Research Computing

Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012


Research Computing provides high-performance computing resources to researchers from all academic departments and disciplines, including the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities. At Princeton, these computing resources are enabling scientists to conduct studies such as modeling shock waves caused by supernova explosions, exploring the feasibility of carbon dioxide storage, and designing a cheaper and more efficient fuel cell. These computing resources are available to all faculty, researchers and students, regardless of department.

Princeton's high-performance computers generated this simulation of the structure of magnetic turbulence near an astrophysical shock wave, propagating toward the lower right corner of the image. (Courtesy of Anatoly Spitkovsky, department of astrophysical sciences.)"Princeton's approach is really unique in that it is making these powerful computing resources available to all researchers," said Jeroen Tromp, the Blair Professor of Geology and the director of the Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering (PICSciE), which oversees Research Computing with the Office of Information Technology (OIT). "At most universities, researchers work department-by-department or individually to get the computing resources they need," he said.

Through the Research Computing website, researchers can access a list of trainings and mini-courses on how to use the computing resources. Technical support staff are available to help researchers decide which computer system fits the job, troubleshoot malfunctioning programs and tune software for maximum performance. The staff, educational resources and trainings are located in the Lewis Library on the main campus.

The Lewis Library also is the home of the Visualization Laboratory, which offers visual computing tools for understanding and mining large data sets. The Laboratory also supports geospatial computing and analysis with industry-leading GIS, image analysis and remote sensing applications.

Princeton's High-Performance Computing Research CenterTo house Princeton’s research computers, the University’s High-Performance Computing Research Center (HPCRC) was built in 2011. Located near the main campus, the HPCRC is a state-of-the-art data center facility that provides the electrical and environmental infrastructure to support the computational and data storage resources. The HPCRC is home to TIGRESS -- the Terascale Infrastructure for Groundbreaking Research in Engineering and Science Center, which is a collaborative effort between PICSciE and OIT. The facility also houses departmental and University administrative computing and data storage systems. The HPCRC has many features that provide for environmental sustainability and server reliability.

Additional information can be found on the Research Computing web site.