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Sun Center of Excellence in High Performance Application Development

Project Investigators
Dr. Chapman, PI

    Dr. Byun      

Dr. Fofanov

    Dr. Gabriel        

Dr. Garbey

    Dr. Zouridakis      
Programming Models

This Center of Excellence (COE) has been established at the University of Houston with generous support from Sun Microsystems with their Sun COE partnership program. This project provides high performance computing and data storage facilities that support a variety of related, on-going computationally and data intensive research. In particular, this facility supports the development, deployment and refinement of a variety of applications in key areas of computational science, and enables us to perform work to improve the process of developing and optimizing HPC applications. Major areas of interest are bioinformatics, medical computing, and air quality studies. The facility itself is a unique environment including state-of-the-art medical equipment, which will enable a variety of data streams from a human subject to be processed and visualized by our software. Additional support for the the research activities in this project come from NSF, DOE, EPA, NOAA, HARC and the University of Houston.

This project enables research and development in the following application areas, as well as in the programming models used to express and exploit their parallelism.
  • Air quality Modeling to study the severity of air pollution problems, high ozone levels in Texas and to provide tools for the development of emissions control strategy, comprehensive state of science atmospheric modeling efforts.

  • Computational medicine to enable, operate and evaluate a novel computational infrastructure for medical computing that acquires, processes and displays medical data, often in real time. The project also addresses the needs of the ever-increasing complexity of biomedical data collection and analysis and distribution of digital information upon which computational biosciences are dependent today.

  • Novel data structures and algorithms developed by the University of Houston Bioinformatics Lab permit the calculation of the presence/absence as well as the frequency of presence of short subsequences in genomes. We are in the process of developing assays for HLA typing and sequences have been designed for the detection of pathogenic organisms for biodefense purposes.

  • OpenMPI research that is concerned with improving both performance and functionality of a widely available version of MPI. The University of Houston is a member of the OpenMPI consortium andcontributes in exploring novel techniques for implementation and potential enhancements of the MPI specification.

  • Research on OpenMP language features, compiler technology and related tools. This project enables us to continue to interact with the compiler and tools groups at Sun Microsystems to explore potential features and translation strategies, as well as compiler-tools interactions.

  • Grid computing research to develop an integrated framework for deploying scientific workflow applications in grid environemnts with a focus on novel scheduling algorithms.

Sun Microsystems has provided state-of-the-art computational facilities that will form an integral part of this project in addition to the various research resources. Major components include SunFire 6800s as well as SunFire 880s in a cluster managed by the university's Research Computing Center. Other sites participating in the grid are the HPC Tools group in Computer Science, and the Allied Geophysics Laboratory in Geophysics. Additional sites on campus are expected to join. The Enterprise Edition (SGEEE) of Sun's Grid Engine is being used to manage the facilities at each location on the grid; these locations are coupled via the Globus toolkit from Argonne National Laboratory.
The web page for the successfully completed, previous iteration of UH Sun COE for Geosciences is here.
External Partners
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