CSCVR faculty develop an app to measure and monitor the quality of roadways.
January 29, 2020
Assistant Professor Arghavan Louhghalam (Civil & Environmental Engineering) and Associate Professor Mazdak Tootkaboni (Civil & Environmental Engineering) were featured in The New York Times for their app that uses crowdsourcing to measure and monitor the quality of roadways.
Dr. Khanna appeared as a guest on a new sci-fi podcast
January 23, 2020
CSCVR Director, Dr. Gaurav Khanna, appeared as a guest on a new sci-fi podcast. Hear all about it here!
25th anniversary of Sony PlayStations for astrophysics
CSCVR faculty discovers way to differentiate individual black holes
November 15, 2019
The black holes of Einstein's theory of relativity can be completely described by just three properties — how heavy they are (mass), how fast they rotate (spin rate), and how much charge they possess. Since two black holes that share these properties cannot be distinguished, regardless of how they were created, black holes are said to have no hair, i.e. they have no additional attributes that can be used to tell them apart. In recent work, our CSCVR faculty Dr. Khanna and his collaborators show that nearly extreme black holes attempt to grow hair .. but ultimately fail! Read more about this new black-hole phenomena here .
Sigal Gottlieb's contribution to mathematics and society recognized with top honor
November 10, 2019
Sigal Gottlieb, CSCVR co-founder and faculty member, was recognized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) with their top honor. The SIAM Fellowship is an international award and fellowship that recognizes outstanding members of the applied mathematics community. In the award announcement, she was recognized for her contribution to strong-stability-preserving time discretizations and other schemes for hyperbolic equations, and for her professional services including those to SIAM and women in mathematics.
CSCVR faculty member on international team that discovered new effects of supernova
October 7, 2019
Associate Professor Robert Fisher (Physics) was part of an international team that recently published a research article in Nature that discovered how light reacts after a unique type of supernova. The team, consisting of researchers from Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Birmingham, University of Edinburgh, University of New South Wales, Trinity College Dublin, and the American Museum of Natural History and Space Telescope Science Institute found that light does not simply disappear after the cosmic explosion of stars. (see here)
Five Questions With CSCVR Faculty, Firas Khatib
September 9, 2019
CSCVR faculty, Firas Khatib, gives an interview a computer game he co-developed, called “Foldit,” that offers players the opportunity to search for cures of various diseases through protein building. Since then, more than 50 protein structures designed by the gamers. Read the full interview here or published journal paper.
CSCVR faculty awarded time on worlds fastest computer
September 29, 2019
The Fisher Computational Astrophysics Group was recently awarded a director's discretionary time allocation on the world's fastest supercomputer, Summit. Summit was developed by IBM and is operated by the Department of Energy Office of Science at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This award will enable investigations of merging white dwarfs as a possible channel of Type Ia supernovae.
CSCVR Student Publishes on GPU Computing
August 28, 2019
CSCVR student, Connor Kenyon, published a paper in IEEE HPEC on overcoming the limitations of GPU computing in scientific applications. A preprint may be found here
CSCVR faculty awarded NSF grant
August 15, 2019
Scott Field, Gaurav Khanna, and Sigal Gottlieb were awarded $275,000 through National Science Foundation's Division of Mathematical Sciences to develop high order numerical methods for gravitational wave computations.
CSCVR faculty awarded a $460,000 NSF grant
August 3, 2019
Associate Professor Mehdi Raessi (Mechanical Engineering) and his collaborator, who were awarded a $460,000 National Science Foundation grant for support of their project entitled Collaborative Research: Integrated Experimental and Computational Investigations of Exogenous Surfactant Distribution in Conducting Zone Lung Airways”. Dr. Raessi will use the advanced computing facilities at the UMASS Dartmouth’s Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research (CSCVR) to perform computational simulations
Video gamers design brand new proteins
June 4, 2019
CSCVR faculty member Firas Khatib and his colleagues encoded their specialized knowledge into the computer game Foldit, allowing citizen scientists to successfully design synthetic proteins for the first time. The initial results of this unique collaboration appear in the June 5 issue of Nature. By playing Foldit, citizen scientists are now able to help create novel vaccines, cancer therapies and more!
New study of microbiome affects of Alzheimer's disease
May 7, 2019
Dr. Bucci publishes paper in mBio on how microbiome affects Alzheimer's disease via immune regulation of anti-inflammatory pathways. Shakti Bhattarai an EAS/CSE PhD student in Bucci lab is co-first author and main data analyst. The paper can be found here.
