10 Ways Advanced Computing Catalyzes Science


National supercomputing resources enable research that would otherwise be impossible

When researchers need to compare complex new genomes; or map new regions of the Arctic in high-resolution detail; or detect signs of dark matter; or make sense of massive amounts of fMRI data, they turn to the high-performance computing and data analysis systems supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

High-performance computing (or HPC) enables discoveries in practically every field of science – not just those typically associated with supercomputers like chemistry and physics – but also in the social sciences, life sciences and humanities.

By combining superfast and secure networks, cutting-edge parallel computing and analytics software, and advanced scientific instruments and critical datasets across the U.S., NSF’s cyber-ecosystem lets researchers investigate questions that can’t otherwise be explored.

NSF has supported advanced computing since its beginning and is constantly expanding access to these resources to help tens of thousands of researchers each year – from high school students to Nobel Prize winners — at institutions large and small, regardless of geographic locality, expand the frontiers of science and engineering.

Below are 10 examples of research — enabled by advanced computing resources — from across all of science.

Advancing the state of modern biology

Pineapples don’t just taste juicy, they have a juicy evolutionary history. Recent analyses using computing resources that are part of the iPlant Collaborative have revealed an important relationship between pineapples and crops like sorghum and rice, allowing scientists to hone in on the genes and genetic pathways that allow plants to thrive in water-limited environments.

Led by The University of Arizona, Texas Advanced Computing Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and University of North Carolina at Wilmington, iPlant was established in 2008 with NSF funding to develop cyberinfrastructure for life —> Read More