Registration open, technical program released for SC14 in New Orleans — Nov. 16-21

Online registration for the 2014 International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, better known as SC14, is now open on the SC14 website. SC14’s Technical Program is also now live on the website listing  panels, research papers, tutorials, and workshops.

SC14 will be held in New Orleans from November 16–21. With SC’s new theme, “HPC matters”, marking the 26th annual conference, organizers say SC14 attendees can expect a fresh look at high performance computing (HPC). SC14 will not only bring HPC’s emerging techniques and innovative applications to New Orleans, but they will also deliver a stronger message of just how much HPC impacts our lives, according to a conference press release.

Some opportunities remain for inclusion in the technical program, with a deadline of July 31 for submissions.

REMINDER: MICDE Symposium speakers include Ed Seidel, Leslie Greengard and Marc Snir — Nov. 6

The Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering Fall 2014 Research Computing Symposium will feature leaders in research computing, as well as preeminent University of Michigan scientists engaged in computationally intensive research.

Scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 6, in the Rackham Building, the symposium is the continuation of Cyberinfrastructure (CI) Days, which has been held at U-M since 2010.

Scheduled speakers are:

  • Edward Seidel, Director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    The Data-Enabled Revolution in Science and Society: A Need for National Data Services and Policy
  • Marc Snir, Director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory
    High Performance Computing: Exascale and Beyond
  • Leslie Greengard, Director, Simons Center for Data Analysis, Simons Foundation; Professor, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University
    Fast, Accurate Tools for Physical Modeling in Complex Geometry
  • Gonçalo Abecasis, Chair of the Biostatistics Department and Felix E. Moore Collegiate Professor of Biostatistics, U-M
    Biostatistics: Bringing Big Data to Genetics, Biology and Medicine
  • Sharon Glotzer, Stuart W. Churchill Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering; Professor of Material Science and Engineering, Macromolecular Science and Engineering, and Physics, U-M
    Discovery and Design of Digital Matter
  • Scott Page, Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems and Political Science; Professor of Economics; and Director, Center for the Study of Complex Systems, U-M.
    Diversity + Ability

Lunch will be provided; registration is highly recommended (seating is limited).

The event will also include a poster session, with a $500 first-place prize and two $250 honorable mention prizes, as voted on by attendees. Participants must sign up when they register for the symposium. Printing costs at Groundworks in the Duderstadt Center will be covered by MICDE. Details will be emailed to poster presenters. Posters from previous conferences can also be used.


8:30 – 9 a.m. Registration
9 – 9:15 a.m. Opening Remarks, Eric Michielssen, Associate Vice President – Advanced Research Computing
9:15 – 10:15 a.m. Edward Seidell, Director of NCSA
The Data-Enabled Revolution in Science and Society: A Need for National Data Services and Policy
10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Marc Snir, Argonne National Laboratory
High Performance Computing: Exascale and Beyond
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Lunch and Poster Session
1 – 2:15 p.m. TEDx-style talks by leading U-M researchers:

Gonçalo Abecasis, Felix E. Moore Collegiate Professor; Chair of the Biostatistics Department, School of Public Health
Biostatistics: Bringing Big Data to Genetics, Biology and MedicineSharon Glotzer, Stuart W. Churchill Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Material Science & Engineering, Macromolecular Science and Engineering, and Physics
Discovery and Design of Digital MatterScott Page, Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems and Political Science, professor of Economics, and Director of the Center for the Study of Complex Systems
Diversity + Ability
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Leslie Greengard, Simons Center for Data Analysis and NYU
Fast, Accurate Tools for Physical Modeling in Complex Geometry
3:30 p.m. Closing Remarks and Announcement of Poster Winners, Krishna Garikipati, Associate Director for Research, MICDE; Professor of Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering

For more details, visit the Research Computing Symposium page.

Call for Proposals for Allocations on Blue Water HPC System from Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation — Nov. 3 deadline

The Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation (GLCPC) has been allocated 3.5 million node hours (equivalent to approximately 50 Million core hours) annually as part of the Blue Waters project. This allocation provides the GLCPC member institutions with an unprecedented opportunity to advance their programs in computation, data, and visualization intensive research and education.

GLCPC is accepting calls for proposals for allocations through Nov. 3, 2014.

Details on Blue Waters can be found on its Web site.

Please read the call for proposals for details on how to apply for an allocation from GLCPC.

MICDE Seminar: Wolfgang Bangerth, Texas A&M, on Finite Element Methods at Realistic Complexities — Nov. 3

Finite Element Methods at Realistic Complexities 

4 – 5 p.m., November 3, 2014
EECS 1200

Abstract: Solving realistic, applied problems with the most modern numerical methods introduces many levels of complexity. In particular, one has to think about not just a single method, but a whole collection of algorithms: a single code may utilize fully adaptive, unstructured meshes; nonlinear, globalized solvers; algebraic multigrid and block preconditioners; and do all this on 1,000 processors or more with realistic material models.

