What is NERSC and How Can Their Computer Resources Help You?

June 22, 2011 - 12:00pm

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab is the primary scientific computing facility for the Office of Science in the U.S. Department of Energy. As one of the largest facilities in the world devoted to providing computational resources and expertise for basic scientific research, NERSC is a world leader in accelerating scientific discovery through computation. NERSC is located at the UC Oakland Scientific Facility in Oakland, California. (www.nersc.gov) NERSC has a large amount of computer resources if your code can take advantage of them. How can their computer resources help you? If you find yourself waiting several hours for your computer to perform a calculation or could envision an interesting result if your computer was 1000x faster, you might find resources at NERSC helpful. 1. There are many software tools available, including various compilers 2. Many instances of serial calculations can be executed at the same time in a cluster environment 3. Take advantage of modern multicore processors or GPU's using threading 4. Take advantage of the large number of cores and memory using message passing (MPI) or some other parallel paradigm. Two examples of using NERSC for research in EETD is Noel's work: a) Improve the code performance of EnergyPlus using OpenMP threads. Testing many different inputs and configurations on NERSC machines. b) Use a parallel version of the Particle Swarm Optimization method to find the best set of EnergyPlus input parameters to fit measured results. Another example is Wangda's research on accelerating the annual daylighting simulation of Radiance. He is currently optimizing the program and running it in parallel on GPU using OpenCL. He is interested in using NERSC's GPU cluster to further accelerate the simulation for parametric studies. This seminar was recorded.

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