4 Ways We’re Putting Science at the Center of Supercomputing

by Brian Caulfield

Fighting HIV. Studying how snakes fly. Improving earthquake safety.

From the profound to the routine, science touches everything.  And with computer simulation becoming central to the way science is done, scientists from all disciplines are finding new ways to use supercomputers.

That’s why we’re putting science – and scientists — at the center of the story we’re telling at the Supercomputing (SC13) conference next week in Denver, Colorado. This is the kind of stuff that moves civilization forward, whether it involves research into better skin creams or the structure of the universe.

The crowd at last year's conference.
Crowded House: Superstar scientists drew huge crowds to our booth at last year’s Supercomputing conference.

So stop by our GPU Technology Theater at booth #613 if you’re at the show. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find:

Fighting HIV – John Stone, senior research programmer at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science at Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will talk about using molecular dynamics simulations to probe the dynamics of cellular processes at the atomic level – a feat that’s not possible by experimental methods alone. One result: a first of its kind atomic model for the HIV virus.

Investigating flying snakes– Lorena Barba, associate professor of engineering and applied science, The George Washington University is leading a team that’s simulating the aerodynamics that let snakes that inhabit the forests of India and Southeast Asia glide for surprising distances using a home-grown computational fluid dynamics (CFD) application and a Tesla K20 GPU accelerator.

Investigating the skin-barrier– Russell Devane, scientist, Procter & Gamble is using GPU-enabled molecular dynamics to investigate how compounds cross the primary skin barrier – or stratum corneum – to build more accurate skin penetration models. No small matter when you make as many skin creams as P&G does.

Simulating earthquakes – Yifeng Cui, lab director of the HPGeoC San Diego Supercomputer Center is helping Californians better prepare for the next big temblor has developed a GPU-based seismic wave propagation code to simulate how earthquakes make the ground move.

View the full SC13 GPU Technology Theater schedule here.