High Performance Computing

the way science is working now is being transformed by new technologies including imaging including cryo-em including genomics and this era of big science really it's required to be supported with the tools that you need for big data and that includes high-performance computing and informatics we're creating a center that will have three focused areas high performance computing bioinformatics and data Sciences we knew we needed to get started with high performance computing because that's really the foundational layer high performance computing is the use of large collections or clusters of computers that are very tightly integrated and orchestrated to provide orders of magnitude more computing power than you get out of an individual desktop or laptop or workstation in the lab high performance computing and in silico methods allow scientists to observe model and predict natural phenomena and to replicate this environment within the computer and move their science ahead much more quickly than they would have if they didn't have access to a computing environment this is Rockefellers new high performance computing cluster the nerve center for the computational and analytical resources for Rockefeller scientists is able to support over 50 trillion calculations per second what's unique about our new data center is that it's the first data center a Rockefeller that will be built specifically and only for scientific computation as we build our systems were borrowing very heavily from modern best practices from cloud computing so we can use the cloud what we need to but we also have an on-campus data center that's specifically crafted and tuned for our scientific community fundamentally it's supporting the way science is done in the current era we want to make sure we optimize that with the best people on the ground the best resources our researchers are really engaged they're speaking to us every day about adding new resources and new capabilities and have nearly doubled our institutional investments we use the HPC in our lab as structural biologists the current technique of interest in our lab is cryo-electron microscopy or cryo a.m. we take several thousands a different micrographs of a protein image and then we want to take this TV image and ultimately reconstruct it to a 3d model can break that job down into several dozens or hundreds or thousands of different computer jobs that we can do simultaneously so the HPC greatly benefits our timeline for getting from A to D image of our protein to ultimately a 3d model what I do day to day is look at how virus populations evolve under different conditions we can see all of the genetic mutations at once by using computers to look through billions of DNA bases and very rapidly make conclusions about virus evolution virus genetics this would not be possible without high-performance computing educational components around HPC will employ a number of different modalities of course we'll have websites and tutorials and guides online we'll run workshops as well where everyone brings their laptop and we can actually do some hands-on work I really like working with students and postdocs because they're the boots on the ground facing the day-to-day challenges if I understand what they're up against we can teach them better and we can make sure that the systems are evolving to meet their future needs what Rockefeller encourages and engages is cutting-edge risk-taking science there were lots of drivers saying now was the right time ranging from the recruitment of the current batch of faculty who more and more come in and ask what are your capacities in HPC and bioinformatics and data storage and in computational Sciences in general as well as our existing faculty in need of a partner in computational sciences HPC as well as the other computational resources are mission-critical to the University in this day and age the reason is that this is where the science is the science requires the computational resources and the computational complements so if we want to continue what we've been doing so successfully for 115 years that is science for the benefit of humanity the time is now to invest in these computational resources they're required to do the brightest and the best and the biggest science to support the best faculty on the planet

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