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Research Computing @ UW

Research increasingly involves modeling, computational simulations, and visualization and analysis of massive sets of data. With the opening of the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC), UW’s Advanced Research Computing Center (ARCC), and the School of Energy Resources Visualization Center, UW faculty and students have access to world-class computational resources including the following.

A robust community of computational researchers  UW’s Academic Plans have targeted computational science as a focus area over the last 15 years, and have resulted in the hiring of over 75 faculty whose research is highly computational in nature.

UW’s Advanced Research Computing Center (ARCC)  UW’s cyberinfrastructure plan includes strategic, sustained investments (of around $1M/year) in networking, hardware, and personnel to support computational- and data-intensive research. This includes UW's Mount Moran (a ~175 teraflop, high performance cluster for modeling and data analysis), Bighorn (a ~500TB shared pool of network attached high performance disks.) and the beta version of the ARCC-Hive (a petaLibrary of shared network attached disks for UW researchers and collaborators). These systems are designed to allow faculty to use research funds to add capacity or capabilities. This campus research computer is available to all faculty and research groups across campus. The computing infrastructure is highly compatible with that found at the NWSC. See http://arcc.uwyo.edu/ for more information.

UW’s Visualization Center  UW’s Energy Innovation Center houses a state-of-the-art visualization center that will enable data driven science and engineering research by transforming massive data sets into representations and patterns people can work with. See http://www.uwyo.edu/ser/building/3-d-cave.html for more details.

Research computing support  A cadre of IT specialists designed to enable faculty and student research is being developed. Currently, the team consists of a Research IT Director (Dane Skow), End-user Support Manager (Tim Brewer), two High Performance Computing systems managers (Jeff Lang and Troy Axthelm),  High Performance Storage manager (Mike Killean) Applications Specialists (Jared Baker and Dylan Perkins) and a Visualization Specialist (Nikhil Shetty). They can be reached at arcc-info@uwyo.edu  or directly via contact information at https://arcc.uwyo.edu/content/arcc-staff.

Software support Over 100 research support applications are installed on Mount Moran and more can be added by request to arcc-info@uwyo.edu.

Access to significant allocations on a Petascale Supercomputer The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) is a petascale (1.6 X 1015, i.e. 1600 trillion operations per second), supercomputing center designed to maximize data-intensive science.  The Wyoming legislature’s $40M investment in the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputer Center (NWSC) provides UW Earth Science researchers with a 20% allocation of the NWSC resource for the next 16 years.  The allocation of computing resources to UW scientists is covered in a Memorandum of Understanding negotiated between UW, NCAR and the National Science Foundation and comes in the form of an NSF grant.  See http://www.uwyo.edu/nwsc for more details.

HPC education and training programs  UW offers both an interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate minor in scientific computing. In addition, efforts are underway to develop specially designed courses for entering graduate students, short-courses in Parallel Computing and Visualization, as well as regular joint workshops with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). 

World class connectivity  UW is one of the founding members of the Front Range Gigapop (FRGP) and is currently the only university in the Rocky Mountain area to utilize a 100Gbit/sec bandwidth connection to Internet II and to other FRGP members (including Colorado universities and national labs such as NCAR.) A NSF Cyber Infrastructure grant also provided funds to establish a new Research Network on campus allowing connection to researchers systems at speeds beyond those of most campuses.


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