Twice as Nice: NVIDIA Powers Not One, But Two, Gordon Bell Prizes

by Kristin Bryson

Award-winning research on opioid addiction and climate change fueled by NVIDIA researchers and tens of thousands of NVIDIA GPUs.

There was a big surprise at the highly anticipated awards ceremony at SC18, the annual supercomputing show in Dallas this week. Usually, one team of researchers receives the coveted Gordon Bell Prize, the equivalent of an “Oscar” in the world of high performance computing.

But this year, that didn’t happen.

In a rare move, the award committee split the prize — honoring one team for its groundbreaking research on opioid addiction and another for breakthrough discoveries in climate change.

Conducting their research on Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer, both teams had tapped into the power of tens of thousands of NVIDIA GPUs. Housed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Summit features 27,648 NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core GPUs. The world’s most advanced data center GPU, V100s provide unique multi-precision computing capabilities that are ideal for AI and machine learning applications.

The climate change team benefited from another type of NVIDIA power — NVIDIA brain power. Jointly led with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, half of the 12-person team are NVIDIA deep learning computer scientists.

The team used deep learning algorithms to train a neural network to identify extreme weather patterns from high-resolution climate simulations.

Led by researchers at ORNL, the team studying opioid addiction developed a new “CoMet” algorithm that allows a supercomputer to process vast amounts of genetic data and identify genes that may be more susceptible to pain and opioid addiction — as well as promising treatments.

For more information about ORNL’s opioid epidemic project and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s climate change project, visit ACM’s website.