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    • 2015-08-06 14:05:00
    • Article ID: 638327

    ALCF Selects Projects for Theta Early Science Program

    • Credit: Credit: Charles Bacon, Argonne National Laboratory; Alexei Khokhlov, University of Chicago; Joanna Austin and Andrew Knisely, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

      For one of the Theta ESP projects, University of Chicago scientist Alexei Khokhlov will continue his research into the deflagration-to-detonation transition process in hydrogen-oxygen mixtures. This image from a previous INCITE project shows weak ignition behind a reflected Mach=1.5 shock in a stoichiometric hydrogen-oxygen mixture at 0.1 atm initial pressure.

    The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, has selected six projects for its Theta Early Science Program (ESP), a collaborative effort designed to help prepare scientific applications for the architecture and scale of the new supercomputer.

    Theta, an early production system based on Intel’s second-generation Xeon Phi processor, will arrive in 2016 and serve as a bridge between the ALCF’s current supercomputer, Mira, and its next leadership-class supercomputer, Aurora, which is scheduled for delivery in 2018.

    The Theta ESP brings together computational scientists, code developers, and computing hardware experts to optimize key applications for Theta, and to solidify libraries and infrastructure to pave the way for other applications to run on the system.

    Modeled after the ALCF’s highly successful ESP for Mira, the program also gives researchers substantial allocations of pre-production compute time on Theta to pursue innovative computational science calculations that push the boundaries of what’s possible with leadership-class supercomputers.

    “Not only did our ESP for Mira help the system to hit the ground running on day one, it also produced invaluable lessons learned and some very interesting new science, including the first accurately computed values for the bulk properties of solid argon, a noble gas element,” said Tim Williams, an ALCF computational scientist who manages the ESP. “We’re looking forward to seeing what the new ESP projects can do with Theta’s leading-edge architecture.”

    Like the typical ALCF workload, the six selected ESP projects, known as Tier 1 projects, represent a wide spectrum of scientific areas and numerical methods (see project descriptions below).

    To help develop and optimize their software for Theta, project teams will collaborate with ALCF staff, as well as vendor staff through the ALCF Intel-Cray Center for Excellence (AICCE). Four of the six projects will also be assigned a dedicated postdoctoral researcher.

    In addition, the ALCF will host ESP training sessions, including a virtual kick-off workshop on system hardware and programming, and a hands-on workshop for testing and debugging project applications.

    Prior to Theta’s availability, the ALCF will offer access to Theta simulator software, and provide allocations on Mira for development work that does not depend on having the new hardware (e.g., new algorithms, new physics modules, basic introduction of threads).

    ESP project teams will also have access to training and hardware at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) and the National Energy Research Supercomputing Center (NERSC) as alternative development platforms to encourage application code portability among heterogeneous architectures.

    Because of the strong response to the call for proposals, the ALCF is expanding the Theta ESP to include six additional Tier 2 projects to help prepare other applications for Theta. These projects will not receive allocations for science runs, but they will have access to ESP training, an ESP discussion forum, Theta simulator software, early hardware, and to Theta itself for porting, tuning, and debugging.

    Tier 1 Projects

    Scale-Resolving Simulations of Wind Turbines with SU2

    PI: Juan J. Alonso, Stanford University

    Code: SU2

    Alonso will use Theta to develop a simulation capability to design better wind turbines and to lay out large wind farms for maximum energy extraction and improved turbine fatigue life. To do so, his research team will generate a database of large eddy simulations of various single and multiple wind turbine settings.

    Large-Scale Simulation of Brain Tissue: Blue Brain Project, EPFL

    PI: Fabien Delalondre, Ecole Federale Polytechnique de Lausanne

    Code: CoreNeuron

    Delalondre will use Theta to improve our understanding of the brain using simulations of brain plasticity—experience-dependent changes in synaptic connectivity. Other work will include simulations of the rodent somatosensory cortex and the electrical activity of the largest possible brain model for several seconds of biological time.

    First-Principles Simulations of Functional Materials for Energy Conversion

    PI: Giulia Galli, Argonne National Laboratory/University of Chicago

    Codes: Qbox, WEST

    Galli will combine ab initio molecular dynamics and post-density functional theory methods to optimize properties of nanostructured materials for use in solar and thermal energy conversion devices at an unprecedented level of accuracy. The ultimate goal is to provide a truly predictive tool for device performance within a Materials Genome Initiative design framework.

