SciNet Relies on Excelero for High-Performance, Peta-Scale Storage at New Supercomputing Facility

December 7, 2017 in in_the_news

Market Insider and PR Newswire report on the new storage facility to be deployed with SciNet’s upcoming Niagara cluster.

Gravitation waves detected, again!

June 15, 2016 in blog, blog-general, blog-technical, for_press, for_researchers, for_users, in_the_news, news, success_story, Testimonials

We congratulate the LIGO and Virgo collaborations to the second-ever observation of gravitational waves from colliding black holes.

SciNet is proud to have contributed to the computation of the waveform templates that were used in this latest discovery of LIGO. LIGO measured about 55 gravitational wave cycles for this new binary black hole system. This large number of cycles made detailed computations of the expected wave-shapes more important than for the first detected black hole merger that was announced in February.

Canada is a leader of numerical calculations of colliding black holes, research led by Professor Harald Pfeiffer, Canada Research Chair for Numerical Relativity and Gravitational Wave Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. Pfeiffer states: I am very grateful for the sustained support of the SciNet team during the last 7 years; their support and the access to computing time on SciNet’s supercomputers have been crucial for my research program and its profound contributions to the LIGO discovery.


Above: The in-spiral and collision of two black holes similar to GW151226. The top portion of the frame shows the horizons of the two holes, in this case, at the moment close to the merger of the black holes. The middle portion of the frame shows the gravitational waveform projected onto the LIGO Livingston detector. The bottom part shows the frequency of the gravitational waves, gradually increasing from about 35Hz to above 700Hz. For this system, LIGO could observe many more gravitational wave cycles than for the first discoved system (named GW150914).

Visualization done by University of Toronto Undergraduate student Aliya Babul & Prof. Harald Pfeiffer, within the SXS Collaboration/

Science Rendezvous 2016

April 28, 2016 in for_educators, for_press, for_researchers, for_users, frontpage, in_the_news, news, success_story

Join us Saturday, May 7th for Science Rendezvous! It is an annual festival at the University of Toronto that takes science out of the lab and onto the street.

At the SciNet booth, explorers of all ages will find out how researchers use computers for discovery. They will see how simple computer simulations that you can run in your web browser or laptop can reveal important facts about how complex systems behave.

Click here for more details about Science Rendezvous and its many exhibitors.

SR 2016 at UofT (St. George Campus) 2

Gravitational Waves detected!!!

February 12, 2016 in blog, for_educators, for_press, for_researchers, for_users, in_the_news, news, success_story, Uncategorized

On February 11th, 2016 (10:30AM EST), scientists from Caltech, MIT and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration together with representatives of the National Science Foundation, announced in a live press conference, the first direct detection of gravitational waves.
The event detected, named GW150914, was produced by two colliding black holes, inspariling and merging together. This signal was detected by LIGO on September 14th, 2015.

Details of this discovery can be found in the following papers:

Many of the researchers running simulations and analysing data in several of our clusters are directly involved in the efforts for accurately modelling, simulating and detecting gravitational wave signals.
As a matter of fact, one of the simulations used for visualizing one of the movies screened during the announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves, was performed on SciNet’s General Purpose Cluster (GPC).

“The first detection of gravitational waves passing through Earth is a tremendous discovery. These waves were generated by never before observed astronomical objects, colliding black holes. I am very grateful for SciNet and Compute Canada to provide the computing resources needed to explore the properties of binary black holes, research that was instrumental in building the waveform-templates that LIGO used in its momentous discovery.”
Prof. Harald Pfeiffer (Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto)

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Simulation of a binary black-hole system emitting gravitational radiation (gravitational waves) performed on SciNet’s General Purpose Cluster (GPC).
These simulations were performed by solving Einstein’s equations of General Relativity using a code co-developed on SciNet, by the SXS/CITA collaboration.
Credit: SXS/CITA/SciNet
Another of the videos displayed on the press-conf, was also produced by solving Einstein equations using this same computer code co-developed on SciNet by the SXS/CITA collaboration.

