Pic of the day – Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE)

Screen_shot_2011-11-30_at_11

Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE):
https://www.xsede.org/

Again from the CI Days events at the University of Michigan, here is another
incredible tool available to researchers on our campus as well as more
broadly.

In their words:
“Scientists, engineers, social scientists, and humanities experts
around the world—many of them at colleges and universities—use
advanced digital resources and services every day. Things like
supercomputers, collections of data, and new tools are critical to the
success of those researchers, who use them to make us all healthier,
safer, and better off. XSEDE integrates these resources and services,
makes them easier to use, and helps more people use them. XSEDE
supports 16 supercomputers and high-end visualization and data
analysis resources across the country.”

Did they say “supercomputers”? “High-end visualization”? Yes, they
did. You know my love of dataviz, I was very happy to discover this,
not that I expect to be taking advantage of it myself. But if you are
a researcher working, as so many do these days, with large amounts of
data, or intense data analysis tasks that take hours/days/weeks to run
on your local systems, this is definitely a place where it is worth
your while to go make friends. Here at UM that part is relatively
easy, as Brock Palen is an
enthusiastic, helpful go-between who works with FLUX and related
systems, helping researchers find the best match for their needs,
helping them get the allocation of resources they need, and more. He
is our local expert, and other universities also have folk who can
function in a similar role. Indeed, they have a long list of Campus Champions, so look for the one nearest you.

Even if you are necessarily in a place to take advantage of their
services for data analysis or processing, there are rich outreach and
education activities and resources designed to support building a
workforce and skillbase “capable of designing, developing, utilizing,
and supporting digital resources and services to advance
[computational science and engineering] in all fields of scholarship”.
That covers a lot of territory. In my limited understanding of it, we
(as in all scientists and most academics, including humanities) are
moving into a time where “big data” is integral to analysis and the
creation of new scholarship. We need academics and scholars with the
skills to work with data and big data in ways that help us look at
information and create knowledge that is new, creative, exciting,
innovative, and inspiring. From what I saw, this is an exciting tool
for supporting that. It makes me wish I was back in grad school again.

Just looking at the high-performance computing research they highlight
on their homepage today was inspiring, with a range from citizen
science to education to humanities to medicine. All of it, every
single one of them is a great big WOW. Now, imagine what questions you
would like to ask and answer if you had the resources; imagine what
skills you might want your students to learn or attempt.

Sensing Our Planet:
http://earthdata.nasa.gov/featured-stories/sensing-our-planet

The Feather Followers:
http://earthdata.nasa.gov/featured-stories/featured-research/feather-followers

Blood Flow at the Petascale:
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-blood-flow-petascale.html

Students research solar cells with HPC:
http://www.isgtw.org/feature/students-research-solar-cells-hpc

Petascale Humanities: Supercomputing Global News Media:
http://www.nics.tennessee.edu/leetaru

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