Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Receives HPCwire Awards for Work on SGI Supercomputer

Awards Recognize Outstanding Achievements in Science and Technology by “Blacklight” Supercomputer

Monday, Nov. 18, 2013

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) and its SGI supercomputer Blacklight have received top national honors in two categories of the 2013 HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards. HPCwire, the trade publication for the high performance computing (HPC) community, announced the winners at the start of the Opening Reception at the 2013 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC13), in Denver, Colorado.


PSC’s work with Blacklight has received:

Readers’ Choice Awards

Selected by vote of HPCwire’s readership

  • Best use of HPC in Life Sciences
    Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and SGI “Blacklight” – Blacklight has helped researchers overcome limitations in complex DNA and RNA sequencing tasks, identifying expressed genes in nonhuman primates, petroleum-digesting soil microorganisms and bacterial enzymes that may help convert non-food crops into usable biofuels.

Editors’ Choice Awards

Selected by HPCwire editors

  • Best use of HPC in Financial Services
    XSEDE, PSC’s SGI “Blacklight” and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) Cray “Gordon”– Earlier work on Blacklight enabled researchers to prove that high-volume automated traders were exploiting market reporting rules to make “invisible” trades that manipulated the markets. In October, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ changed their rules to close this loophole. Current work with Blacklight and the SDSC’s Gordon, through the National Science Foundation’s XSEDE network of supercomputing centers, seeks to make moment-by-moment analysis of market activity possible for regulators.

“We are delighted that PSC’s impact on so many diverse areas has been recognized by these distinguished awards,” says Ralph Roskies, PSC scientific director.

“These awards are a testimony to the dedicated work of our staff in systems, networking, user support, genomics, public health and graph analytics,” adds Michael Levine, PSC scientific director.

Blacklight is an SGI® Altix® UV1000 cc-NUMA shared-memory system with 4,096 cores and 32 Terabytes of shared memory. This makes it the largest shared-memory supercomputer in the world available for unclassified research. Blacklight is particularly useful for a growing number of Big Data problems limited by memory rather than processing speed.

“The research and progress Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center has accomplished with SGI Blacklight is truly exciting,” says Jorge Titinger, president and CEO of SGI. “Big Data is transforming the medical field like never before – we are at a point in history where complex analysis and computing can transform the way we look at genetics and the world we inhabit. We’re honored that SGI technology is pushing the limitation of traditional data research to extract the next generation of medical insights and innovative breakthroughs, even serving as a catalyst of change for financial responsibility within the stock markets. SGI is pioneering and finding answers to difficult questions, enabling high performance computing to be at the forefront of this financial evolution.”

 The highly coveted HPCwire Readers’ Choice and Editors’ Choice Awards winners are selected by a polling of HPCwire’s global audience for the Readers’ Choice, combined with winners selected by a panel of editors, staff executives and HPC luminaries for the Editor’s Choice. The formal presentation of the awards takes place during the week of the Supercomputing Conference each year, which focuses upon high performance computing, hardware, software, networking, storage, and scientific breakthroughs. Widely recognized as one of the most prestigious awards presented during the conference, the awards honor demonstrated excellence and outstanding technological advancements achieved by the HPC community.

 “It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to publically recognize the organizations and individuals whose hard work, dedication, and efforts over the past year have contributed to scientific discoveries and new breakthroughs in emerging technologies that will benefit mankind,” says Tom Tabor, CEO of Tabor Communications Inc. “The awards represent the highest level of recognition given by the high performance computing community to its own for their contributions to the advancement of science and technology. Our warmest congratulations go out to all the recipients of this year’s awards.”

A complete list of award winners is available on the HPCwire.com website.