2016 Research Report banner

The Ohio Supercomputer Center is much more than a dark room full of glittering, powerful hardware, a fact that our clients discover the moment they request an account to perform whatever research they need done. Our clients resoundingly agree the characteristics they enjoy most are the services and assistance they receive from our staff, which brings down any perceived barriers to high performance computing and delivers the ability to gain incredible insights into their respective projects.

The OSC staff provides subject-matter experts from around the center to assist with individual client requests. For any issues that arise, OSC’s 24/7 support desk, which includes daytime Level 2 engineering support, offers clients technical expertise and consulting services at any hour of any day.


Under OSC’s AweSim program, engineers, simulation and engineering experts and industry leaders collaborate to provide small- to mid-sized manufacturers with simulation-driven design that enhances innovation and strengthens economic competitiveness. AweSim provides affordable, accessible and scalable modeling and simulation on high performance computers via:

•          online modeling and simulation apps

•          educational resources

•          industry-specific expertise and consultants

From research involving Formula One racing to food processing, AweSim continues to grow, with over 30 projects and 150 AweSim developers/clients, helping each to reduce prototyping time and costs while improving products and streamlining operations. A number of prominent studies indicate that modeling and simulation based on high performance computing is critical to competitiveness within most industries, and those who have harnessed this powerful tool see the benefits immediately. In fact, for every $1 invested in modeling and simulation, clients receive at least $7 in return on investment. OSC has been a leader in the field of HPC industrial engagement since the center’s creation in 1987.


Web & Interface Services

This summer, OSC launched OnDemand 3.0, a vastly upgraded version of its “one-stop shop” for acess to its high performance computing services. This latest version of OSC’s custom-built OnDemand web portal is the first to be based on Open OnDemand, an NSF-funded OSC endeavor to develop an open-source web portal that can provide advanced web and graphical interfaces for HPC centers.

With OnDemand 3.0, OSC clients can upload and download files, and create, edit, submit and monitor jobs, among its many features. Some of the features of OnDemand 3.0 include a new and faster file browser app, system status and job apps; remote graphical desktops on OSC clusters; as well as an in-browser terminal app for shell access and support for federated authentication.

In addition to these user features, the OnDemand 3.0 platform also enables developers to create and even share their own web apps with other users, a feature first demonstrated through the AweSim program.


Scientific Software Development

As professionals in high performance computing and software engineering, OSC staff have deep expertise in developing and deploying software that runs efficiently and correctly on large-scale cluster computing platforms.

OSC experts are available for consulting or collaboration with research computing teams that require such expertise to increase the size and/or complexity of problems that they can tackle or to reduce the runtime for their analyses. Our staff have experience with several computing languages, programming models, numerical libraries and development tools for parallel/threaded computing and data analysis. The types of services we provide are outlined below.


  • Performance analysis and optimization
  • Parallel algorithm development
  • Software development for accelerators
  • Workflow and I/O tuning
  • Software engineering for scientific codes
  • Software debugging


Visualization and virtual environments

OSC’s award-winning Interface Lab translates technology into effective training and assessment tools for use by various sectors, such as the health care, automotive and manufacturing industries. Currently, the lab is developing new shared virtual environments, where individuals can move around freely without tethered devices.

The Interface Lab is dedicated to the study of advanced human computer interfaces and user assessment. In addition to providing high performance graphic displays for both interactive and recorded presentations, the Interface Lab offers dexterous devices to precisely localize and track 3D digitization, user movements, morphometrics and haptic (force reflecting) interaction with complex data. The Interface Lab also provides equipment for recording and generating various types of audio for both interactive sessions and presentations. Finally, the lab provides various methods for obtaining quantified physiological assessment during interactive study sessions.

Specialized equipment includes:

  • Stereo Displays
    • High resolution Projector and large screen (22’ x 11’) display
    • High resolution monitors
    • Oculus Rift head mounted displays
  • Motion tracking
    • 8 camera Optitrack (OPTICAL) reconfigurable system, currently 20’x20’ space
  • Haptic devices
  • Physiological Assessment
    • Biopac MP150U-W monitoring system with wireless modules for Galvanic Skin Response (GSR finger electrode), Respiratory effort transducer, a SS4A ear clip and Pulse Plethysmograph
    • fNIR PRO system for monitoring frontal lobe activity.