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Michael Mewhinney                                                                                                                                                     Nov. 10, 2003

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.                                                                             

Phone: 650/604-3937 or 650/604-9000







NASA's cutting-edge research in high-performance computing will be showcased at an upcoming seven-day conference in Phoenix.


"Igniting Innovation" is the theme of SC2003, the international Conference of High Performance Computing and Networking, scheduled Nov. 15-21 at the Phoenix Civic Center Plaza Convention Center.  Now in its 15th year, the conference will feature a variety of exhibits and presentations highlighting the latest technological developments in supercomputing.


"NASA has embarked on an ambitious reinvention of its high-end computing activities in support of its science and engineering missions," said Dr.Walter Brooks, chief of the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division at NASA Ames Research Center, located in California's Silicon Valley. "Recently, NASA's Earth Science Enterprise collaborated with the agency's Office of Aerospace Technology to build a series of supercomputer test beds dedicated to creating breakthrough capabilities to help science and engineering teams meet major challenges in atmospheric and ocean modeling and aerospace vehicles," Brooks added.


"For SC2003, we will use major advances in space shuttle and ocean modeling to highlight the integration of our largest supercomputers with advanced visualization methods and new techniques in data management," Brooks said.


This year, the conference's technical program will feature 60 technical papers, eight panel discussions and a series of "Masterworks" sessions.  The conference will also feature a series of tutorials on topics ranging from new programming tools to quantum information processing.


The 30-foot-by-40-foot NASA exhibit will showcase 25 demonstrations, and agency researchers will participate in numerous panel discussions on topics ranging from high-end computing performance modeling, to grid-based galaxy morphology. Scientists from five NASA centers will feature a variety of real-time and interactive demonstrations of the latest research in computational applications serving NASA's aerospace, Earth science and space science missions. 


Featured at NASA's SC2003 display will be a demonstration highlighting the supercomputing support provided by Ames and other NASA field centers for the STS-107 accident investigation, including computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes, as well as modeling and analysis of the Space Shuttle Columbia and debris trajectories.


Another NASA demonstration, "Extending Grid Computing to Remote Locations Using the Information Power Grid," will show how NASA is using the grid for geological exploration and other scientific discoveries.  In cooperation with NASA Ames and geologists from the University of Cincinnati and Bowling Green State University, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, has extended the computational capabilities of the Information Power Grid to remote research sites.


The combination of satellite data acquisition and the Information Power Grid processing provides geologists with the ability to identify the key mineralogical features at the research site.  The underlying connectivity for this research environment is provided by the NASA Research and Education Network using a combination of terrestrial and mobile satellite-based networking solutions.  The research not only speeds up the process of scientific discovery, but also serves as a simple demonstration of NASA's capacity for geological classification and exploration of remote sites, such as the surface of Mars.


Another demonstration, "Earth System, Modeling Framework," highlights a national-scale collaboration between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and universities to build a software infrastructure that enables weather and climate model components from different researchers to operate together on parallel computers.  The framework not only reduces redundant programming, but it also enables comparison of models based on alternative scientific approaches, ultimately improving predictive capabilities.


SC2003 is sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group for Architecture and by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Computer Society.  For more information about the conference, see:





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