    Next-Generation Cosmology Simulations with HACC: Challenges from Baryons

    PI: Katrin Heitmann, Argonne National Laboratory

    Code: HACC

    Heitmann’s project aims to further our understanding of astrophysical processes by performing detailed simulations of the universe for comparison with the latest observational data. The simulations will disentangle astrophysical processes (e.g., galaxy evolution) from fundamental physics (e.g., dark energy), helping mitigate one of the major sources of systematic uncertainties for upcoming cosmological surveys.

    Direct Numerical Simulations of Flame Propagation in Hydrogen-Oxygen Mixtures in Closed Vessels

    PI: Alexei Khokhlov, University of Chicago

    Code: HSCD

    Khokhlov will perform direct numerical simulations of the flame acceleration and the deflagration-to-detonation transition process in hydrogen-oxygen mixtures in closed spherical vessels—exactly matching experimental apparatus. This research is aimed at improving the industrial and public safety of hydrogen fuels and certain types of water-cooled nuclear reactors in which hydrogen can accumulate.

    Free Energy Landscapes of Membrane Transport Proteins

    PI: Benoit Roux, Argonne National Laboratory/University of Chicago

    Code: NAMD

    Roux will carry out molecular dynamics simulations to provide detailed visualizations of the large conformational changes of membrane transport proteins and quantitative predictions of the energetics of these processes. This atomistic picture of membrane transport proteins stands to improve our understanding of a broad range of biological functions.

    Tier 2 Projects

    Electronic Structure Based Discovery of Hybrid Photovoltaic Materials on Next-Generation HPC Platforms

    PI: Volker Blum, Duke University

    Code: FHI-aims, GAtor

    Flow, Mixing and Combustion of Transient Turbulent Gaseous Jets in Confined Cylindrical Geometries

    PI: Christos Frouzakis, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ)

    Code: Nek5000

    Advanced Electronic Structure Methods for Heterogeneous Catalysis and Separation of Heavy Metals

    PI: Mark Gordon, Iowa State University

    Code: GAMESS

    Extreme Scale Unstructured Adaptive CFD: From Multiphase Flow to Aerodynamic Flow Control

    PI: Kenneth Jansen, University of Colorado Boulder

    Code: PHASTA

    The Hadronic Contribution to the Anomalous Magnetic Moment of the Muon

    PI: Paul Mackenzie, Fermilab

    Codes: MILC, CPS

    Quantum Monte Carlo Calculations in Nuclear Theory

    PI: Steven Pieper, Argonne National Laboratory

    Code: GFMC

    DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

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    Symbiosis a Driver of Truffle Diversity

    Truffles are thought of as dining delicacies but they play an important role in soil ecosystem services as the fruiting bodies of the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal symbionts residing on host plant roots. An international team sought insights into the ECM lifestyle of truffle-forming species through a comparative analysis of eight fungal genomes.

    Climate Simulations Project Wetter, Windier Hurricanes

    New supercomputer simulations by climate scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have shown that climate change intensified the amount of rainfall in recent hurricanes such as Katrina, Irma, and Maria by 5 to 10 percent. They further found that if those hurricanes were to occur in a future world that is warmer than present, those storms would have even more rainfall and stronger winds.

    Tiny Titanium Barrier Halts Big Problem in Fuel-Producing Solar Cells

    New design coats molecular components and dramatically improves stability under tough, oxidizing conditions.

    X-Rays Show How Periods of Stress Changed an Ice Age Hyena to the Bone

    An international team has unearthed what life might have been like for a now-extinct subspecies of spotted hyena. They found that despite their massive size, some cave hyenas experienced times of hardship that affected them to the bone, causing areas of arrested growth that appear as dark lines, like rings on a tree trunk.

    Turning Wood Scraps into Tape

    A new chemical process converts a component of wasted wood pulp and other biomass into high-value pressure-sensitive adhesives.

    Very Heavy Elements Deliver More Electrons

    Scientists revise understanding of the limits of bonding for very electron-rich heavy elements.

    Detecting Light in a Different Dimension

    UPTON, NY--Scientists from the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)--a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory--have dramatically improved the response of graphene to light through self-assembling wire-like nanostructures that conduct electricity.

    From the Cosmos to Fusion Plasmas, PPPL Presents Findings at Global APS Gathering

    Invited Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory talks at 60th American Physical Society-Department of Plasma Physics annual meeting.

