Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint computational research center with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Established in 1986, PSC is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry and is a leading partner in XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment), the National Science Foundation cyber infrastructure program.
PSC provides university, government and industrial researchers with access to several of the most powerful systems for high-performance computing, communications and data storage available to scientists and engineers nationwide for unclassified research. PSC advances the state of the art in high-performance computing, communications and data analytics and offers a flexible environment for solving the largest and most challenging problems in computational science.
PSC architects and operates a sophisticated facility that includes high-performance computing (HPC) systems, high-speed parallel filesystems and leading-edge networking.
- Petascale Computing and Data: PSC’s flagship HPC system, Bridges, is a uniquely capable petascale resource for empowering diverse communities by bringing together HPC, AI and Big Data. Its richly-connected set of interacting nodes and active storage systems offers exceptional flexibility for data analytics, simulation, workflows and gateways, leveraging interactivity, parallel computing, Spark and Hadoop. For complete information go to: www.psc.edu/index.php/bridges.
- Networking: Network facilities at PSC consist of production and research LAN, MAN, and WAN infrastructures. PSC’s WAN connections are provided by 3ROX, a regional network aggregation point operated and managed by PSC to provide cost effective, high capacity, state-of- the-art network connectivity to the university community.
- Applications: PSC hosts advanced, scalable applications and software infrastructure to support research, scholarship, teaching and learning in all disciplines of science, engineering, and the humanities. Applications are supported by PSC’s domain experts, who add value through integration, optimization, consulting and training.
- Training Facilities: PSC operates a state-of- the-art facility for hands-on training that provides 24 workstations with Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and world-wide videoconferencing support. A connected lecture hall provides space for up to 100 participants.
About The University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) is a world-renowned leader in research and education. Pitt is repeatedly ranked as the best public university in the Northeast, per The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. With research expenditures of $895 million in 2020, Pitt is regularly in the top five in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and top 20 in overall US federal R&D funding. Home to 16 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, Pitt offers nearly 500 distinct degree programs, serves more than 33,000 students, employs more than 14,000 faculty and staff, and awards 9,000 degrees annually.
Pitt faculty collaborate with PSC on a wide range of advanced computing topics, including such recent examples as the study of genetic mutations to understand the development of disease; the exploration and mapping of anatomy, down to the cellular level; the design of advanced materials to reduce pollution and improve industrial processes; and the digitizing of historical documents to expand our understanding of growth and development in western Pennsylvania.
About Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University challenges the curious and passionate to imagine and deliver work that matters. A private, global research university, Carnegie Mellon stands among the world’s most renowned educational institutions, and sets its own course. With cutting-edge brain science, path-breaking performances, innovative start-ups, driverless cars, big data, big ambitions, Nobel and Turing prizes, hands-on learning, and a whole lot of robots, CMU doesn’t imagine the future, we create it.
CMU faculty and staff work with PSC’s supercomputers, software and experts on an expansive set of research projects, including investigating how molecular movements and genetic changes govern biological functions and pose opportunities for treating human disease; gleaning clues from historical documents to settle longstanding questions of who played pivotal roles in history and how they did it; leveraging computation to better understand the origins of our Universe; using artificial intelligence to improve human decision making; creating new materials for improved electronic devices; and analyzing energy use to save dollars and reduce carbon footprint.
XSEDE Integrated Advanced Digital Services
Building on its experience and reputation as a national supercomputing center since 1986, PSC is a leading partner in the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), the most advanced, powerful, and robust collection of integrated advanced digital resources and services in the world. In addition to the resources and services operated by PSC, XSEDE (www.xsede.org) offers local faculty and students an integrated portfolio of supercomputers and high-end visualization and data analysis resources and expertise across the country. PSC staff experts lead many of the nationwide XSEDE teams and can guide local faculty in understanding how to benefit from XSEDE resources and services. These include:
- Peer-reviewed, no-cost allocation of XSEDE resources, including PSC’s
- The XSEDE User Portal, a web interface that allows users to monitor and access XSEDE resources, manage jobs on those resources, report issues, and analyze and visualize results.
- Advanced cybersecurity to ensure XSEDE resources and services are easily accessible to users but protected against attack.
- An advanced hardware and software architecture rooted in user requirements and hardened by systems engineering that allows for individualized user experiences, consistent and enduring software interfaces, improved data management, and ways for campus resources to be transparently integrated into the overall XSEDE infrastructure.
- Extended Collaborative Support by staff experts for application development by individual research groups or wider communities.
- Mentoring for projects from disciplines that traditionally have not used advanced computing.
- Training, education, and outreach programs that expand participation in XSEDE-based projects, curriculum development, and training opportunities.
- The Campus Champions program, which enables faculty and campus IT staff to work closely with XSEDE staff and with each other to support researchers, scholars and educators on their campus.
(RE)INTRODUCING SHAWN BROWN
Visitors to PSC who feel like Shawn Brown, the new director of the PSC, has a familiar name have good reason. They’re probably remembering his 2012-17 stint as the director of public health applications at PSC. During those five years, Brown led PSC’s first research group, building several platforms for modeling public health phenomena like disease spread and distribution of medical supplies using big data and high-performance computing.
Before returning to PSC last year as director, Brown was associate director of research software development for McGill University’s Centre for Integrative Neuroscience in Montreal, where he led the development of the CBRAIN and Neurohub computer infrastructures. The system put neuroimaging, artificial intelligence, big data analysis and genetic data at the service of hundreds of neuroscientists in 32 countries. In his role at McGill, he also led a cross-department effort to fund, design and build a common computational infrastructure across faculty in medicine, marketing, psychology, computer science and agriculture.
Brown was an undergraduate in chemistry at Bethany College in West Virginia and earned his Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry at the University of Georgia. In 2009, he was embedded in the U.S. Government providing immediate response to the H1N1 pandemic and then took the position of assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health before coming to the PSC to lead his research team.