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November 2020 | Science Highlights, Announcements & Upcoming Events
XSEDE helps the nation's most creative minds discover breakthroughs and solutions for some of the world's greatest scientific challenges. Through free, customized access to the National Science Foundation's advanced digital resources, consulting, training, and mentorship opportunities, XSEDE enables you to Discover More. Get started here.
Science Highlights
Sipping from the fire hose
XSEDE GPU resources help WVU scientists create AI package to make thousands of fast radio burst candidates manageable by human experts
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) puzzle astronomers. They're so brief—lasting only a few thousandths of a second—that scientists haven't quite been able to identify their points of origin or how they are generated. Using the GPU nodes of the XSEDE-allocated Bridges supercomputing platform at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), a team from West Virginia University created a package of artificial intelligence (AI) programs that can sift through the thousands of FRB candidates expected to be detected in upcoming surveys quickly enough for astronomers to figure out where to point their telescopes to learn more.
This artist's impression represents the path of the fast radio burst FRB 181112 traveling from a distant host galaxy to reach the Earth. Credit: European Southern Observatory/M. Kornmesser.
Supercomputer enables 3-D models of fresh water plastic pollution
Detailed simulations of Lake Erie's invasive plastic particles made possible by XSEDE allocations
The transport of nine types of plastics floating in Lake Erie was modeled in two studies that used the XSEDE-allocated Comet supercomputer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) to compare a two-dimensional model with a new Great Lakes microplastic dataset and then develop the first ever three-dimensional mass estimate for plastic in Lake Erie. The studies, which allowed the researchers to run three years of hydrodynamic simulations that drive the transport of plastic particles within Lake Erie, were recently published in Marine Pollution Bulletin and the Journal of Great Lakes Research by researchers from Pennsylvania State University at Behrend and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
The plastic concentration of Lake Erie is shown on a logarithmic scale, with light blue indicating lower concentrations and dark purple higher concentrations. Credit: M. Hoffman (Rochester Institute of Technology), S. Mason (Pennsylvania State University at Behrend).
Galactic archaeology
XSEDE-allocated supercomputers dig into first star fossils
The first stars are hypothesized to have formed about 100 million years after the Big Bang out of universal darkness from the primordial gases of hydrogen, helium, and trace light metals. These gases cooled, collapsed, and ignited into stars up to 1,000 times more massive than our sun. The bigger the star, the faster they burn out. The first stars probably only lived a few million years, a drop in the bucket of the age of the universe, at about 13.8 billion years. They're unlikely to ever be observed, lost to the mists of time.
However, thanks to allocations from XSEDE, these first stars are being simulated by supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC).
Animation shows the enrichment process of carbon and iron from the supernova of a first-generation of star of 50 solar masses. Credit: Chiaki, et al.
Supercomputer calculations boost understanding of immune system
SDSC team uses XSEDE allocations to assist Vanderbilt University Human Vaccines Project
While researchers around the world race to develop an effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine, a team from the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego contributed to a study led by Vanderbilt Vaccine Center of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) on T cell receptors, which play a vital role in alerting the adaptive immune system to mount an attack on invading foreign pathogens including the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Thanks to an XSEDE allocation, SDSC's Comet was recently used to perform complex calculations on the receptor sequence data from sorted human T cells to allow scientists to better understand the size and diversity receptor repertoire in healthy individuals.
Overview of T cell receptor clonotype sharing between three healthy Caucasian subjects. Comparison to simulated data shows that the degree of overlap is more than two orders of magnitude greater than what would be expected by chance. Credit: San Diego Supercomputer Center and Vanderbilt University.
Machine learning helps plasma physics researchers understand turbulence transport
XSEDE-allocated simulations reveal new insights that could advance fusion energy use
UC San Diego physics researchers used XSEDE-allocated Comet supercomputer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) to develop a new model for plasma turbulence that uses recent advances in machine learning techniques. Those new techniques use computational models that automatically learn patterns from data instead of having to be programmed. These types of fundamental physics studies have the potential to greatly influence the future of fusion energy research, which in turn assists with the future of generating electricity in novel ways.
This snapshot of vorticity and turbulence density from a simulation using the XSEDE-allocated Comet supercomputer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center illustrates a notable physics concept: the formation of zonal (i.e. y-direction) structures, which have important consequences for magnetic confinement devices. Credit: Robin Heinonen, University of California San Diego Center for Energy Research
Community Announcements
Application deadline extended for Bridges-2 Early User Program
Due to delays in the delivery schedule, the Bridges-2 Early User Program (EUP) is now expected to start at the beginning of January 2021. Applications to the EUP are accepted through the XSEDE Resource Allocation System (RAS) until November 25, 2020. The Bridges-2 Early User Program (EUP) is a 30 day opportunity for researchers to port, tune and optimize applications early, and to make progress on research. Application instructions may be found at the link below.
Interested in developing a sustainability strategy for your gateway?
Apply by November 23 for one of the Science Gateway Community Institute's most popular programs, Gateway Focus Week. This year, SGCI is offering the full curriculum for FOCUS WEEK in a new format: online, over the course of two weeks, November 30 - December 10. The curriculum includes all of the core topics taught during the in-person workshop, including time to receive feedback from instructors and peers. Attendees may either register to attend the full workshop or attend sessions "a la carte."
Globus celebrates 10 years of connecting the research universe at SC20
Attend a Globus presentation, swing by the Globus booth, hear about the latest connector, join a live video chat, win a free t-shirt and much more at SC20. 
State of the Practice Talk: Scalable Data Management for National Facilities Using the Modern Research Data Portal (Nov. 17 – 11 a.m. ET)
Exhibitor Forum Talk: Programmatic Automation and Accessibility of Research Data Through Data Portals and Gateways in the Exascale Era (Nov. 18 11 a.m. ET)
Globus Connecting the Research Universe mini-series:
Globus and iRODS (Nov. 17 2 p.m. ET ) 
Globus and Caringo (Nov. 18 2 p.m. ET) 
Globus and Spectra Logic (Nov. 18 4 p.m. ET)
Globus and Google Cloud (Nov. 19 12 noon ET) 
Globus and Wasabi (Nov. 19 2 p.m. ET)
See link below for more details on Globus at SC20 and to join the mini-series.
PEARC seeking communications team volunteers
The PEARC21 conference will be held Sunday, July 18 through Thursday, July 22, 2021. Whether in-person or online, PEARC relies on community members and volunteers to provide expertise in a variety of areas to create the best possible experience for our community. PEARC gives back to its volunteers by offering an exciting way to get involved in the technical community and by opening doors to people and experiences that can support your professional career. The Communications team seeks volunteers in the areas of graphic design and website development. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the form at the link below.
Upcoming Dates and Deadlines