Center for Computational Science
Boston University has a strong tradition of support for advanced scientific computing. It was one of the first universities to install a massively parallel supercomputer when it acquired the CM-2 Connection Machine in 1988, which was made available as a university-wide resource for research and education. Since then several generations of ever more powerful computers have been installed, culminating with our present Scientific Computing Facility, which consists of 4 of IBM p690 servers with 112 processors and a peak capacity of about 600 Gflops (billion floating point operations per second), an IBM p655 server with 48 processors and a peak capacity of about 200 Gflops, and a 1024-node BlueGene/L supercomputer, also from IBM, with a peak capacity of 5.7 Tflops (5,700 Gflops). In addition an IBM Linux cluster with 52 two processor compute nodes and 24 display nodes provides further computational capacity as well as high-end, three-dimensional visualization through the Deep Vision Display Wall.
The Center for Computational Science brings together researchers and students from a wide variety of fields, fostering research and education in advanced scientific computing and providing support for computationally intensive applications. Scientists associated with the Center are active in many computational projects, spanning areas as diverse as particle physics, remote sensing, fluid dynamics, and bioengineering. The multidisciplinary aspects of advanced scientific computing are especially emphasized. In 1993, the Center, in coordination with the departments of Chemistry, Computer Science, Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering, and Physics was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to introduce a new, interdisciplinary sequence of courses in parallel computing for undergraduates. More recently, the Center has introduced the ACES (Advanced Computation in Engineering and Science) graduate program to integrate multidisciplinary training in computational science with established doctoral programs in the departments of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Cognitive and Neural Systems, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics and Physics. Fellowship opportunities for ACES students are provided by IGERT grant to the Center from the National Science Foundation.
Students, research staff and faculty from the Physics Department are engaged in a wide variety of computational research projects in theoretical and experimental particle physics, condensed-matter physics, statistical mechanics, biophysics and polymer physics. Students who would like to specialize in computational physics will find excellent opportunities for interesting and stimulating research within the Center for Computational Science.