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Collaborations in Computational Science & Engineering

This exhibit is still in development.

Whether unravelling the inner workings of atoms or the evolution of the universe, scientists and engineers are today relying increasingly on computation to complement observation and theory. Dramatic advances in computing and commmunications technologies continue to accelerate the pace of scientific research as well its applications. As the problems being tackled deepen in scale and complexity, collaboration is becoming no longer a matter of choice but necessity.

Here's a sampling of the major scientific collaborations that NCSA is leading or supporting.

The National MetaCenter

In September 1992, the four National Science Foundation-funded supercomputing centers announced the formation of a National MetaCenter for Computational Science & Engineering. Goals of this cooperative effort included upgrading network links among the centers, creating a national archival storage system, and building the national file system, as well as plan joint research and development in many facets of high performance computing and communications technology. The NSF centers continue to participate in many joint projects, and have extended their collaborations to a number of regional science and technology centers.

Grand Challenge Alliance

Physicists and computer scientists at nine major research universities in the U.S. have teamed up to solve a fundamental problem in General Relativity: how to solve, in three dimensions, the mathematical equations determining the behavior of two black holes as they spiral towards each other and merge. Colliding black holes are among the most promising sources for generating gravitational waves which scientists hope to detect in the next decade.

Radiosynthesis Imaging Grand Challenge

Radio astronomers and computer scientists are employing a radio telescope array in Northern California in order to help forge the computational infrastructure for the astronomy of the 21st century. The goal is to enable researchers to observe on faraway telescopes, rapidly compute images and analyze their data -- all of this collaboratively and regardless of location.

Cosmology Grand Challenge

Modern scientific evidence indicates that the universe is not eternal, but rather began in a cosmic explosion named the Big Bang some fifteen billion years ago. Within a billion years after this extraordinary event, galaxies such as our own Milky Way galaxy began condensing out of the expanding primordial gas. Funded by the National Science Foundations, the Grand Challenge Cosmology Consortium is a "Grand Challege" project devoted to harnessing the power of advanced computers to answer one of the most fundamental questions in the physical sciences: what is the origin of large scale structure in the universe, and how do galaxies form?

Laboratory for Computational Physics

As a joint venture between the National Science Foundation, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and the Department of Astronomy at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the Laboratory for Computational Physics' mission is to develop and disseminate techniques and software for general-purpose simulations of astrophysical phenomena, including but not limited to star evolution, galaxy dynamics and cosmology.

Computational Fluid Dynamics

How does sand spread on the ocean floor? What determines the patterns of airflow over a jet's wings? These are but two of the varied questions being asked by a group of scientists at the University of Illinois and at Louisana State University working the the field of computational fluid dynamics or CFD. Employing powerful computers to simulate mathematically the behavior of fluids, the scientists are applying their skills and knowledge to diverse fields in basic research and industry.

Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences

Modelling thunderstorms, tornados and other severe weather phenomena is the business of the NCSA's Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences Group. Working in collaboration with Texas A & M University and other institutions, including NASA, these researchers are pioneering advanced computational tools and techniques in order to understand and better predict the weather.

Spatial Ecological Modelling

The Geographic Modeling Systems Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was formed "as an interdisciplinary association of academic and research organizations involved in the design and development of advanced tools for geographical modeling in urban and environmental systems." Computer modelling of hydrological and geological processes, species diversity and human development activities can help improve decision making in the management of environmental and human resources.

Mathematics and Computer Science

NCSA's MCS Group focuses on the development of parallel and scalable computing algorithms and architectures in an effort to accelerate technology transfer between NCSA and the national academic and industrial parallel processing communities. In one major collaboration (Scalable Libraries Project), six leading research campuses have combined efforts to produce software for computationally-intensive algebreic calculations, with diverse applications in science and engineering.

Computational Biology

Researchers at NCSA and other departments at the University of Illinois are collaborating with University of Houston scientists in developing and testing computational procedures and software to model the dynamic behavior of large biological molecules. Other areas of active investigation include cell membrane biophysics, cell physiology, biological databases, the applications of intelligent systems for protein structure prediction, and the use of computer models in teaching.

Theorietical Biophysics & Structural Biology

At the University of Illinois' Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the Theorietical Biophysics Group, in collaboration with researchers in academia and industry across the U.S. and the world, investigates the structure and function of large biomolecules, particularly proteins and DNA in an effort to understand their dynamic behavior. The group is also pioneering new techniques in computer modelling and visualization as applied to the study of biological structures.

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Copyright, (c) 1995: Board of Trustees, University of Illinois

NCSA. Last modified 11/25/95.