International HPC Summer School in Toronto

June 29, 2015 in blog, blog-general, for_educators, for_researchers, for_users, in_the_news, news, success_story


Eighty students from the US, Canada, Europe and Japan, plus about twenty speakers and over thirty mentors gathered at the University of Toronto from June 21 to June 26, 2015, to learn about High Performance Computing, and share experiences in this multi-disciplinary field (see Sponsored by PRACE, XSEDE, Riken, and Compute Canada , this was the sixth such advanced international summer school on High Performance Computing, which targets graduate students and postdocs who already have some experience in HPC parallel programming (for instance, MPI, OpenMP, or CUDA/OpenCL), preferably on software used in successful research projects.

Leading American, Canadian, European and Japanese computational scientists and HPC technologists offered instruction on a variety of topics, including HPC programming proficiencies, performance analysis, and visualization, as well as presentations of how HPC gets applied in fields such as geophysics, climate science, material science, cosmology, plasma phyiscs, and life sciences.

SciNet, a partner in the Compute Canada endeavour, was encited to be the local organization of this large international event.
It was an engaging week of instruction and networking that we hope has given the participants the skills and inspiration to use HPC resources to explore scientific projects at new and unprecedented scales.


SciNet to be the site for the new Large Parallel System

May 11, 2015 in for_press, for_researchers, for_users, in_the_news, news, Road_to_Niagara

As part of its strategy for Advanced Research Computing and High Performance Computing in Canada, Compute Canada has conducted a site selection for four new systems. These systems are intended to replace and augment the currently aging computational systems available to Canadian academic researchers.


Recognizing the diversity of ARC computing in academic research, Compute Canada is planning to install four systems. Three systems will be so-called General Purpose clusters, aimed at small to moderate sized jobs with a large variety of demands (e.g, IO, GPUS, memory, …).

The fourth machine will be a Large Parallel system, i.e. a tightly coupled parallel supercomputer intended for running large (on the order of at least 512 cores per job) parallel jobs, typically using the Message Passing Interface.

SciNet, at the University of Toronto, has been selected as the site for the LP system. The GP systems will be at the University of Victoria, at Simon Fraser University, and at the University of Waterloo.

Note that it is very hard at this stage to know when these new systems will be online. A rough, very tentative estimate is that they could start arriving sometime in 2016.

For more information regarding the selection, see the selection announcement by Compute Canada.

Big Data Challenge Day for High School Students

February 24, 2015 in for_educators, for_press, frontpage, in_the_news, news, Uncategorized


SciNet, SAS, the computer science department at Earl Haig Secondary School in Toronto, and NRC Research Press organized a Big Data Challenge for High School Students in 2014. Selected teams presented their analysis of a real data set of grocery purchases for the jury on Friday February 13, 2015. The winners were the team from Oakville-Trafalgar High School.

Read the full article at the Research and Innovation site of the University of Toronto.

McMaster Students Create Fractal Movies Using BlueGene/Q Supercomputer

May 30, 2014 in blog, blog-general, for_educators, for_press, frontpage, in_the_news, news, Uncategorized


Computing and software students at McMaster University created some stunning videos of fractals using the BlueGene/Q, one of the most powerful computers in the world, administered by SOSCIP and hosted by SciNet.

Read the full articles on McMaster University’s Daily News’ or on HPC wire.

The videos can be seen on YouTube.

Details on the SCOSCIP BlueGene/Q at SciNet can be found on our wiki.

Why Data Centre Providers Love the Greater Toronto Burbs

February 5, 2014 in blog, blog-general, in_the_news, news

The recent announcements of continued IT infrastructure building in Markham (and across the other southern York Region municipalities of Richmond Hill and Vaughan) reflect an established data centre cluster in the area, including recognizable names such as IBM, Rogers, Compugen, OnX, and HP. Of particular noteworthiness is Vaughn-based SCINET—Canada’s largest supercomputer data centre—a High Performance Computing consortium of the University of Toronto and affiliated Ontario hospitals.

Read the full article on TechVibes.

Supercomputing to Save the Planet

April 9, 2013 in in_the_news

Dworkin and his team of six graduate students use SciNet to run complex simulations that measure combustion chemistry, particle diffusion, fuel temperature, pressure, and a host of other variables.
With rapid industrialization in developing nations like China and India, Dworkin’s research could have a profound influence on climate change and pollution-borne illness.

Read more at The Eye-Opener