Top NSF petascale supercomputer and expert staff accelerate discoveries for nation's scientists

Published on May 27, 2014 by Aaron Dubrow


When faced with a scientific problem that can't be studied in a lab with experimental methods, researchers across the United States rely on advanced computing (aka ‘supercomputing') for high performance modeling and simulation, scientific visualization, and data intensive computing to understand and predict different types of phenomena. In many instances, these researchers turn to the Stampede supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center to help them gain new and crucial insights into the most challenging problems facing science and society today. One of the most powerful supercomputers in the world for open science research, Stampede is a cornerstone of the National Science Foundation's investment in an integrated advanced cyberinfrastructure, allowing America's scientists and engineers to access cutting-edge computational resources, data and expertise to further their research across scientific disciplines, including engineering and the humanities.


Science Highlights

Health and Well-Being

Increasingly, researchers in the life sciences are using Stampede to better understand human health, find connections in terabytes of genomic data, and design new drugs to treat illnesses. Using Stampede, researchers developed novel methods for faster, more accurate DNA sequencing and explored one of the largest proteomics datasets in the world to link genes to traits and diseases. Researchers are also using Stampede to model air moving over vocal chords to design synthetic vocal chords to restore speech.

Fundamental Research about the Universe

The Universe is filled with fundamental mysteries that can only be studied using powerful supercomputers. Among the projects that Stampede is assisting are efforts to simulate supernovas, research to better understand how fungi break down plants to produce energy, and studies to determine how nanoparticles called colloidal gels can support their own weight, making them candidates for injectable pharmaceuticals and artificial tissue scaffolds.

Environmental Change and Natural Disasters

Weather and climate systems are complex and many aspects of their behavior remain a mystery to scientists. In the case of extreme storms like hurricanes and tornadoes, emergency officials need the ability to quickly predict a storm's track to prevent the loss of life and property. Supercomputers like Stampede are particularly well suited to these types of problems. Using Stampede, researchers are perfecting a new hurricane modeling system used by the National Hurricane Center. Researchers are also using the system to determine how fast ice sheets are moving in Antarctica.

Emerging Technologies and Data-Driven Approaches

Look inside Stampede and you'll find a host of new hardware and networking technologies that make the system particularly well-suited to emerging petascale research problems. In particular, the Intel Xeon Phi co-processor allows for rapid computation using less energy, while large memory nodes, data-optimized software packages, and several petabytes of internal storage make data-driven computing on Stampede possible for diverse scientific applications.




Fuqing Zhang
Omar Ghattas
Roseanna Zia
Christian Ott
Daniel Bodony
Gregg Beckham
Niall Gaffney
Tommy Minyard
William Barth
Edward Marcotte
Daniel Stanzione
Aleksei Aksimentiev

Virtual Tour

Supported by the National Science Foundation, Stampede is one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. This petascale system enables researchers to solve larger and more diverse science and engineering problems than ever before. Watch video >>