Realistic interior of black holes
May 7, 2019
Dr. Khanna publishes a Rapid Communication on the “singularity” as depicted in the Interstellar movie. His work shows that inside realistic black holes falling astronauts will encounter an “outflying singularity that is an effective shock wave in spacetime. The paper can be found here and the APS blog post here."
Gabriel Casabona Receives DOE CSGF Fellowship
March 28, 2019
Masters physics student Gabriel Casabona has received the DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship, a highly-prestigious four-year graduate fellowship awarded to approximately 25 recipients nationwide each year. The fellowship carries a generous stipend of $36,000 annually, paid tuition and fees at any Ph.D. granting-institution in the US, an annual academic allowance for professional development and computer equipment, and a 12-week practicum at a DOE national laboratory. Gabriel studies turbulence-driven detonation of thermonuclear supernovae with CSCVR faculty member Robert Fisher.
Public lecture on black holes and gravity waves
February 21, 2019
CSCVR faculty member, Scott Field, gave an ICERM Public Lecture on Discovering Black Holes and Gravitational Waves: Algorithms and Simulation. The event, which was attended by about 120 people, summarized the 100 years of work leading up to the recent Nobel-prize-winning gravitational wave detection. The talk especially focused on key contributions from mathematicians and computational scientists. The video can be viewed here.
Time and hyperspace travel
December 29, 2018
Doctoral student Caroline Mallary's research work gets some media attention (here and here).
CSCVR faculty awarded NSF grant
August 28, 2018
Arghavan Louhghalam (PI) and Mazdak Tootkaboni (co-PI) were awarded $224,341 through National Science Foundation CMMI division to study A Data-centric Uncertainty-informed Framework for Resilience Analytics of Critical Infrastructure Under Extreme Climate Events.
CSCVR faculty awarded NSF grant
August 8, 2018
Scott Field was awarded $193,000 through the National Science Foundation's gravitational physics program to develop and use high-accuracy numerical models of gravitational wave radiation.
Drs Yanlai Chen and Sigal Gottlieb were awarded a new, 3-year NSF grant
August 1, 2017
Drs Yanlai Chen and Sigal Gottlieb were awarded a new, 3-year NSF grant titled, Rigorous Development of an Efficient Reduced Collocation Approach for High-Dimensional Parametric Partial Differential Equations" for $158
Center Directors served as guest editors of IEEE journal
August 23, 2018
Center Directors served as guest editors of a special issue of CiSE titled Supercomputing-Enabled Advances in Science and Engineering. The issue is available here."
CSCVR faculty member featured in NYT article on floods in Thailand
CSCVR faculty members Sigal Gottlieb (PI), Vanni Bucci (co-PI), Yanlai Chen (co-PI), Geoffrey Cowles (co-PI), Bo Dong (co-PI), Scott Field (co-PI), Alfa Heryudono (co-PI), Gaurav Khanna (co-PI), Maricris Mayes (co-PI), Mehdi Raessi (co-PI), Amit Tandon (co-PI), and Mazdak Tootkaboni (co-PI) were recently awarded $643,899 through the Office of Naval Research's Defense University Research Instrumentation Program, “A Heterogeneous Terascale Computing Cluster for the Development of GPU Optimized High-order Numerical Methods”. These funds will allow the CSCVR to bring a new, state-of-the-art supercomputing cluster to the UMassD campus.
Supercomputing with PlayStation!
May 1, 2018
Data Center Dynamics just published a thoroughly researched story about Sony PlayStations and their supercomputing legacy, with a detailed interview with our own, Professor Khanna. The story appears on page 44 of the April/May issue.
Professor devises a new model to treat digestive health issues
April 17, 2018
In the attempt to treat several digestive ailments such as inflammatory or allergic diseases, doctors and scientists did not have an accurate prediction system to find the right balance of bacteria to produce a healthy gut. But now, due to the research conducted by CSCVR faculty member Vanni Bucci alongside colleagues at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a prediction model exists that could yield effective tools in the quest for digestive health. Read more about their work here.
Professor overturns understanding on black holes
March 29, 2018
Dr. Gaurav Khanna published a paper that sheds new light on space's most mysterious phenomena. With collaborators, Dr Khanna demonstrates the existence of extreme black holes that until now were thought to be theoretical and unobservable. Extreme black holes differ from traditional black holes because they have the fastest possible spin allowed by Einstein’s theory of relativity. This work upends conventional wisdom on extreme black holes, which presumed these objects were unstable, and thus did not exist in nature.
