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UW Faculty Supercomputer Use Applications Due Dec. 22

November 21, 2017
row of computer servers with the word Cheyenne on them in glowing colorful letters
UW faculty have until Dec. 22 to submit their applications for the latest round of core-hour allocations on Cheyenne, the nickname for NWSC’s newest supercomputer. (NCAR Photo)

University of Wyoming faculty members interested in using the National Center for Atmospheric Science (NCAR)-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) in Cheyenne for their computational research have until Dec. 22 to submit applications to request large core-hour allocations on Cheyenne, the newly installed supercomputer at the NWSC.

A plan describing the flow and management of the data throughout the project, and plans for retaining and sharing appropriate portions of the data are critical parts of the request.

Wyoming’s allocation of the NWSC resources is 160 million core hours of computing per year. Any request for more than 400,000 core hours is considered a large request. One core hour is the equivalent of running one application on a single computer for one hour. Last year, there were 32 active UW projects on the NWSC, says Bryan Shader, a UW mathematics professor who also serves as co-chair of the Wyoming-NCAR Alliance Resource Allocations Panel, a group that evaluates requests for large allocations on NWSC’s supercomputers.

“This level of usage ranked Wyoming as No. 1 in total allocations and usage, and No. 4 in active projects of the NWSC among universities,” Shader says.

Applications and allocation information can be accessed at The research must lie in earth system science or atmospheric science. A list of eligible science areas is available at A PowerPoint presentation that offers suggestions on how to write a competitive proposal can be found at

Successful allocation requests include benchmarking studies on a smaller scale and on a smaller computer. These benchmark studies can be performed using Mount Moran, the nickname for UW’s Advanced Research Computing Center.

Cheyenne is one of the world’s most powerful commercial supercomputers with 5.33 petaflops. This means that Cheyenne is capable of performing over 5 quadrillion basic mathematics operations per second. Cheyenne recently was ranked as 24th on the Top 500 Supercomputer list and 56th among the Green 500 list. Cheyenne uses Silicon Graphics’ ICE XA system and is designed to enable scientists, researchers and engineers to better understand earth and atmospheric systems, and use that understanding to solve grand challenges, such as drought and extreme weather events, impacting our world.

The NWSC is the result of a partnership among the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the operating entity for NCAR; the state of Wyoming; Cheyenne LEADS; the Wyoming Business Council; and Black Hills Energy. The NWSC is operated by NCAR under sponsorship of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The center also houses a premier data storage (16 petabytes) and archival facility that holds historical climate records and other information.

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