August 2017

 

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  Welcome, Stampede2!  
 

Welcome, Stampede2!

TACC dedicated its newest supercomputer, Stampede2, on July 28, 2017. Stampede2 is the fastest supercomputer at any university in the U.S. and the 12th most powerful system in the world. It will enable thousands of researchers to answer questions that cannot be addressed through theory or experimentation alone and that require high performance computing power. When fully deployed this fall, Stampede2 will have a peak performance of 18 petaflops (or 18 quadrillion mathematical operations per second). In addition to its massive scale, Stampede2 is among the first supercomputers to employ cutting-edge computer processor, memory, networking and storage technology from its industry partners — Dell, Intel and Seagate.

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  Computer Simulations Provided Preview of Solar Eclipse  

Computer Simulations Provided Preview of Solar Eclipse

Using massive supercomputers, including Stampede2 at TACC, Comet at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and NASA's Pleiades supercomputer, Predictive Science Inc. completed a series of highly-detailed solar simulations that predicted how the Sun's corona — the aura of plasma that surrounds the sun — would appear at the moment of the solar eclipse. The team combined data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, magnetic field maps, solar rotation rates, and cutting-edge mathematical models to predict the state of the Sun's surface. The simulations are the largest ever produced by the group and include new physics to generate a more accurate prediction.

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  TACC Key Collaborator on NeuroNex Grant to Advance Understanding of Brain Structure  

TACC Key Collaborator on NeuroNex Grant to Advance Understanding of Brain Structure

The National Science Foundation has awarded The University of Texas at Austin, TACC, and the Salk Institute a $9 million NeuroNex grant to explore the brain in microscopic detail and understand the cell biology of the nervous system. The grant will allow researchers to image and map synapses, the tiny points of contact between neurons throughout the brain, in detail and to model synapse function and share the data publicly for use by scientists around the world.

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  TACC Executive Director Gives Keynote at User Group Conference  

TACC Executive Director Gives Keynote at User Group Conference

While much of the emphasis in machine learning, high end computing, and cloud computing is about the choice of a graphics processing unit or central processing unit for particular algorithms, high performance interconnects remain an essential ingredient for achieving performance at large scale. TACC's Executive Director Dan Stanzione talked about interconnect tuning and more in his keynote address at the 5th Annual MVAPICH User Group (MUG) Meeting.

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  More Precise Diagnostics for Better Cancer Outcomes  

More Precise Diagnostics for Better Cancer Outcomes

In the future, it may be possible to diagnose cancer much earlier using improved detection systems. Using TACC resources, researchers explored new breast tissue mapping systems, nanopore and lab-on-a-chip biosensors, and cell-entering cancer detectors. Advanced computing is critical for the simulation and materials design aspects of these emerging diagnostic devices.

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  Code@TACC Robotics Camp Delivers on Self-Driving Cars  

Code@TACC Robotics Camp Delivers on Self-Driving Cars

Thirty-four high school students from mostly underserved communities in Central Texas attended the week-long Code@ TACC Robotics summer camp, developed by TACC. Students assembled and programmed internet-connected robots to solve real-world traffic problems. Five TACC scientists and two Central Texas high school teachers worked with TACC outreach coordinator Joon-Yee Chuah to instruct the students. Code@TACC Robotics students formed science teams and presented final projects to their families and to TACC staff.

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  How Pythons Regenerate their Organs and Other Secrets of the Snake Genome   The Future of Search Engines   The Mystery of the Yellowing Sugarcane  
 

How Pythons Regenerate their Organs and Other Secrets of the Snake Genome

Snakes exhibit incredible evolutionary adaptations, including the ability to rapidly regenerate their organs. The Castoe Lab at The University of Texas at Arlington studied this adaptation using genetic sequencing and analysis on TACC's supercomputers. Lead researcher Todd Castoe and his team identified a number of genes associated with organ growth in Burmese pythons. They also studied secondary contact in related rattlesnake species and developed tools to identify evolutionary changes caused by natural selection.

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The Future of Search Engines

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and Northeastern University presented two papers at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics that combined artificial intelligence (AI), crowdsourcing and supercomputers. The work has the potential to improve general search engines, as well as niche search engines like those for medical knowledge or non-English texts. The research leveraged TACC advanced computing resources to process large amounts of data and train the AI systems quickly.

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The Mystery of the Yellowing Sugarcane

Since 2011, a mysterious illness known as Yellow Canopy Syndrome (YCS) has afflicted Australian sugarcane and caused an estimated $40 million in losses. Researchers from The University of Texas at Tyler and Sugar Research Australia are using supercomputers at TACC to perform large-scale genomic investigations. They have detected signals in the data that could be signs of a bacteria or environmental stress causing YCS. They are conducting further computational studies to explore these hypotheses.

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