2014 Research Report

Since the center’s creation in 1987, the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) has worked to propel Ohio’s economy, from academic discoveries to industrial innovation. The Center provides researchers with high-end supercomputing and storage, domain-specific programming expertise and middle school-to-college-to-workforce education and training.

Supercomputers are powerful, yes. But they are only as powerful as the codes researchers write for them. Brian Guilfoos, HPC client services manager at the Ohio Supercomputer Center, understands that high performance computing isn’t always intuitive and that education and training are essential services.

User Training

The Web and Interface Applications Group controls the way in which OSC HPC clients access and use most OSC systems.

When the Ohio Supercomputer Center was established through a state operating budget bill in 1987, it was “intended that the center be made accessible to private industry as appropriate.” Later that year, the Ohio Board of Regents created the Center “as a statewide resource designed to place Ohio’s research universities and private industry in the forefront of computational research.” Making thi

Here at the Ohio Supercomputer Center, we take great pride in providing powerful resources to help accelerate discovery.
The raw data tells part of our story: In 2013, the Ohio Supercomputer Center delivered more than 82 million CPU core-hours, for more than 3.3 million jobs. But behind these numbers lies the rest of our story: OSC exists to enable science.

When we think of supercomputing resources, we automatically think of processors and petaflops. However, compute capacity is only one part of the equation; software is another important component.

Virtual environments, once seen only as a unique extension of gaming technology, now are considered essential tools for competitiveness, from healthcare to education to manufacturing. The Ohio Supercomputer Center’s Virtual Environments and Simulation Group use this technology to create rich, precise, interactive simulations for training, assessment and remote collaborations.

OSC advanced materials research icon Advanced Materials

In 1978, the Food and Drug Administration approved cisplatin, a platinum-based compound, for clinical use. Cisplatin today is widely recognized as an effective cancer-treating drug, but it also is known to cause many severe side effects, such as kidney damage, nervous system impairment, nausea and vomiting.

Just one decade ago, researchers first isolated graphene, a carbon film only one atom thick – essentially a semi-metallic material so thin that it presents only two measurable dimensions, length and width.

Scientists at the University of Akron, in collaboration with partners at UCLA, are investigating the unique properties of metal alloy nanostructures – materials measuring 1-1000 nanometers in length – that have potential applications in the manufacture of fuel cells, batteries, automotive catalysts, sensors and nanoeletronic devices.

A research group at Ohio University has been studying the physics of chemical elements in the oxygen family that lack a crystalline structure, elements known as amorphous chalcogenide materials.

OSC biological sciences research icon Biological Sciences

Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes about 610,000 cases of cancer worldwide, accounting for about 5 percent of all cancer cases and including virtually all cases of cervical cancer. Scientists have long known that certain types of HPV cause cancer, but they don’t completely understand all the steps that are involved.

A recent study into the biomechanics of the necks of ants – which can amazingly lift objects up to 1,000 times heavier than its body – might unlock one of nature’s little mysteries and, quite possibly, open the door to advancements in robotic engineering.

Fifty years after the surgeon general first reported on the harmful effects of tobacco, medical professionals continue to find more links between smoking and disease.

Recent research suggests that long-standing methods for calculating the thermodynamics of ion hydration, while robust, are ambiguous regarding the inclusion of water’s surface potential.

OSC enery and the environment research icon Energy and the Environment

Biofuels, fuels derived from plant materials, have the potential to reduce the United State’s dependency on fossil-based fuels. Brent Sohngen, professor of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at The Ohio State University, and his colleagues have developed a series of land use and management models that assess, among many issues, the impact of using forests for biofuel.

Using the computing power at the Ohio Supercomputer Center, researchers at The Ohio State University are constructing a first-of-its-kind, time-stamped, high-resolution digital surface model of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

A team of field ecologists has concluded that woodland corridors connecting patches of endangered plants not only increase dispersal of seeds from one patch to another, but also create wind conditions that can spread the seeds for much longer distances.

With more than 120 terawatts of solar power irradiating the earth, photovoltaics offers the promise of essentially limitless energy for powering society. The reality, though, depends on whether the cost of the technology can be made competitive with more traditional carbon-based sources.

OSC industrial engagement icon Industrial Engagement

Aviation industry manufacturers have traditionally relied upon conventional metals and alloys for constructing internal engine parts. During operation, these engines can generate sufficient heat to raise temperatures to within 50 degrees of the melting point of the nickel-based superalloys, titanium, aluminum and steel used in engine construction.

High-temperature, solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are efficient electrochemical devices that produce electrical power from hydrocarbon fuels. SOFCs have received increasing attention in recent years as a clean and efficient power source for use in distributed power-generation applications.

The Procter & Gamble Company, also known as P&G, is an Ohio-based multinational consumer goods company with manufacturing operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. P&G markets a wide range of products, including cleaning agents and personal care products.

The use of virtual design in the fabrication of large structures has enjoyed significant success in the heavy materials industry for almost two decades. Industries that have used virtual design and analysis tools have reduced material parts size, developed environmentally friendly fabrication processes, improved product quality and performance and reduced manufacturing costs.

OSC research landscape Research Landscape

Understanding the different categories of normal facial expressions of human emotion is essential for scientists and doctors in order to gain insights into human cognition and affect, as well as for the design of computational models and perceptual interfaces.

The analysis of biological and social networks has become increasingly important in recent years. Inferential and predictive statistical models that analyze networks have been put to use in such areas as epidemiology, public health, molecular biology and the social sciences.

A researcher at the University of Cincinnati is leveraging the compute and storage resources of the Ohio Supercomputer Center to simulate the behavior of elusive cosmic particles. The research team is studying the behavior and nature of neutrinos and the particles’ role in the balance between matter and antimatter.

Machine-based speech separation, often referred to as “the cocktail party problem,” refers to the problem of using computers and other devices to separate target speech from interference caused by background noise.