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ORAU Seeks Proposals for New High-Performance Computing Grants

Grants Will Provide University Researchers Access to Lab’s Supercomputing Capabilities

July 18, 2008

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) just announced a call for proposals for a series of high-performance computing grants that would allow faculty and student research teams the opportunity to participate in research with the benefit of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) computing resources and staff. The competitive grant program, open to ORAU’s member institutions, provides potential funding of up to $75,000 for three years, allowing participant teams the opportunity to take full advantage of ORNL’s ultrascale computing resources for scientific discovery in any discipline.

The ORAU/ORNL High-Performance Computing Grant Program kicks off at a time when ORNL prepares to reach petascale computing on the order of 1,000 trillion calculations per second over the coming year. It presents an opportunity for university researchers to expand their existing research initiatives and demonstrate alignment with ORNL’s cross-cutting science agenda as it relates to computing and the computational sciences.

“Expanding on a legacy of support for faculty and student programs, ORAU has initiated this new grant program to create a mutually beneficial arrangement in which university researchers can enjoy access to state-of-the-art computing resources,” said ORAU President Ron Townsend. “It’s an opportunity that wouldn’t be possible without the support and encouragement we’re receiving from ORNL. Thomas Zacharia and other individuals at the lab have built an impressive computational capability here at Oak Ridge, and it is our goal to provide opportunities for faculty and staff to become more intimately engaged in that resource.”

Thomas Zacharia, who is associate laboratory director for ORNL’s Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate, noted that having joint collaborations with universities in computing is absolutely critical for advances in science.

“Close collaborations with students and faculty engaged in leading-edge research offer the best opportunity for breakthrough science. If we can bring the best of what the laboratory has to offer, coupled with the best of what the university community has to offer,” said Zacharia, “there is no limit to what can be achieved.  “We have a tremendous partner in ORAU for engaging graduate, undergraduate, postdoctoral students and faculty in scientific discovery through advanced computing.”

By the end of 2008, ORNL will deploy the Cray XT5 supercomputer, which is a 1 petaflops leadership-class system for science. And by 2018, the lab expects to have an exaflops system in place, which would be a thousand times faster than the petaflops Cray system. This kind of exponential growth of supercomputing allows the U.S. to sustain a competitive edge and superiority in science and technology. ORNL’s supercomputing capabilities will make scientific discovery possible for university faculty and students in the areas of superconductivity, computational biology, climate, combustion, astrophysics, and fusion, to name a few.

Deadline to submit a proposal is Sept. 19, 2008, with grantees expected to be announced in November. For more information, please see the ORAU/ORNL High Performance Computing Grant Program page.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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