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UW Faculty Have Until Dec. 30 to Apply for Supercomputer Use Next Summer

December 10, 2014
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UW faculty have until Dec. 30 to submit their applications for the latest round of core-hour allocations on Yellowstone, the nickname for the NWSC supercomputer. (NCAR Photo)

University of Wyoming faculty members who are interested in using the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) in Cheyenne for their computational research this coming year have until Dec. 30 to submit an online application to request a large core-hour allocation on the powerful machine.

Any request for more than 200,000 core hours is considered a large request. Requests average about 5 million to 6 million core hours per project, says Bryan Shader, UW’s special assistant to the vice president of research and economic development, and a mathematics professor.

“Requests for new projects, renewals or curricular use are welcome,” says Shader, who also serves as co-chair of the Wyoming-NCAR Alliance Resource Allocations Panel (WRAP), a group that chooses which projects receive core-hour allocations on Yellowstone, the nickname for the Cheyenne supercomputer.

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

Seven projects received allocations in November 2012; another six were selected in February 2013; four more were chosen during July 2013; five were picked in December 2013; and four were selected in June 2014.

The Wyoming share of the NWSC resources is currently 75 million core hours of computing on Yellowstone; around 400 terabytes of high-performance storage on GLADE; and 5 petabytes of longer-term tape storage on HPSS. Among universities who used the NWSC in NCAR’s fiscal year 2014 (Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014), the University of Wyoming ranked No. 1 in total allocation ahead of the University of Michigan, and No. 2 in total number of projects behind the University of Washington.

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 (ARCC).

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

The NWSC contains one of the world's most powerful supercomputers (1.5 petaflops, which is equal to 1.5 quadrillion mathematical operations per second) dedicated to improving scientific understanding of climate change, severe weather, air quality and other vital atmospheric science and geo-science topics. 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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