Tomko to champion high-performance computing for XSEDE

COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 1, 2012) — 

XSEDE designation aims to help researchers advance scientific discovery

Columbus, Ohio (May 1, 2012) – A senior researcher in computer science at the Ohio Supercomputer Center has been designated a Campus Champion – charged with empowering researchers and educators to advance scientific discovery by serving as their local source of knowledge about national high performance computing opportunities and resources.

Karen Tomko
Karen Tomko

Karen Tomko, Ph.D., was designated a campus champion by officials at 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. The Ohio Supercomputer Center is one of 17 XSEDE partner organizations across the country.

The five-year, $121-million National Science Foundation (NSF) XSEDE project replaces and expands on the NSF TeraGrid project. More than 10,000 scientists used the TeraGrid to complete thousands of research projects, at no cost to the scientists. That same sort of work – only in more detail, generating more new knowledge and improving our world in an even broader range of fields – continues with XSEDE.

“I’d like to see more researchers thinking about the problems they could solve with ten times or 100 times more computing resources than they are currently using, and to encourage researchers to be bolder in their computational goals,” Tomko said.

As a Campus Champion for OSC, Tomko will support the researchers who leverage the center’s resources. Through Tomko, those researchers will have direct access to XSEDE and input to its staff, resource allocations for the researchers, and assistance in using those resources.

Tomko will receive regular correspondence from XSEDE on new resources, services and offerings. She also will participate in User Services Working Group teleconferences, forums for sharing information among other Campus Champions, and XSEDE personnel and training at the XSEDE conference, regular meetings and through online forums.

“Having Dr. Tomko in a position to collect and share this vital information with our research community will help dramatically lower the technological barriers to the access and use of extremely powerful computing resources,” said Steven Gordon, interim co-executive director of OSC and the lead for XSEDE education programs. “This flow of information, coupled with Karen’s rich history of collaborations in computer science and engineering research, will prove invaluable.”

Using XSEDE, researchers can establish private, secure environments that have all the resources, services, and collaboration support they need to be productive. Initially, XSEDE supports 16 supercomputers and high-end visualization and data analysis resources across the country. It also includes other specialized digital resources and services to complement these computers.

OSC serves the high performance computing and data storage needs of about 1,000 researchers each calendar year, advancing vital research in the biosciences, advanced materials, energy, the environment and many other fields. Currently, the center’s flagship computing system, the Oakley Cluster, is an HP-Intel Xeon array with more than 8,300 cores and 128 graphic processing units.

Tomko earned her doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1995 and spent 11 years in academia as a faculty member in computer science and engineering. She has been working in collaboration with computational scientists for more than 15 years. Her experience with scientific applications ranges from ground motion simulation to quantum many body physics.


The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), a member of the Ohio Technology Consortium of the Ohio Board of Regents, addresses the rising computational demands of academic and industrial research communities by providing a robust shared infrastructure and proven expertise in advanced modeling, simulation and analysis. OSC empowers scientists with the vital resources essential to make extraordinary discoveries and innovations, partners with businesses and industry to leverage computational science as a competitive force in the global knowledge economy, and leads efforts to equip the workforce with the key technology skills required to secure 21st century jobs. For more, visit

The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), is led by the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and is supported by National Science Foundation grant number OCI-1053575. For more, visit