Recent PhD graduate Zachary Grant is featured in SIAM's prize spotlight
March 18, 2018
Zachary J. Grant of University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth received the 2017 SIAM Student Paper Prize and presented his winning paper at the SIAM Annual Meeting, held July 10-14, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. SIAM recognized Grant for the paper, Explicit Strong Stability Preserving Multistage Two-Derivative Time-Stepping Schemes, co-authored with Andrew Christlieb of Michigan State University, Sigal Gottlieb of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and David C. Seal of the United States Naval Academy. The paper was published in Journal of Scientific Computing in 2016. An interview with Zach appears in SIAMs spotlight and campus highlights.
Journal paper highlighted for cutting edge black hole research.
February 6, 2018
CSCVR Director Prof. Gaurav Khanna's recent paper with Richard was one of small handful of papers selected for special recognition by the Classical & Quantum Gravity journal. It appears on their 2017 Highlights listing.
Physics students publish papers in top research journals
CSCVR faculty member Scott Field (Mathematics) was recently awarded a $26,560 grant from the National Institute of Aerospace to assess the viability of discontinuous Galerkin methods for solving challenging fluid simulation problems (such as rocket reentry) of interest to NASA Langley. Work will be carried out with collaborators Alireza Mazaheri (NASA Langley) and Aakash Kardam (UMass Dartmouth masters student).
CSCVR faculty members to co-host Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference
August 22, 2017
CSCVR faculty members Arghavan Louhghalam and Mazdak Tootkaboni from the Department of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering will be part of a team of four civil engineering professors who will co-chair the 2018 conference of the Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Read more here.
UMassD students compete at the international Student Cluster Competition
July 26, 2017
The CSCVR sponsored an engineering undergrad student Brendan Rubell to join the Boston Green Team as a participant in the Student Cluster Competition at one of the largest international supercomputing conferences (ISC '17, Hamburg, Germany). This is the first time UMass Dartmouth has participated in this international competition. Meet the UmassD team!"
Rahul Kashyap wins best student talk at the Eastern Gravity Meeting.
June 10, 2017
Congratulations to Rahul Kashyap (EAS Ph.D. '17) who won the best student talk at the 20th Eastern Gravity Meeting hosted by the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos at Penn State. Rahul's talk "Type Ia Supernovae through Spiral Instability in Binary White Dwarf Mergers" describes his recent work simulating white dwarf mergers on some of the nation's largest supercomputers. "
Congratulations, 2017 CSCVR Graduates!
May 27, 2017
Congratulations to our recent CSCVR graduates Rahul Kashyap (EAS Ph.D. '17), Tazkera Haque (Masters '17), and Chris Bresten (EAS Ph.D. '17). Rahul has accepted an offer to work after graduation as a postdoctoral research scholar jointly at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (also known as the Albert Einstein Institute) in Hanover, Germany. Tazkera will be continuing her studies as a Judy Young PhD Fellow at UMass Amherst. Chris has accepted a postdoctoral fellow position at Bentley.
Zach Grant (EAS Ph.D. 2017) wins SIAMs national Student Paper Prize award.
May 5, 2017
Ph.D student Zack Grants paper Explicit Strong Stability Preserving Multistage Two-Derivative Time-Stepping Schemes was selected as one of the winners of the 2017 SIAM Student Paper Prize. There are 3 prizes each year and each is given a $1000 prize and $500 in travel support to the SIAM annual meeting. Zach will present the winning paper in a special session at the SIAM annual meeting. The paper was co-authored by CSCVR faculty member Sigal Gottlieb and collaborators Andrew J. Christlieb and David C. Seal.
The CSCVR at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is a leading campus contributor to a new index of research productivity.
May 5, 2017
Research conducted in the Center on crystals, black holes, supernovae and estuaries are among the papers published at UMass Dartmouth included in the 2016 Nature Index (*). The Nature Index, developed by the Nature Publishing Group, tracks research publications among a selection of 68 high-impact journals. According to the Nature Publishing Group
CSCVR faculty member awared NSF grant to study the monsoon
May 3, 2017
Dr. Amit Tandon (Mechanical Engineering), who was recently awarded a $753,841 grant from the Office of Naval Research to study monsoon in the Indian Ocean and over the Asian land mass in partnership with several other U.S. institutions as well as institutions in India and Sri Lanka.
Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research will acquire a new rapid prototyping machine
April 13, 2017
UMass Dartmouth Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research will acquire a new rapid prototyping machine, a powerful computer server intended for use in collaborative multidisciplinary research among faculty members and students from different departments with diverse programming background. The new rapid prototyping server (rps) is a single high-end Linux server with 3.2 GHz multicore Xeon CPUs, 256GB RAM, and can handle up to 4 GPUs. Popular rapid prototyping software such as anaconda python 2 and 3, Julia, MATLAB with parallel computing toolbox, and Mathematica with GPU support will also be installed. With convenient feature such as UMassD logon, the server can also be seen as an extension of faculty's office workstations or as a test machine prior to scaling up computing jobs to UMass Dartmouth multinode servers: ARNiE and HPCC or MGHPCC (UMass-wide supercomputer). The older rapid prototyping server will be repurposed as a machine for teaching introduction to scientific computing (MTH280), mathematical and computational consulting (MTH540), and high performance scientific computing (EAS520) courses. Prototyping projects currently conducted on the older machine includes but not limited to deep learning with Mathematica, numerical simulation of systems of PDEs, development of new time-stepping methods, and preconditioning techniques for generalized finite difference sparse systems. Smooth transition from older to new rps system will be expected in the summer of 2017.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's Center for Scientific Computing & Visualization Research (CSCVR) has contributed 120 GPU servers to the UMass shared computational cluster installed at the MGHPCC (full article here)
The UMass shared cluster at the MGHPCC is a large (~15,000) processor-core supercomputer system that serves the entire UMass system's computational scientists. From astrophysicists at the Amherst and Dartmouth campuses, to biomedical researchers at Worcester, this key central facility provides the computational resources needed to advance world-class research programs across the system. While a large number of processors is the most common way to build powerful supercomputers today; lately advances in graphics processors (GPUs) has allowed them to be used as accelerators for scientific calculations often delivering a speed-up of over an order-of-magnitude.
UMass Dartmouth Graduate Student To Pursue the Rhythms of the Universe
March 30, 2017
Rahul Kashyap (EAS Ph.D. '17) has accepted an offer to work after graduation as a postdoctoral research scholar jointly at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (also known as the Albert Einstein Institute) in Hanover, Germany, and the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences in Bengaluru, India. During his Ph.D. studies at UMass Dartmouth, Rahul investigated the nature of a class of exploding stars, or supernovae, using some of the largest supercomputers in the world. Rahul was supported on a Distinguished Doctoral Fellowship provided by the Graduate Studies Office, the Physics and Mathematics Department and the Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research. Please see the University's press release to learn more about Rahul's research.
Supercomputing-Enabled Advances in Science & Engineering
March 7, 2017
CSCVR Directors, Prof. Sigal Gottlieb and Prof. Gaurav Khanna are serving as guest editors for a special issue of the well-established IEEE / AIP journal Computing in Science & Engineering. The special issue is titled ”Supercomputing-Enabled Advances in Science & Engineering” and will publish papers that report on impactful advances enabled by large-scale computing in any area of science or engineering. All submitted papers will be peer-reviewed.
UMass Dartmouth and the CSCVR hosts Kip Thorne to discuss the physics of the blockbuster movie Interstellar
December 2, 2016
Two screenings of Interstellar took place on the day of Dr. Thorne's visit to the Dartmouth campus. Dr. Thorne, the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus at Caltech, joined UMass Dartmouth faculty, students, and the local community for a series of talks and a panel discussion on the science of Interstellar. The talks can be viewed on the event's webpage.
CSCVR undergraduate Cole Freniere publishes research article in Computing in Science & Engineering
October 9, 2016
CSCVR undergraduate Cole Freniere, along with CSCVR faculty members Ashish Pathak, Mehdi Raessi and Gaurav Khanna, explore Amazon's Cloud Computing resources for the simulation of Ocean Wave Energy Converters interacting with ocean waves. These wave energy converters are complex to simulate, and traditionally require a large supercomputer to run for an extended period of time. Amazon, whom we all know for its large online store, also offers computing resources in the Cloud, which customers can essentially rent". The novel cloud computing model offers the possibility of reducing the cost of computational fluid dynamic simulations and unlocking the potential of wave energy converters as a future source of renewable energy.
CSCVR acknowledges the 98th birthday of Katherine Johnson
August 22, 2016
The Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research would like to acknowledge the 98th birthday of Katherine Johnson on August 26.2016. Katherine Johnson was a pioneering African American woman in the field of computational mathematics. Her work at NASA over many decades had major impact in computational space science.
Today, major advances in nearly all types of science and engineering are aided by computation. Indeed, high-performance computing (HPC) or supercomputing is now considered as the third pillar of scientific discovery alongside experiment and theory. Massachusetts universities (both public and private) excel in this emerging area and have a strong and diverse group of computational scientists and engineers across each campus.
UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Scientific Computing & Visualization Research (CSCVR) organized and hosted “HPC Day 2016” on May 17th — a conference to showcase compute intensive research from researchers in this community from all over Massachusetts. There were participants from: Northeastern University, Boston University, MIT, UMass Amherst, Dartmouth & Lowell and even industry. A special poster session with awards for student projects was included as well. This conference was a follow-on event from the inaugural “UMass HPC Day” conference hosted at UMass Dartmouth in 2014.
The event featured a total of 11 talks with topics ranging from engineering microbial systems to renewable energy extraction from the ocean. Over 145 attendees registered in this event in total and 30 student posters were presented. More details on the program may be found on the CSCVR website. Six awards were granted that were made possible via generous donations by Nvidia, SIAM and MathWorks. The conference lunch was sponsored by Microway Inc.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Jeremy Kepner from MIT Lincoln Lab who gave an fascinating and deeply engaging lecture titled “Interactive Supercomputing for High Performance Data Analysis.” The event also featured an interactive Education Panel that included stakeholders from industry and academia to discuss issues associated with HPC education and training.
The CSCVR also used this event to debut a new innovative, prototype supercomputer built entirely of mobile-devices (in particular, Nvidia Tegra X1 components used to build tablets) dubbed “Elroy”. The system’s total compute capacity is 16 Tflop/s and consumes just over 300W total power. The unique feature of this 32-node system is its extremely high power efficiency -- an order-of-magnitude larger than traditional systems. This was made possible by leveraging recent, very significant power-efficiency related advances that have been cleverly engineered into current cell phones and other mobile devices (to prolong battery life). Power-efficiency is a limiting feature in large scale supercomputing as well, due to the expense associated to large power consumption and corresponding cooling requirements. Elroy demonstrates a unique approach towards potentially meeting this challenge. This project was a result of a collaborative effort between the CSCVR and UMass Dartmouth CITS. The CSCVR has a history of developing innovative supercomputers from using gaming consoles to more recently, using video-gaming graphics cards.
The CSCVR provides undergraduate and graduate students with high quality, discovery-based educational experiences that transcend the traditional boundaries of academic fields, and foster collaborative research in the computational sciences. The CSCVR's computational resources are being utilized to solve complex problems in the sciences ranging from the modeling of ocean waves to uncovering the mysteries of black hole physics.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Grants Hardware to the CSCVR
April 27, 2016
The CSCVR is in the process of accepting an in-kind "SwitchBlade" grant from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). The granted equipment consists of an HP SwitchBlade Center chassis that contains the required power and networking infrastructure to support up to 16 high-end blade servers for high-performance computing. Two servers are included in this grant, leaving room for straightforward and low-cost expansion in the future. The granted hardware is valued at $95K.
With the two included servers, the system currently has 64 Intel Xeon E5 processor cores, 512 GB main memory, 2 TB storage connected via a high-speed network.
This grant is a result of efforts made by Glenn Volpe (HPE) and CSCVR Associate Director Professor Gaurav Khanna on behalf of the CSCVR. The SwitchBlade system is currently being leveraged to attract new top-notch faculty to the university. These faculty and their students will be affiliated with the CSCVR.
UMass HPC day to be held on May 17, 2016
April 25, 2016
The center periodically holds conference showcasing compute intensive research at the UMass system. This year's version extends to several members of the MGHPCC.
Here is the UMassOnTheMove article about the event.
Interstellar Event with Prof. Kip Thorne
March 26, 2016
The Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research welcomes renowned physicist Dr. Kip Thorne on March 29. Sponsoring the event together with the departments of mathematics and physics, the center has arranged a series of events including a reception, mini-lectures, and a panel discussion. See the poster for more details.
Dr. Thorne, the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus at Caltech, is the originator and guiding hand of the 2014 blockbuster movie Interstellar. The movie is based on black holes and spatial wormholes which are the focus research areas of a few center affiliates'. Dr. Thorne will join UMass Dartmouth Physics faculty Robert Fisher, David Kagan, Gaurav Khanna, Richard Price, and School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) Professor Geoff Cowles in the Claire T. Carney Library Stoico/FIRSTFED Charitable Foundation Grand Reading Room at 4:30 p.m. for a reception followed by a series of talks at 5 p.m. and a panel discussion at 6 p.m. on the science of Interstellar. The night ends with a screening of the movie Interstellar at 7pm. Read the full UMassD news release.