Codes at this level of complexity can no longer be written from scratch. However, over the past decade, many high quality libraries have been developed that make writing advanced computational software simpler. In this talk, I will briefly introduce the deal.II finite element library ( whose development I lead and show how it has enabled us to develop the ASPECT code ( for simulation of convection in the earth mantle. I will discuss some of the results obtained with this code and comment on the lessons learned from developing this massively parallel code for the solution of a complex problem.

Bio: Wolfgang Bangerth is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Texas A&M University. He obtained a Ph.D from the University of Heidelberg. He is principal author of deal.II, a finite element software library written in C++, which is used by several hundred researchers around the world and is part of the computing industry standard SPEC CPU2006 benchmark. He is also principal author of ASPECT, and open source code for thermal convection with primary application to the simulation of convention in the Earth’s mantle.

Software quality assurance: static code analysis and coding standards (on-campus presentation by PRQA) — Oct. 29

Two tools that help finding and preventing software bugs are static code analysis and coding standards. Those tools are used in industries where reliability and flawless operation are critical, such as automotive, aerospace, and other industries where automated systems control essential operations and functions.

Programming Research (PRQA), a company that provides software-development quality-assurance tools used in automotive and aerospace industries will be giving a morning presentation on those topics and an afternoon demonstration of their tools on Wed., Oct 29, in the Duderstadt Center.

In the morning, PRQA and an industry representative will speak about existing coding standards, software quality-assurance practices, and software-engineering practices in industry.

In the afternoon, PRQA will give a product demonstration. Their software will be available for use, and participants will be able to ask questions of the PRQA engineer and the industry representative.

These topics should be of particular interest to those working in software engineering for automotive, aerospace, control systems, and other embedded systems applications.

Wednesday, Oct. 29

Morning Session: 9 – 11:30 a.m., 1180 Duderstadt Center

Afternoon Session: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m., 3358 Duderstadt Center

Open meetings for HPC users at U-M: Oct. 24, Nov. 14, Dec. 19

Users of high performance computing resources are invited to meet Flux operators and support staff in person at an upcoming user meeting:

  • Room 2001, LSA Building, October 24, 8;30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Room 2036, Palmer Commons, November 14, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Room 2695, SPH Building, December 19, 1 a.m. – noon

There is not a set agenda; come at anytime and stay as long as you please. You can come and talk about your use of any sort of computational resource, Flux, Nyx, XSEDE, or other.

Ask any questions you may have. The Flux staff will work with you on your specific projects, or just show you new things that can help you optimize your research.

This is also a good time to meet other researchers doing similar work.

This is open to anyone interested; it is not limited to Flux users.

Examples potential topics:

  • What Flux/ARC services are there, and how to access them?
  • How to make the most of PBS and learn its features specific to your work?
  • I want to do X, do you have software capable of it?
  • What is special about GPU/Xeon Phi/Accelerators?
  • Are there resources for people without budgets?
  • I want to apply for grant X, but it has certain limitations. What support can ARC provide?
  • I want to learn more about the compiler and debugging?
  • I want to learn more about performance tuning, can you look at my code with me?
  • Etc.

For more information, contact Brock Palen ( at the College of Engineering; Dr. Charles Antonelli ( at LSA; Jeremy Hallum ( at the Medical School; or Vlad Wielbut ( at SPH.

We are planning to hold similar meetings monthly.

Workshops on GIS to begin Oct. 21

LSA IT and the Clark Library are once again teaming up to offer a series of workshops covering a broad range of GIS topics, from introductory to the advanced level.  These workshops are open to all members of the University of Michigan Community (free registration required).  The tentative list of sessions is reproduced below, or you can visit the registration page for the most up-to-date information, as well as to register for the workshops

Date Session Title (Show Descriptions)
Tue, 10/21
2-3:30 pm
Web GIS: ArcGIS Online (AGOL)
Tue, 10/21
3:30-5 pm
Intro to GIS using ArcGIS for Desktop
Wed, 10/22
10 am-noon
Georeferencing Historic Maps and Tracing Features
Wed, 10/22
2-3:30 pm
Story Maps
Wed, 10/22
3:30-5:00 pm
Mobile GIS: Collector for ArcGIS and Explorer for ArcGIS
Thu, 10/23
2-3:30 pm
Enterprise GIS Collaboration and Data Management
Mon, 10/27
3:30-5 pm
Introduction to QGIS
Wed, 10/29
3:30-5 pm
Mapping Strategies for Complex Data
Thu, 10/30
10-11:30 am
Data Visualization Strategies with R

If you have any questions, please contact Peter Knoop, LSA IT ( or Nicole Scholtz, Clark Library (

BrainHackEDT-A2, for brain imaging researchers, set for Oct. 18-19 at U-M Museum of Art

BrainHackEDT-A2, a regional instance of the internationally recognized BrainHack (, is scheduled for Oct. 18-19.

