Astrophysics and materials sciences are just two disciplines at Penn State that will benefit from a new million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation
The Penn State Cyber-Laboratory for Astronomy, Materials and Physics (CyberLAMP) has acquired a new hybrid high-performance computer (HPC) cluster through a $920,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The supercomputer cluster, which will run a mix of processors “will provide Penn State researchers with over 3,200 CPU and Xeon Phi cores, as well as 1010 GPUs, a significant increase in the computing power [currently] available at Penn State” said Yuexing Li, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics and the project’s principal investigator.
The new cluster is currently being set up in the new data center at Penn State and is expected to be operational by May, Li said in an email. While the NSF is largely funding the new HPC cluster, Penn State is contributing an additional $394,581 to the project.
Penn State researchers from across five broad research groups will use the new system. Astronomers, for example, will use it to broaden the search for Earth-like planets and better understand the physics of the universe, a Penn State press release said.
“The CyberLAMP team performs sophisticated simulations to study the formation of planetary systems and the universe,” said co-principal investigator Eric Ford, a Penn State professor of astronomy and astrophysics and the deputy director of the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds. “The CyberLAMP cluster will enable simulations with greater realism to investigate mysteries such as how Earth-like planets form and to probe the nature of dark energy.”
Furthermore, researchers from Penn State’s Material Research Institute will use the new cluster to perform simulations to help design and develop next-generation materials, while Penn State’s Institute for CyberScience will use the new system for Big Data analytics and computer simulations, the release said.
Through the NSF grant, the university will provide training and HPC access to students and young researchers nationwide, increase participation of women and underrepresented minority students in cyberscience as well as partner with industry on materials research, the release said.