Computational Simulation of the Interior of a Rotating Black Hole
January 21, 2016
Physicists Lior Burko at Georgia Gwinnett College, Gaurav Khanna at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Anil Zenginoglu at the University of Maryland have published a Rapid Communication in Physical Review D , that includes the first computer simulation of the interior of a rotating black hole. New mathematical and computational techniques had to be developed to perform the simulations accurately. The high-precision computations involved were particularly intensive, requiring the novel GPU-supercomputing resources of the CSCVR. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation. The Center for Scientific Computing & Visualization Research (CSCVR) promotes the mission of UMass Dartmouth by providing undergraduate and graduate students with high quality discovery-based educational experiences that transcend the traditional boundaries of academic field or department, and foster collaborative research in the computational sciences within the university and with researchers at other universities, national labs, and industry. Khanna serves as the associate director of the CSCVR. Read the full Forbes story and UMassD press release
UMass Dartmouth Mathematics Professor Dr. Sigal Gottlieb has received a $271,299 grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to improve current numerical methods used in simulations in the design of planes.
Highlights include the recently donated computational clusters, using mobile phone processors for supercomputing, summer internship destinations for CSCVR students, and recent funding accomplishments by CSCVR faculty.
Supercomputers donated to UMass Dartmouth will help triple data capacity
July 4, 2015
New supercomputers donated to UMass Dartmouth are expected to greatly increase the university's data capacity and research capabilities. "The donated supercomputer will triple our computational capability at the Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research," said associate professor Gaurav Khanna, who studies how black holes captures stars.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Scientific Computing & Visualization Research (CSCVR) has received donations of two supercomputers that were built and used for mining Bitcoins.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that has garnered a lot of popular media attention recently. In addition to buying a Bitcoin, that runs for around $250 these days, one can also "mine" or generate it, using a powerful computer by solving a cryptographic puzzle. However, Bitcoin is designed in a way that the more mining that occurs, the harder it becomes to mine via an exponential increase in its complexity. So, a powerful computer today that could mine effectively, in a few months would be essentially worthless due to the rapid increase in Bitcoin's complexity. Now, there are investors that built very large supercomputers solely designed to mine Bitcoins — some spending even millions of dollars to build these systems — that are now largely useless, at least from the Bitcoin mining perspective. These machines are sitting idle or simply turned off.
In December 2014, the New York Times’ Laura Parker covered Prof. Gaurav Khanna’s novel use of PlayStations for his computational research in black hole astrophysics in a full length article. Two Bitcoin mining investors read the story and decided to donate their large supercomputers to the university campus for enabling research productivity further in the CSCVR.
The two donated systems are very well suited to enable research in the CSCVR. The key feature of both systems is that they are GPU-accelerated i.e. they use high-end video-gaming graphics-cards to speed up numerical calculations significantly. These make the systems excellent for a large variety of scientific applications. The larger system amongst the two was built in 2012 at cost nearing a million dollars and consists of 180 servers installed in 10 racks, integrated tightly over a fast network. Its replacement cost today could be in ballpark of $400,000.
The donor, Daniel Driscoll of San Francisco shares his thoughts on his donation: "This past winter during my morning commute, I stumbled across an article about a research project that recently used a networked super computer modeling the physics of black holes. Having grown up in the 80's next to the shuttle launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, I remain an ardent fan of all things space. What struck me as even more interesting was how Professor Gaurav Khanna had created this super computer from now derelict Playstation 3 consoles. Being now part of the game industry, I was all too familiar with the transition of Playstation fans to the new flagship, the Playstation 4, and had myself done a few experiments to understand the potential uses for the no-doubt countless number of old Playstation 3's likely going to the trash. One such experiment involved a private venture to explore and understand the Bitcoin craze of 2013, a venture that ultimately proved fruitless but left me in possession of not just several Playstations, but all also a large collection of what I had deemed a more effective array of server computers. Now that bitcoin has come and gone for the hobbyist farmer, Professor Khanna and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has provided me an opportunity to join those explorers I once grew up with, if only in my own small way."
The donor of the smaller system chose to stay anonymous; the university respects their privacy and therefore will not comment on any further details.
Prof. Sigal Gottlieb, the Director of the CSCVR remarks on how the donation would impact the research productivity of the Center: "The new computational cluster will be a tremendous addition to the resources of the CSCVR. The new system will triple the computational power available to us, significantly increasing our research abilities. All CSCVR members, and our students, will benefit from this valuable computational tool as we continue to expand the scope and range of the computational problems we are attacking."