    Scientists Bring Polymers Into Atomic-Scale Focus

    A Berkeley Lab-led research has adapted a powerful electron-based imaging technique to obtain a first-of-its-kind image of atomic-scale structure in a synthetic polymer. The research could ultimately inform polymer fabrication methods and lead to new designs for materials and devices that incorporate polymers.

    Probing Water's "No-Man's Land" Temperature Region

    Measuring the physical properties of water at previously unexplored temperatures offers insights into one of the world's essential liquids.


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    DOE issues call for HPC for Energy Innovation proposals

    The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative today issued its first joint solicitation for the High Performance Computing for Manufacturing Program (HPC4Mfg) and the High Performance Computing for Materials Program (HPC4Mtls).

    DOE funding advances project to turn captured CO2 into key chemicals

    The U.S. Department of Energy has selected Southern Research for an award of up to $1.5 million to advance technology for carbon dioxide utilization.

    Sierra Reaches Higher Altitudes, Takes Number Two Spot on List of Fastest Supercomputers

    Sierra, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's newest supercomputer, rose to second place on the list of the world's fastest computing systems, TOP500 List representatives announced Monday at the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis conference (SC18) in Dallas.

    Green energy: Wind energy agreement will provide savings, 50 percent of electricity needs for Kansas State University Manhattan campus

    Kansas State University has signed an agreement with Westar Energy to provide approximately 50 percent of the energy needs for the university's main Manhattan campus from a wind farm in Nemaha County and save the university nearly $200,000 annually.

    INCITE grants awarded to 62 computational research projects

    The U.S. Department of Energy announced new projects for 2019 through its Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program.

    Argonne's Raj Kettimuthu Named ACM Distinguished Member

    Argonne computer scientist Raj Kettimuthu recently was named a Distinguished Member of the Association for Computing Machinery for his development of tools to analyze and enhance end-to-end data transfer performance.

    Jefferson Lab-Affiliated Researchers Honored as APS Fellows

    The Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility now has a few more fellows on campus. The American Physical Society, a professional membership society that works on behalf of the physics community, recently announced its list of 2018 fellowships.

    Jefferson Lab Receives DOE Award for Energy Efficient Upgrade

    On Oct. 23, a team from the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility was honored at the 2018 Federal Energy and Water Management Award Ceremony for upgrades made to the lab's data center, ultimately improving its energy efficiency.

    Free Science Events and Educational Opportunities Expected to Draw Thousands

    The Plasma Sciences Expo--planned as the biggest celebration of plasma physics in the country--presents teachers, students and the public with a free opportunity to explore what scientists call "the fourth state of matter."

    Triad National Security Takes the Helm at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    LOS ALAMOS, N.M., November 1, 2018 -- Los Alamos National Laboratory begins operations today under a new management and operating (M&O) contract between Triad National Security, LLC (Triad) and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The NNSA awarded the M&O contract to Triad on June 8, 2018.


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    Tiny Titanium Barrier Halts Big Problem in Fuel-Producing Solar Cells

    New design coats molecular components and dramatically improves stability under tough, oxidizing conditions.

    Turning Wood Scraps into Tape

    A new chemical process converts a component of wasted wood pulp and other biomass into high-value pressure-sensitive adhesives.

    Very Heavy Elements Deliver More Electrons

    Scientists revise understanding of the limits of bonding for very electron-rich heavy elements.

    Probing Water's "No-Man's Land" Temperature Region

    Measuring the physical properties of water at previously unexplored temperatures offers insights into one of the world's essential liquids.

    Novel Soil Bacteria with Unusual Genes Synthesize Unique Antibiotic Precursors

    A large-scale soil project uncovered genetic information from bacteria with the capacity to make specialized molecules that could lead to new pharmaceuticals.

    Warmer Temperatures Lengthen Growing Season, Increase Plants' Vulnerability to Frost

    Experimental warming treatments show how peatland forests may respond to future environmental change.

    Rising Stars Seek to Learn from the Master: Mother Nature

    A trio of scientists was recognized for their early career successes in uncovering how microbes produce fuel, insights that could change our energy portfolio

    How Plant Cells Decide When to Make Oil

    Signaling mechanism details discovered, potentially leading to strategies to engineer plants that make more bio-oil.

    Cryocooler Cools an Accelerator Cavity

    Researchers demonstrated cryogen-free operation of a superconducting radio-frequency cavity that might ease barriers to its use in societal applications.

    Shining Light on the Separation of Rare Earth Metals

    New studies identify key molecular characteristics to potentially separate rare earth metals cleanly and efficiently with light.


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