Princeton University has created a cyberinfrastructure, says Curt Hillegas, the Director of Princeton’s TIGRESS High Performance Computing and Visualization Center, itself a collaboration between the Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering (PICSciE). Developed within the past decade, this cyberinfrastructure consists of computational systems, data and information management, advanced instruments, visualization environments, and people, all linked together by software and advanced networks to improve scholarly productivity and enable knowledge breakthroughs and discoveries not otherwise possible.
At the April 8 Lunch ‘n Learn seminar, Hillegas noted that the University’s research computing activity has grown to keep pace with and to provide leadership for this international trend. Tigress maintains a vast hardware and storage infrastructure. And staff provide support for programming and for the new visualization facilities within the Lewis Science library.
Imagine being paid, or getting Princeton credit, for playing with trains and Legos™.
For more than 25 years, Professor Michael G. Littman, of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton, has taught MAE 412 Microprocessors for Measurement and Control, a course about microcomputer control.
In the class, students design single-board microcomputer controllers, and apply them for the automation of a modular n-scale model railroad. For example, a computer might be used to automate railroad switches to prevent collisions, facilitate traffic flow through a ladder network of tracks on a project board, or even regulate the loading of pipes onto train cars.
At OIT’s Lunch ‘n Learn presentation on October 11, three of the faculty who were instrumental in architecting the new high performance facility – Bill Tang (Chief Scientist at PPPL and Associate Director of PICSciE), Jim Stone (Astrophysical Sciences with a joint appointment in PACM), and Mikko Haataja (Assistant Professor in the Materials Group in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) – discussed their use of the University’s new centrally available high-performance computational facilities recently featured in a Princeton Weekly Bulletin article.
Curt Hillegas, OIT’s Manager of Computation Science and Engineering Support, began by reviewing the University’s recent progress in the area of high performance computing. He stressed the partnerships that made these advances possible, with significant contributions from PICSciE (Princeton Institute for Computation Science in Engineering), OIT, SEAS
(The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences), the Lewis Siegler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Astrophysical Sciences, and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Individual faculty members have also contributed significant research funding. Hillegas revealed the name recently chosen for the infrastructure: TIGRES, or Terascale Infrastructure for Groundbreaking Research in Engineering and Science.