BrainHack is designed to be a creative, interactive, cross-disciplinary outlet for people broadly interested in brain imaging from diverse disciplines (engineering, psychology, computer science, etc) to spark new ideas and hack these out. Hacking can take the form of conversations, presentations, designing experiments, constructing and deconstructing concepts, analyzing data, forming new collaborations, and even building tools. As the event nears, organizers are interested in hearing any new ideas.

BrainHackEDT will be taking place simultaneously across academic centers in the Eastern Daylight Time zone on Oct. 18 and 19, with periodic video links. Participating institution locations include Ann Arbor, Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta, New York City, Toronto, and Porto Alegre.

BrainHackEDT-A2 will take place at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor,centered in the multipurpose room (UMMA has WiFi, video capabilities, desktop workspace), but organizers also encourage attendees to take their hacking into the art space.

BrainHackEDT-A2 attendees include experts in experimental design, psychiatric and psychological research, data analysis and big data analysts, statisticians, physicists, engineers, with a range of techniques represented (MRI, EEG, fNIRS, behavioral, etc).

Contact organizers at if you have questions, or projects you would like to propose or even lead.

MICDE Seminar: Nikolaos Sahinidis, Carnegie Mellon University, on Automatic Learning of Algebraic Models for Optimization — Oct. 15

ALAMO: Automatic Learning of Algebraic Models for Optimization 

Nikolaos Sahinidis, John E. Swearingen Professor, Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

4 – 5 p.m., October 15, 2014

IOE 1610

Professor Sahinidis will address the problem of discovering algebraic relationships that are hidden in a set of data, an experimental process, or a simulation model.  The problem lies at the interfaces between statistical experimental design, optimization, and machine learning.  This talk will present a methodology for developing models that are simple and accurate, while minimizing the number of experiments or simulations of the system under study.  The methodology begins by building a low-complexity model of the system using integer optimization techniques.  The model is then tested, exploited, and improved through the use of derivative-free optimization to adaptively sample new experimental or simulation points.  Semi-infinite optimization techniques facilitate a combined data- and theory-driven approach to model building.  The talk provides computational comparisons between ALAMO, the computational implementation of the proposed methodology, and a variety of machine learning and statistical techniques, including Latin hypercube sampling, simple least squares regression, and the lasso.  Finally, the talk presents an application in the optimal design of CO2 capture systems using a detailed process simulator.

Nick Sahinidis is John E. Swearingen Professor at Carnegie Mellon University.  His research has included the development of theory, algorithms, and the BARON software for global optimization of mixed-integer nonlinear programs.  Scientists and engineers have used BARON in many application areas, including the development of new Runge-Kutta methods for partial differential equations, energy policy making, modeling and design of metabolic processes, product and process design, engineering design, and automatic control.  Several companies have also used BARON in the automotive, financial, and chemical process industries.  Professor Sahinidis’s research activities have been recognized by a National Science Foundation CAREER award in 1995, the 2004 INFORMS Computing Society Prize, the 2006 Beale-Orchard-Hays Prize from the Mathematical Programming Society, and the 2010 Computing in Chemical Engineering Award.


MICDE Seminar: Sokrates Pantelides, Vanderbilt University, on complex materials — Oct. 10

Sokrates Pantelides, Department of Physics and Astronomy and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, and Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, will conduct a seminar on the U-M campus this month. HIs talk is sponsored by the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering and the U-M departments of Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences and Engineering.

Probing complex materials one atom at a time by a combination of theory and microscopy

Friday, October 10, 2014
3:30 – 4:30 p.m., 1670 Beyster Building

Calculations based on density functional theory using high-performance computers have made enormous strides in describing the atomic-scale properties of complex materials. In parallel, aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy has reached extraordinary levels of spatial and energy resolution, in both imaging and electron-energy-loss spectroscopy. The combination of theory and microscopy provides an unparalleled probe to unravel the atomic-scale processes that control vital properties for electronic, optoelectronic, and energy-related applications. You are invited to a journey through the wide world of complex materials structures – semiconductors, superconductors, complex oxides, graphene, ultrasmall nanoparticles – for a first-hand experience of the nanoscale.

Research supported by DOE Basic Energy Sciences; primary collaborator: Steve Pennycook (formerly at ORNL).