November 14, 2016
Multi-partner awards cite OSG’s role in gravitational wave detection
The Open Science Grid (OSG) is a recipient of two HPCwire ‘Top Supercomputing Achievement’ awards for 2016, recognizing the use of high performance computing to verify Einstein’s theory of gravitational waves.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National Science Foundation (NSF), OSG is a multi-disciplinary research partnership specializing in high throughput computational services.
The HPCwire awards were presented at the 2016 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC16), in Salt Lake City, Utah. OSG won in both the online publication’s annual Readers’ Choice and Editors’ Choice categories.
The awards also recognize the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California San Diego, the NSF’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), the Holland Computing Center at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), and the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin for their participation in verifying the existence of gravitational waves.
OSG provided access to numerous high performance computing systems for LIGO, seamlessly integrating XSEDE supercomputers like SDSC’s Comet and TACC’s Stampede with HPC clusters in academia and DOE national labs. LIGO used this integrated infrastructure over the course of several months to verify the statistical significance of the observed gravitational wave, thus leading to its unambiguous detection.
In the process, roughly five terabytes of LIGO data was processed many thousands of times, leading to many petabytes of exported data. The storage infrastructure at Holland Computing Center hosted the LIGO data for processing via OSG. The data was pulled as needed by the Pegasus workflow.
Frank Würthwein, who is the current executive director of the OSG, worked in tandem with XSEDE researchers to make these resources available to LIGO scientists. Würthwein is also SDSC’s head of High Throughput Computing.
“There were a lot of institutions and researchers involved in this landmark discovery, as well as the actual verification process,” said Würthwein, also a physicist with UC San Diego. “While high performance computing resources from all over have been used by LIGO for years, this award focused on the use of distributed high throughput computing across a wide range of HPC resources for the actual verification of this amazing discovery.”
“From thought leaders to end users, the HPCwire readership reaches and engages every corner of the high performance computing community,” said Tom Tabor, CEO of Tabor Communications, publisher of HPCwire. “Receiving their recognition signifies community support across the entire HPC space as well as the breadth of industries it serves. We are proud to recognize these efforts and make the voices of our readers heard, and our congratulations go out to all the winners.”
A multi-partner collaboration
In February 2016, the NSF made a pivotal announcement: For the first time, scientists detected gravitational waves in the universe as hypothesized by Albert Einstein about 100 years ago. On September 14, 2015 scientists at the NSF-funded Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected gravitational waves using both LIGO detectors. The waves reached Earth from the southern hemisphere, passed through the Earth, and emerged at the Earth’s surface, first at the LIGO detector near Livingston, Louisiana, and then, seven milliseconds later and 1,890 miles away at the second LIGO detector in Hanford, Washington.
More details on the LIGO discovery can be found at:
The annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards are determined through a nomination and voting process with the global HPCwire community, as well as selections from the HPCwire editors. The awards are an annual feature of the publication and constitute prestigious recognition from the HPC community. These awards are revealed each year to kick off the annual Supercomputing Conference, which showcases high-performance computing, networking, storage, and data analysis. More information on these awards can be found at the HPCwire website or on Twitter through the #HPCwireAwards hashtag.
The Open Science Grid Consortium is a community-driven organization that spans academia and Department of Energy national laboratories to advance the state of the art of distributed high throughput computing. In addition to community contributions, the OSG project receives funding from DOE and NSF to operate a fabric of services, including a production infrastructure, an integrated software stack, and a variety of intellectual support services for educators, scientists, and IT professionals.
HPCwire is an online news and information resource covering the fastest computers in the world and the people who run them. Started in 1986, HPCwire has enjoyed a legacy of world-class editorial and journalism, making it the news source of choice for science, technology, and business professionals interested in high-performance and data-intensive computing. Visit HPCwire at www.hpcwire.com.
Kyle Gross, OSG communications lead, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chelsea Lang, corporate marketing manager, Tabor Communications, 919 749-1895
The Open Science Grid: https://www.opensciencegrid.org
National Science Foundation: https://www.nsf.gov/
Department of Energy, Office of Science: http://science.energy.gov