Projects in Scientific Computing

Foreword from the Directors

Photo of Ralph Roskies and Michael Levine

Ralph Roskies and Michael Levine, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

This past year has been one of remarkable achievement for the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. The National Science Foundation chose PSC as the site of what will become the world’s most powerful unclassified supercomputer, to be built in collaboration with Compaq Corporation (Big Iron in the Steel City). The National Institutes of Health renewed, for five more years, funding for PSC’s biomedical Research Resource (Biomedical Supercomputing). The Department of Energy’s newest national laboratory, the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), based in Pittsburgh and Morgantown, West Virginia, expanded its partnership with PSC and regional universities to speed the development of next generation turbines (Super Computing Science Consortium). The National Science Foundation also awarded PSC’s networking group a major grant to improve the efficacy of computer networks ( Networking the Future). These awards are all testimony to the talents of PSC’s staff.

This booklet marks the 15th year in which PSC has documented how it advances science and engineering in the nation through the application of capability computing, large-scale data processing, and high-performance networking. This past year PSC has also increasingly applied its technological capabilities to regional economic development, through its work with NETL, and its work with Pennsylvania corporations. In the HUBS project ( Infrastructure for Telemedicine), PSC has begun a partnership with the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to apply high-performance computing and communication to improving health care. PSC extended its outreach by working with Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Science Center to develop a museum show on the Human Brain which has been seen by thousands of school children and their parents.

The examples presented in this year’s booklet demonstrate the variety of PSC’s activity: Research on muscle proteins (Rude Mechanicals), on HIV (Getting a Grip on AIDS) and on pathology(An Objective View of Cancer) illustrate biomedical research supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Research Resources. Research on advanced turbine simulation (Clean Power) and fluidized-bed combustion illustrate the contributions of PSC to NETL’s mission, both in large-scale computing and in advanced communication. Reports in advanced areas of chemistry and physics — superacids (Getting the Jump on Superacids) and general relativity (The Dance of Two Black Holes) — illustrate how support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has advanced the research of Pennsylvania scientists, and improved their ability to compete for national funds.

PSC is striding into the new millennium with a new sense of mission and conviction that its efforts are vital to transforming science and engineering. And the best is yet to come.

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with the Westinghouse Electric Company. It was established in 1986 and is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry.

© Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.