This means Reading is not only at the forefront of the most accurate research into air pollution modelling, climate change, financial modelling, drug discovery, computational biology and meteorology, but now leads the strategic field of computational science.
Chris Guy, head of Systems Engineering at the University said: “This powerful supercomputer will vastly improve the capability of the University of Reading scientists and others to model many aspects of our world, including such things as climate change, novel drugs and financial markets.
“More accurate predictions in each of these areas, as a result of better modelling, will enable us to make real changes to people’s lives by, for example, showing where flood defences should be built or speeding up the development of life-saving drugs.
“The ACET Centre, School of Systems Engineering and the University is very proud to be able to offer these services to the academic community. Our students will greatly benefit by school staff being at the forefront of world-leading research with so many exciting and challenging applications.”
Thanks to a massive upgrade, the University’s Advanced Computing and Emerging Technologies (ACET) Centre IBM supercomputer is now the most powerful academic computer in Britain, and the second most powerful computer in the UK overall – second only to the supercomputer at nearby AWE in Aldermaston.
Since 1999, IBM has had close links with Professor Vassil Alexandrov, the University’s leading expert on computational science and director of the University’s ACET Centre.
Professor Alexandrov said: “The possibilities of use for this computer are endless. In addition to the advance of computational science, we will be at the cutting edge of giving more precise pollution predictions, speeding up the design of lifesaving drugs, investigating scenarios in climate change and thus making real changes to people’s well being.”
Media contact: Chris Guy on +44 (0) 118 378 8757
The University has upgraded its IBM Blade Centre with 700 JS21 blades, equipped with 3040 IBM PowerPC 970 processor cores each running at 2.3 GHz clock speed with a theoretical peak performance (Rpeak) of 27.97 TFlops, all connected via a Myrinet Interconnect, reaching a measured performance (Rmax) of 19.04 TFlops using the Linpack benchmark, and ranks 36th in the June 2007 top500 list of the biggest supercomputers in the world. This system has access to a 60 TByte storage solution.
OCF, the UK’s premier High Performance Computing (HPC) integrator, is responsible for the design, technology supply, installation and configuration of the entire compute cluster solution.
The compute cluster is a significant upgrade to the earlier system which is still in use at the University and currently ranks 483rd fastest in the world. The design, installation and configuration of this earlier system was also by OCF.Lucy Ferguson
Lucy Ferguson | University of Reading
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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