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Award Abstract #1229745

MRI: Acquisition of a High-Performance Parallel Computing Cluster for Astrophysics Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz

Division Of Astronomical Sciences
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Initial Amendment Date: August 30, 2012
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Latest Amendment Date: August 30, 2012
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Award Number: 1229745
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Eric Bloemhof
AST Division Of Astronomical Sciences
MPS Direct For Mathematical & Physical Scien
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Start Date: September 1, 2012
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End Date: August 31, 2014 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $910,000.00
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Investigator(s): Piero Madau pmadau@ucolick.org (Principal Investigator)
Joel Primack (Co-Principal Investigator)
Erik Asphaug (Co-Principal Investigator)
Stanford Woosley (Co-Principal Investigator)
Nicholas Brummell (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of California-Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1077 (831)459-5278
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Program Reference Code(s): 1207, 7697
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Program Element Code(s): 1189


Astronomers don't just use telescopes in their attempts to unravel the mysteries of the universe. Many problems require heavy analytic computation and the use of computer simulations to understand how planets, stars, and galaxies form, grow, evolve, and die. The simulations can include a huge number of objects, embedded in a complex environment of dust, gases, magnetic fields as well as the unknown dark matter, and follow these objects as they interact, coalesce, or disrupt. Today's computers have become massively parallel - that is to say that they have many "processing units" working in parallel to solve these highly complex problems. One noted and successful team at the University of California Santa Cruz proposes to acquire a new computer "cluster" to attack difficult unsolved problems in astrophysics. The Principal Investigator, Dr. Piero Madau, and his team will use their new computing power to try to answer many questions in astrophysics from the very early days of the universe up to the present time and beyond. This new computer cluster will consist of hundreds of multiple processors, both conventional computer processors as well as graphical processors. It will have one petabyte of disk storage capacity (that is one million gigabytes!). The acquisition of this important research tool is funded by NSF's Division of Astronomical Sciences through the Major Research Instrumentation program.


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Cooke, Ryan J.; Madau, Piero. "Carbon-enhanced Metal-poor Stars: Relics from the Dark Ages," The Astrophysical Journal, v.791, 2014, p. 116. 

Feng, Yi; Krumholz, Mark R.. "Early turbulent mixing as the origin of chemical homogeneity in open star clusters," Nature, v.513, 2014, p. 523. 

González-Casanova, Diego F.; De Colle, Fabio; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; Lopez, Laura A.. "The Morphology and Dynamics of Jet-driven Supernova Remnants: The Case of W49B," The Astrophysical Journal Letters, v.781, 2014, p. L26. 

Guillochon, James; Loeb, Abraham; MacLeod, Morgan; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico. "Possible Origin of the G2 Cloud from the Tidal Disruption of a Known Giant Star by Sgr A*," The Astrophysical Journal Letters, v.786, 2014, p. L12. 

Guillochon, James; Manukian, Haik; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico. "PS1-10jh: The Disruption of a Main-sequence Star of Near-solar Composition," The Astrophysical Journal, v.783, 2014, p. 23. 

Guillochon, James; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico. "Hydrodynamical Simulations to Determine the Feeding Rate of Black Holes by the Tidal Disruption of Stars: The Importance of the Impact Parameter and Stellar Structure," The Astrophysical Journal, v.767, 2013, p. 25. 

Holcomb, Cole; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; De Colle, Fabio; Montes, Gabriela. "Diversity of Short Gamma-Ray Burst Afterglows from Compact Binary Mergers Hosting Pulsars," The Astrophysical Journal Letters, v.790, 2014, p. L3. 

Kim, Ji-hoon; Abel, Tom; Agertz, Oscar; Bryan, Greg L.; Ceverino, Daniel; Christensen, Charlotte; Conroy, Charlie; Dekel, Avishai; Gnedin, Nickolay Y.; Goldbaum, Nathan J.; Guedes, Javiera; Hahn, Oliver; Hobbs, Alexander; Hopkins, Philip F.; Hummels, Came. "The AGORA High-resolution Galaxy Simulations Comparison Project," The Astrophysical Journal Supplement, v.210, 2014, p. 14. 

Line, Michael R.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Marley, Mark S.; Sorahana, Satoko. "A Data-driven Approach for Retrieving Temperatures and Abundances in Brown Dwarf Atmospheres," The Astrophysical Journal, v.793, 2014, p. 33. 

MacLeod, Morgan; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; Grady, Sean; Guillochon, James. "Spoon-feeding Giant Stars to Supermassive Black Holes: Episodic Mass Transfer from Evolving Stars and their Contribution to the Quiescent Activity of Galactic Nuclei," The Astrophysical Journal, v.777, 2013, p. 133. 

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