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Feature Stories

Odyssey is changing how scientists see the signatures of future earthquakes

trashUsing the power of Odyssey, researchers in the department of Earth & Planetary Sciences provide a radical new perspective on understanding the signatures of earthquake activity in the vicinity of the Longmen Shan and in particular the signature of elastic strain accumulation prior to the devastating Wenchuan earthquake where 60,000 lives were lost.

FAS Research Computing Implements Novel Big Data Storage System

trashAfter years of careful research, scientists in the FAS Research Computing organization have noticed that a large proportion of the “big data” we generate as part of our research isn’t actually of all that much value. Today we are announcing our new storage system called DevNull™. DevNull™ has been designed to more effectively manage the data deluge from multiple Big Data projects.

Harvard’s Odyssey unlocks big data

brainAs technology evolves and becomes further integrated into society, massive amounts of data are being collected and stored. With supercomputers within easy reach and storage infinitely scalable, researchers now have the power and resources not just to collect data, but to analyze it and make important discoveries. Nowhere has this trend been more apparent than at Harvard.

Explosion of Research Data Drives “Tipping Point” for IT Facilities

yeastJames Cuff, Assistant Dean for Research Computing, sits down with Data Center Knowledge to discuss his upcoming keynote address at the 2015 Data Center World Global Conference where he will talk about the current and future state of the data center.

Evolution in Action: Observing Yeast Over 500 Generations

yeastWhat does evolution look like? How much does genetic background influence evolution? Is evolutionary adaptability random or predictable? These are questions the Desai Lab has set out to answer. With a research focus on evolutionary dynamics, the Desai Lab observes evolution in action and uses Odyssey to analyze the data.

Research Computing Among Sponsors for Martin Karplus Celebration Symposium

martin_karplusHarvard FAS Research Computing (FASRC) has partnered with Dell to sponsor part of the Martin Karplus Celebration Symposium on October 1, 2014. The Symposium is a one-day event celebrating the life and work of Martin Karplus, the Theodore William Richards Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at Harvard University.

Simulations run on Odyssey lead to first realistic virtual universe

illustris_box_dmdens_gasdensAstronomers have created the first realistic virtual universe by running large-scale cosmological simulations on supercomputers. The project, known as Illustris, was led by Mark Vogelsberger of MIT and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Research Computing partner in Massachusetts Open Cloud project

Governor Deval Patrick announced a $3 million capital investment to launch the Massachusetts Open Cloud project, a university-industry collaboration designed to create a new public cloud computing infrastructure to spur big data innovation.

Research Computing Announces Internet2 HPC Advisory Group Membership

internet2Internet2 today announced at the 2014 Internet2 Global Summit the creation of the Internet2 Program Advisory Group for High Performance and Research Computing and the inaugural co-chairs and members.

Harvard MGHPCC project team wins Green Carpet Award

Green Carpet Award Image croppedThe Harvard Office for Sustainability has awarded the Harvard project team for the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) a Green Carpet Award. The award recognizes Sustainability Leaders at Harvard who exemplify innovation and creativity through the development and execution of campus sustainability plans that focus on the reduction of energy use, green house gas emissions, waste, and water consumption.

Research Computing powers computation behind BICEP2 discovery

bicep2 stationResearch Computing has provided computational support and infrastructure for the BICEP2 project. Research Computing provided the BICEP2 project with 400TB of storage space and access to more than 30,000 cores of compute.Research Computing also provided virtual machine support for BICEP2 websites and data. The project consumed 5.1 million CPU hours on Odyssey since 2010.

NBA drafts Big Data

epv-chart-featuresHarvard researchers have used Odyssey to dig deep into NBA player data, creating a new statistical framework for basketball analytics. The research, led by Kirk Goldsberry, Visiting Scholar at the Center for Geographic Analysis, Luke Bornn, Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics, Dan Cervone, and Alex D’Amour both PhD students in the Department of Statistics, uses player data from the 2012-2013 NBA season. The dataset, known as SportVU, was collected at 14 NBA arenas and contains 800 million locations of NBA players on the court.

Research Computing part of $5.3M NSF Cyberinfrastructure Award

rcswoosh 518 x 178The National Science Foundation has awarded a consortium of six universities a $5.3 million grant to support a national network of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Research and Education Facilitators (ACI-REFs). Harvard University’s FAS Research Computing group is one of the collaborating institutions.

Research Computing to join Gluster Community Board

GlusterLogo-720x576FAS Research Computing (FASRC) has signed a letter of intent to join the Gluster Community Board, the leading community for open software-defined storage. The board is committed to the success of the GlusterFS project.

Altered diet can quickly change gut microbiome in humans

Animal- and plant-based foods have contrasting effects on the human gut microbiome. Credit: John Kaufmann, http://www.jek2004.com

Animal and plant-based foods have contrasting effects on the human gut microbiome. Image credit: John Kaufmann, http://www.jek2004.com

Led by the Turnbaugh lab in the Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University, researchers have discovered that the microbes found in the human gut respond rapidly to a new diet. The researchers placed ten people on two defined diets, composed of animal- or plant-based foods. Analysis of sequencing data using the Odyssey cluster, revealed significant changes to the abundance of gut microbes on the animal-based diet within a single day. Multiple changes also occurred on the plant-based diet, albeit to a lesser degree than the animal-based diet. Furthermore, researchers found evidence that the animal-based diet increased the growth of Bilophila wadsworthia, a bacterium believed to inflame intestinal tissue potentially leading to inflammatory bowel disease.

Temperature extremes unprecedented in the past 600 years

nature11969-f2.2.2Harvard scientists use Odyssey to run climate models measuring the scale and frequency of recent warm temperature extremes. The results led to conclusive evidence that the summers of 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2011 in the high northern latitudes were warmer than those of all prior years back to 1400.

The Equality of Opportunity Project

fallbackHarvard economists measure the upward mobility of children in the bottom fifth of U.S. households using big data and Odyssey. The economists found that there is substantial variation in the U.S. in the prospects for escaping poverty and some of the strongest predictors of upward mobility are social capital and family structure.

Migratory behavior of planetary systems

planetsUsing Odyssey to run numerical integrations, research on how planetary systems evolve and migrate has provided new insights. The centuries old theory of orderly planetary system architectures is being challenged by new evidence that suggests many planetary systems underwent a period of upheaval during which giant planets "migrated" from where they formed.

The Clean Energy Project

Clean Energy - Credit: Mark MatsonThe Clean Energy projects searches for next generation plastic solar cell materials using RC computational resources. The project, led by Professor Alán Aspuru-Guzik, has generated data about 2.3 million candidate compounds for organic electronic materials.

MGHPCC awarded LEED Platinum certification

MGHPCC WindowsThe Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) has become the first university research data center to receive a LEED® Platinum certification, the highest green building ranking.

Research Computing adds 28,000 processors to cluster

MGHPCC ServersWith the opening of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) in November 2012, Research Computing began the build out of its new server infrastructure located in Holyoke, MA.

MGHPCC open for business

MGHPCC Ribbon CuttingGovernor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray joined university leaders and technology executives today to cut the ribbon on the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC).

Research Computing to play vital role in $9M grant from the NIH

Mapping the BrainA group of Harvard researchers from the Harvard Center for Brain Science (CBS) and the departments of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chemistry and Chemical Biology are working to map how that brain wiring takes place in an effort to pinpoint the causes of — and potential treatments for —schizophreniaautism, and a host of other disorders.