Moreover, multiple new faculty that are joining the university would also be able to utilize the same resources to jump start their research programs. In the long run, the large computational resources of the CSCVR will help attract top talent (both faculty and students) to the campus and thus strongly enhance the campus’ research profile. College of Engineering and Campus’ IT services have worked hard and supplied resources to accommodate this significant sized supercomputer, and are committed towards ensuring full utilization of the system.
The CSCVR provides undergraduate and graduate students with educational experiences in supercomputing and fosters collaborative research in the computational sciences within the university and with researchers at other universities, national labs, and industry. Khanna serves as associate director of the Center.
Dr. Vanni Bucci, Assistant Professor of Biology and CSCVR faculty, is Principal Investigator for a recent grant: federal award number 1458347 from the National Science Foundation for "ABI Innovation: A new computational framework for the prediction of microbiome dynamics".
April 1, 2015
Dr. Vanni Bucci, Assistant Professor of Biology and CSCVR faculty, is Principal Investigator for a recent award from the National Institutes of Health to apply Big Data for the treatment of infectious diseases. See the full press release for details.
AFOSR Young Investigator Research Program award
January 21, 2015
CSCVR faculty member Dr. Akil Narayan has been awarded a Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) grant for a project titled "Optimal and unstructured high-order non-intrusive approximations for uncertain parameterized simulations". YIP grants are awarded to "foster creative basic research in science and engineering; enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators; and increase opportunities for the young investigator to recognize the Air Force mission and related challenges in science and engineering".
Prof. Gaurav Khanna featured in the New York Times
December 23, 2014
Gaurav Khanna, Associate Professor in the Physics Department and Associate Director of the Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research (CSCVR), is featured in a New York Times article for his work. Dr. Khanna's research features the construction of PlayStation-powered supercomputers, and their use in black hole simulations.
UMass HPC Day held on November 14 at the ATMC
September 24, 2014
UMass HPC day is a showcase of computational research within the UMass system, featuring speakers from five UMass schools, and industry leaders. The event is organized by the CSCVR, and will be held at the ATMC on the UMass Dartmouth campus.
All are welcome but registration (free) is required. More information can be found on the CSCVR site: Link
The RC5 cryptography challenge (Wikipedia) was originally started by RSA Laboratories as a worldwide contest to decode a cipher by finding the secret cryptographic key using a brute-force approach. The 72-bit version of the same contest continues today, conducted by distributed.net -- one of the oldest open public distributed computing projects on the internet.
Professor Gaurav Khanna of the Physics Department and associate director of the Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research (CSCVR), and computer technician Glenn Volkema, have built a novel supercomputer using consumer video-gaming components (over a hundred Sony PlayStations and multiple AMD Radeon graphics-cards) that has enabled the campus' rank to soar to the absolute top of the RC5-72 contest participant list (link).
This unique system is generating approximately 50 billion keys per second and is slated to have a 1 in 10 chance for winning the contest all by itself!
The supercomputer has been built to study various astrophysical problems associated to binary black hole systems and gravitational radiation. Physics Department graduate students, Tyler Spilhaus and William Duff are already utilizing the system extensively for their research projects in this context. In addition, Computer and Information Science major, Violet Pfeiffer will be using the system to study different aspects of cryptography and cybersecurity.
Black hole simulations featured on Space.com
August 27, 2014
Space.com has published an article featuring CSCVR Associate Director Gaurav Khanna's research. Dr. Khanna's work focuses on using computational methods for astrophysics, and seeks to understand how black holes interact with other stars and other black holes.
See the full Space.com story about Dr. Khanna's work, which incorporates high-performance supercomputers, advanced computational algorithms, and state-of-the-art astrophysical modeling.
Sung Hoon Kim earns Ph.D.
June 30, 2014
Sung Hoon Kim is the receipient of the first Engineering and Applied Sciences Ph.D. from UMassD under direction of Physcis Professor Jong-Ping Hsu.
Dr. Kim's thesis is entitled "Investigation of the Graviton Self-Energy with General Gauge in Yang-Mills Gravity". See the full press release for details.
NSF research award
July 12, 2013
Principal Investigator Akil Narayan and Co-Principal Investigator Alfa Heryudono are recipients of federal award number 1318427 from the National Science Foundation for "Computation of crowded geodesics on the universal Teichmüller space for planar shape matching in computer vision".
