FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2006
Sandia computational science projects funded by the DOE Office of Science
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Eight Sandia National Laboratories
computational science projects have been awarded a total
of $2.9 million annually over the next five years by the
Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR)
within the DOE Office of Science. The announcement of the
awards was made last month after a competitive, peer-reviewed
The Office of Science’s “Scientific Discovery
through Advanced Computing” (SciDAC) program is making
the funding available to 30 projects, of which Sandia is
involved in eight. Participating in the 30 projects are
70 institutional partners and hundreds of researchers and
students. All of the projects involve several partners
and large-scale collaborations.
The projects of which Sandia is a part all entail large-scale
computer simulations aimed at accelerating research in
a wide range of areas, including the design of new materials,
developing future energy sources, studying global climate
change, and understanding physics from the tiniest particles
to the massive explosions of supernovae.
“Among the reasons the Sandia projects were awarded
funding is our unique experience using high-performance
computers,” says Scott Collis,
point of contact for Sandia’s ASCR research. “Our
ongoing work in both designing and using state-of-the-art
supercomputers such as Red Storm and Thunderbird [computers]
has provided us expertise in supercomputing that is respected
around the country.”
He adds, “This expertise crosscuts Sandia sites
in New Mexico and California, as does the SciDAC funding.”
Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory.
SANDIA RESEARCHERS Mark Taylor, left, and Bill Spotz
will spend the next five years trying to figure out what the
future might hold for the Earth’s atmosphere by collaborating
on a large-scale computer model.
by Chris Burroughs)
300dpi JPEG image, “scidac-mark-taylor.jpg,” 620K
(Media are welcome to download/publish this image with
SciDAC computational work will be done on new DOE petascale
computers that are planned to go into operation at Oak
Ridge and Argonne national laboratories by the end of the
Petascale computing refers to petaflops, a million billion
calculations per second, and petabytes, a million billion
bytes of data. This level of computing power will enable
researchers to study scientific problems at an unprecedented
level of detail. For example, current models allow scientists
to design materials with thousands of atoms, while petascale
computing will allow models with millions of atoms, yielding
more accurate simulations that will promote fundamental
Sandia projects awarded SciDAC funding include:
- Center for Interoperable Technologies for Advanced
Petascale Simulations (ITAPS). Sandia’s
principal investigator is Pat Knupp. The goal of this
center is to deliver interoperable and interchangeable
mesh, geometry, and field services that are of direct
use to science applications, including accelerator
modeling and design, fusion energy science, groundwater
reactive transport modeling and simulation, and nuclear
energy. The lead institution is Lawrence Livermore
- Center for Technology for Advanced Scientific
Component Software (TASCS). Sandia’s
principal investigator is Rob Armstrong. This project
will make possible software and programming language
interoperability so that simulations can be turned
on and off as needed. The lead institution is Oak Ridge
- Towards Optimal Petascale Simulations (TOPS).
Sandia’s principal investigator is Mike Heroux.
The heart of many scientific applications is known as
the “solver,” which is responsible for simultaneously
solving large numbers of coupled linear equations. Unfortunately,
the solver is often the chief bottleneck in utilizing
supercomputers, and the TOPS center is focused on developing
new solver algorithms that break this barrier, thereby
enabling effective use of petascale computers. The lead
institution is Columbia University.
- Combinatorial Scientific Computing and
Petascale Simulations (CSCAPES). Sandia’s
principal investigator is Erik Boman. This institute
will accelerate the development and deployment of fundamental
enabling technologies in high-performance computing
by providing advanced new capabilities in load balancing
and parallelization toolkits for petascale computers,
and advancing the state of the art in software tools
that will enable larger and faster simulations. The
institute will also organize workshops, host visitors,
and reach out to the academic community. The lead institution
is Old Dominion University.
- Petascale Data Storage Institute.
Sandia’s principal investigator is Lee Ward. This
project will educate the scientific computing community
on best practices for efficiently using large-scale storage
systems on petascale computers. To reach out and engage
the scientific computing community in petascale storage,
the institute will chair an annual petascale storage
workshop in conjunction with a major scientific computing
conference. The lead institution for the project is Carnegie
- SciDAC Institute for Ultrascale Visualization.
Sandia’s principal investigator is Ken Moreland.
Understanding the science behind ultra-scale simulations
and high-throughput experiments requires scientists to
understand information coming from massive datasets.
This institute will put together a comprehensive parallel
visualization suite that can move across computing platforms
to allow scientific discovery at large scales. The lead
institution is University of California, Davis.
- Modeling the Earth’s Climate System.
Sandia’s principal investigator is Mark Taylor.
The goal of this project is to predict future climates
based on scenarios modeled on a petascale computer. The
lead institution in this research effort is Oak Ridge
- Chemistry Framework using Common Component
Architecture. Sandia’s principal investigator
is Curt Janssen. The development of emerging technologies
such as molecular computing, nanotechnology, and next-generation
catalysts will continue to place increasing demands
on chemical simulation software, requiring more capabilities
and more sophisticated simulations. This project will
enable development of such software by providing common
interfaces and infrastructure that permit the capabilities
from multiple quantum chemistry codes to be easily
employed in new applications. This will allow development
of novel modeling approaches that can run efficiently
on large-scale parallel machines. The lead institution
for the project is Ames Laboratory.
Collis says an important aspect of these projects is that
they will allow Sandia to develop even more collaborations
in the high-computing world, both in the DOE laboratory
complex and throughout academia.
“We’ll gain additional experience and capability
in using supercomputers that will have impact far beyond
the individual SciDAC projects,” he says. “At
the same time, we will be able to pursue cutting-edge collaborative
science in a wide range of areas. And the most exciting
aspect of this funding is that it will result in new discoveries
that we can’t yet predict.”
to spend next five years figuring out the future of the
Earth’s atmosphere through
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Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated
by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the
U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security
Administration. Sandia has major R&D responsibilities
in national security, energy and environmental technologies,
and economic competitiveness.
Sandia news media contact: Chris Burroughs, firstname.lastname@example.org,