be First to Deliver Profits?

November 3, 2021

On October 1 of this year, IonQ became the first pure-play quantum computing start-up to go public. At this writing, the stock (NYSE: IONQ) was around $15 and its market capitalization was roughly $2.89 billion. Co-founder and chief scientist Chris Monroe says it was fun to have a few of the company’s roughly 100 employees travel to New York to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock... Read more…

US Closes in on Exascale: Frontier Installation Is Underway

September 29, 2021

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, held by Zoom this week (Sept. 29-30), it was revealed that the Frontier supercomputer is currently being installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The staff at the Oak Ridge Leadership... Read more…

AMD Launches Milan-X CPU with 3D V-Cache and Multichip Instinct MI200 GPU

November 8, 2021

At a virtual event this morning, AMD CEO Lisa Su unveiled the company’s latest and much-anticipated server products: the new Milan-X CPU, which leverages AMD’s new 3D V-Cache technology; and its new Instinct MI200 GPU, which provides up to 220 compute units across two Infinity Fabric-connected dies, delivering an astounding 47.9 peak double-precision teraflops. “We're in a high-performance computing megacycle, driven by the growing need to deploy additional compute performance... Read more…

Intel Reorgs HPC Group, Creates Two ‘Super Compute’ Groups

October 15, 2021

Following on changes made in June that moved Intel’s HPC unit out of the Data Platform Group and into the newly created Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) business unit, led by Raja Koduri, Intel is making further updates to the HPC group and announcing... Read more…

Nvidia Buys HPC Cluster Management Company Bright Computing

January 10, 2022

Graphics chip powerhouse Nvidia today announced that it has acquired HPC cluster management company Bright Computing for an undisclosed sum. Unlike Nvidia’s bid to purchase semiconductor IP company Arm, which has been stymied by regulatory challenges, the Bright deal is a straightforward acquisition that aims to expand... Read more…

D-Wave Embraces Gate-Based Quantum Computing; Charts Path Forward

October 21, 2021

Earlier this month D-Wave Systems, the quantum computing pioneer that has long championed quantum annealing-based quantum computing (and sometimes taken heat fo Read more…

Killer Instinct: AMD’s Multi-Chip MI200 GPU Readies for a Major Global Debut

October 21, 2021

AMD’s next-generation supercomputer GPU is on its way – and by all appearances, it’s about to make a name for itself. The AMD Radeon Instinct MI200 GPU (a successor to the MI100) will, over the next year, begin to power three massive systems on three continents: the United States’ exascale Frontier system; the European Union’s pre-exascale LUMI system; and Australia’s petascale Setonix system. Read more…

Three Chinese Exascale Systems Detailed at SC21: Two Operational and One Delayed

November 24, 2021

Details about two previously rumored Chinese exascale systems came to light during last week’s SC21 proceedings. Asked about these systems during the Top500 media briefing on Monday, Nov. 15, list author and co-founder Jack Dongarra indicated he was aware of some very impressive results, but withheld comment when asked directly if he had... Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Lessons from LLVM: An SC21 Fireside Chat with Chris Lattner

December 27, 2021

Today, the LLVM compiler infrastructure world is essentially inescapable in HPC. But back in the 2000 timeframe, LLVM (low level virtual machine) was just getting its start as a new way of thinking about how to overcome shortcomings in the Java Virtual Machine. At the time, Chris Lattner was a graduate student of... Read more…

2021 Gordon Bell Prize Goes to Exascale-Powered Quantum Supremacy Challenge

November 18, 2021

Today at the hybrid virtual/in-person SC21 conference, the organizers announced the winners of the 2021 ACM Gordon Bell Prize: a team of Chinese researchers leveraging the new exascale Sunway system to simulate quantum circuits. The Gordon Bell Prize, which comes with an award of $10,000 courtesy of HPC pioneer Gordon Bell, is awarded annually... Read more…

Nvidia Defends Arm Acquisition Deal: a ‘Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity’

January 13, 2022

GPU-maker Nvidia is continuing to try to keep its proposed acquisition of British chip IP vendor Arm Ltd. alive, despite continuing concerns from several governments around the world. In its latest action, Nvidia filed a 29-page response to the U.K. government to point out a list of potential benefits of the proposed $40 billion deal. Read more…

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

Top500: No Exascale, Fugaku Still Reigns, Polaris Debuts at #12

November 15, 2021

No exascale for you* -- at least, not within the High-Performance Linpack (HPL) territory of the latest Top500 list, issued today from the 33rd annual Supercomputing Conference (SC21), held in-person in St. Louis, Mo., and virtually, from Nov. 14–19. "We were hoping to have the first exascale system on this list but that didn’t happen," said Top500 co-author... Read more…

TACC Unveils Lonestar6 Supercomputer

November 1, 2021

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is unveiling its latest supercomputer: Lonestar6, a three peak petaflops Dell system aimed at supporting researchers Read more…

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire