UCLA receives NSF award for plasma research

UCLA researchers have received a Major Research Instrumentation Program award from the National Science Foundation to build a 256-node, 512-processor computer cluster to advance research and education in broad and diverse areas of plasma science. This major award recognizes the significant role computation plays in scientific discovery and technological advances and especially highlights the strong computational research programs in plasma science and technology at UCLA.

"This is a significant award not only for the plasma community at UCLA but in its recognition of the importance of computation and the quality of plasma science research at UCLA," said Janette Miller, director of Strategic Research Initiatives/Sciences at UCLA. "It is also a substantial step forward for the organization and development of the computational infrastructure at UCLA, critical to both the UCLA research enterprise and to our national and international competitiveness."

"This award comes at an opportune time for UCLA as we are launching a new computational science and engineering initiative," said Tony Chan, dean of the Division of Physical Sciences at UCLA. "We are grateful for NSF's generous investment in UCLA and for the focus it puts on the strength of plasma science at UCLA."

Computing power is rapidly transforming the way scientific investigation is conducted. Along with theory and experimentation, computational-based modeling and numerical simulation are now essential tools in the advancement of scientific knowledge and engineering practice. As a result, parallel computer clusters are now the major instruments used by computational scientists, just as telescopes and particle accelerators are the major instruments used by astronomers and particle physicists.

"This cluster is an exciting development for plasma science research at UCLA," said Warren Mori, principal investigator for the grant and professor of physics and astronomy and electrical engineer

Contact: Pamela Corante
University of California - Los Angeles

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