Canadian Supercomputers Assigned Homework

March 3, 2011 in frontpage, in_the_news

Canadian Supercomputers Assigned Their Homework on Global Problems:

Researchers Granted Time on Canada’s Largest Computers to Reduce Air Pollution, Develop New Medicines, Understand Brain Function and Galaxy Formation

OTTAWA, March 3, 2011 /CNW/ – Compute Canada publicly announced today the largest ever awards of the nation’s supercomputing resources to researchers tackling problems ranging from  bio-medicine and brain function, to aircraft and aviation fuel design.  These competitively-awarded grants will help scientists across Canada better understand our world, and move towards developing tools and products to improve the lives of Canadians.

“High performance computing is transforming research in Canadian universities, hospitals and industry” said Susan Baldwin, executive director of Compute Canada.   “Advances in information and communications technologies have revolutionized virtually every field.  Our scientists are creating entirely new ways of conducting research, accelerating innovation and discovery across Canada”.

“Our SciNet allocation is transforming the landscape of combustion  and air pollution research in Canada”, said Dr. Seth Dworkin, a  researcher at the University of Toronto’s Mechanical and Industrial  Engineering department.  Dworkin studies the combustion of biofuels, aiming to make them into clean-burning substitutes for current aviation fuels “The  expertise and computational resources at SciNet are helping us tackle problems of combustion-generated emissions using simulations of unprecedented size and accuracy.  We’re learning more and more about the formation and nanostructure of atmospheric  pollutants and are now able to apply that knowledge to the design of engines and alternative fuels.”

The individual centres which comprise Compute Canada are hubs of interdisciplinary computational research, and are charged with implementing the Compute Canada vision.  “We’re very excited about the quality and impact of the research we’re enabling at SciNet” said Dr. Chris Loken, Chief Technical Officer at SciNet at the University of Toronto.  “We have scientists performing biomedical research that has implications for Alzheimer’s and emergency rooms – and the scale of this work was simply not possible before our centre came online.”

Compute Canada’s Resource Allocation Committees are in charge of connecting researchers with computational and personnel resources at Canada’s seven regional centres, who manage the country’s largest supercomputers.  Computer time is granted based on scientific merit and computational need.  The projects tackle a broad area of research initiatives, including aerospace design, climate modelling, medical imaging, galaxy formation and proton collision. Awarding significant resources to these projects allows researchers to make huge advances in their fields and in Canadian research overall.

About SciNet:

SciNet is Canada’s largest supercomputer centre, providing Canadian researchers with the computational resources and expertise necessary to perform their research on scales not previously possible in Canada, from the biomedical sciences and aerospace engineering to astrophysics and climate science. More information is available at

About Compute Canada

Compute Canada is a national platform of advanced computing resources across the country, bringing together computer and data resources, academic researchers, and computational expertise to tackle some of the Canada’s biggest research questions.  Compute Canada has built a user community across Canada in disciplines ranging from the sciences and engineering to arts and humanities.  The Compute Canada Resource Allocation Committee annually awards supercomputing time to projects on the basis of scientific merit. For more information about Compute Canada or this year’s allocations, see