NSF collaborative research award
July 12, 2013
Principal Investigator Mehdi Raessi is the recipient of federal award number 1336232 from the National Science Foundation for "Collaborative Research: Analysis and design of textured super-hydrophobic surfaces capable of preventing ice formation on wind turbine blades".
UMass Science and Technology grant
July 15, 2013
Principal Investigator Sigal Gottlieb, in collaboration with faculty at UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell, UMass Amherst, and MIT, has been awarded a grant for "Simulation and Visualization Approaches to Big Data". The award in the amount of $150,000 was made by the UMass President. Full announcement: http://www.massachusetts.edu/news/news.cfm?mode=detail&news_id=2222
Fall 2013 CSCVR Workshop
August 9, 2013
The Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization announces a fall workshop presenting advances in scientific computing at UMassD. The workshop is scheduled for September 17, and September 24, 2013 and will be held in Textiles 105. Details are available on the workshop webpage.
AFRL grants CSCVR Sony PlayStations for Computational Research
August 26, 2013
The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) at Rome, NY has granted UMass Dartmouth's new Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research (CSCVR) four full racks (176 units) of Sony PlayStation 3s for research computing. UMass Dartmouth pioneered the use of PS3s for astrophysics research back in 2007 when Prof. Khanna of the Physics Dept. created a compute cluster of 16 PS3s and ran his black hole research simulations at supercomputer-level performance. In 2011, the US Air Force commissioned a similar, but much larger system (1,760 PS3s) called CONDOR for a wide range of military and academic uses.
Under a federal CRADA agreement, AFRL has now granted a portion of CONDOR to UMass Dartmouth for further exploration of such novel computational technologies for the purposes of scientific high-performance computing. See some pictures of the cluster: Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3. For more details, see The PS3 Gravity Grid.
Workshop: Pseudopack and WENO-pack
February 26, 2014
The CSCVR announces a workshop series for the software packages Pseudopack and WENO-pack. The workshop will be held on March 5 and 6, 2014, and will be facilitated by Professor Wai Sun Don from the Ocean University of China. Details can be found on the workshop homepage
CSCVR students bound for graduate school
March 31, 2014
Andrew Davey, recipient of the Ben L. Fryrear Fellowship in Computational Science, will pursue graduate studies at The Colorado School of Mines.
Ed McClain will pursue graduate studies in numerical relativity in the Astrophysics program at Louisiana State University.
Sidafa Conde named XSEDE Scholar
April 17, 2014
Sidafa Conde, a CSCVR graduate student, has been named a 2014-2015 XSEDE scholar.
XSEDE scholars are awarded support to hone research skills in high-performance and scientific computing.
Supercomputers at the CSCVR to study black holes and cybersecurity
June 23, 2014
Associate Professor Gaurav Khanna builds low-cost supercomputer, performance comparable to nearly 3000 processor-cores of typical laptop or desktop.
Physics professor and CSCVR associate director Gaurav Khanna has built an extremely low-cost supercomputer using 176 Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) gaming consoles installed in a refrigerated shipping container "reefer" of large cooling capability on the UMassD campus. The PS3 cluster is currently being used by UMass Dartmouth's Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research (CSCVR) to perform large and complex calculations in the context of black hole astrophysics, and also explore vulnerabilities in cybersecurity. See the full press release for details.
NSF Research award
July 12, 2014
Principal investigator Gaurav Khanna is the recipient of federal award number 1414440 from the National Science Foundation for "An Evaluation of Video-Gaming Technologies for Scientific High-Performance Computing in Gravitational Physics".
NSF Research award
July 31, 2014
Principal investigator Bo Dong is the recipient of federal award number 1419029 from the National Science Foundation for "Development of superconvergent hybridizable discontinuous Galerkin methods and mixed methods for Korteweg-de Vries type equations".
NSF Research award
July 22, 2014
Principal investigator Cheng Wang is the recipient of federal award number 1418689 from the National Science Foundation for "Highly efficient and accurate numerical schemes for nonlinear gradient flows with energy stability".
NSF collaborative research award
July 6, 2014
Principal investigator Mazdak Tootkaboni is the receipt of federal award number 1401575 from the National Science Foundation for "Collaborative Research: Optimal Design of Flaw-tolerant Structures and Material Microarchitectures via Stochastic Topology Optimization."
NSF CAREER Award
March 6, 2014
CSCVR faculty member Dr. Mazdak Tootkaboni has been awarded an NSF CAREER grant, federal award number 1351742 for "CAREER: Predictive Analysis of Stability-Critical Structures: an Uncertainty-Informed Path from Measurements to Theory." CAREER Awards are the "National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations."