Petascale Day Petascale Day — 10.15

Petascale Day -- 10.15

Petascale Day Events

All events are free; everyone is welcome

NCSA building Unless otherwise noted, events take place at the NCSA Building, 1205 West Clark Street, Urbana (1 block south of University Ave., between Mathews & Goodwin). All event locations are handicap accessible.

Program: "What is a Quadrillion?"

10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Did you know that 1 quadrillion drops of water would fill 20,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools? Or that you would need 1,000 human bodies to amass 10 quadrillion cells to match the peak computing speed of Blue Waters?

Join NCSA staff on our quest to discover how the amazing quadrillion calculations per second speed of the new Blue Waters supercomputer relates to real life.

This presentation slide set is available for download.

Movie: "Dynamic Earth"
'Dynamic Earth' Venus simulation

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
"Dynamic Earth" features visualizations based on satellite monitoring data and advanced supercomputer simulations, including two sequences produced by NCSA's Advanced Visualization Laboratory. The audience will ride along on swirling ocean and wind currents, dive into the heart of Hurricane Katrina, fly into roiling volcanoes and more while following a trail of energy that flows from the Sun into the interlocking systems that shape our climate. Narrated by Liam Neeson.

Demonstration: Scientific 3D Visualizations
F3 tornado simulation

11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Scientific visualizations graphically illustrate data to enable scientists to understand, illustrate, and glean insights from it. See how our Milky Way Galaxy possibly formed, roam the ocean floor, be up-close with an F3 tornado, and view other exciting scientific visualizations created by NCSA's Advanced Visualization Laboratory in stunning 3D high definition in the stereo theater laboratory. The demonstration lasts approximately 15 minutes.

Tour: See the Blue Waters Petascale Supercomputer
Blue Waters supercomputer

11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Come to the National Petascale Computing Facility for a first-hand look at Blue Waters, a sustained petascale supercomputer capable of performing 1 quadrillion calculations per second. Blue Waters will be one of the world's fastest supercomputers when it becomes fully operational later this year. You can also take a peek at the infrastructure required for this powerful machine on a self-guided building tour. (Can't make it on Petascale Day? Blue Waters tours will also be available Tuesday thru Friday, October 16-19, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.)

National Petascale Computing Facility Location:
National Petascale Computing Facility, 1725 S. Oak St., Champaign
(West of Assembly Hall, corner of Oak St. & St. Mary's Road)

NOTE: Parking is available across the street from the Petascale Facility in University Lot E-14. IF you have a University parking tag for any other lot, you can park in E-14; there are also several metered spaces on the west edge of the lot (facing Oak Street) just past the north end of the Petascale Facility.

The CU-MTD's Yellow, Gold, Navy, and Brown lines also make stops close to the Petascale Facility. Go to for schedule information.

Program: Popular Science

Ever wonder just what it is scientists study on a supercomputer? Come to this program and find out!

Mark Neubauer 2:30 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.
Higgs Boson Discovery: A Success Story of Big Science with Big Data
This summer's major scientific discovery had some help from the University of Illinois. Physics professor Mark Neubauer will explain how he and others in the department played an important role in the discovery of a new subatomic particle thought to be the key to the origin of the universe.

Brian Jewett 3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tornadoes: What We Know So Far (And How Blue Waters Can Help)
When it comes to tornadoes, Mother Nature often outfoxes us. But that may change, thanks to Blue Waters. Atmospheric research scientist Brian Jewett will tell what they now know about how tornadoes form, what they hope to learn by using Blue Waters, and how that will improve tornado forecasting.

Movie Night at The Art!
Art Theater

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Join us at The Art Theater (126 W. Church St., Champaign) as NCSA presents a FREE screening of War Games (rated PG).

Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy star in this 1983 film about a teenage whiz kid (Broderick) who accidentally hacks into a top-secret government supercomputer, nearly setting off WW III. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the movie begins at 6:30 p.m.

The movie will be followed by a short panel discussion on how supercomputers in reality differ from movie versions. The discussion will be led by Luke Boyce, co-founder of the CU Film Society, and feature University of Illinois professors Julie Turnock, Assistant Professor of Media and Cinema Studies whose expertise is in movies of the 1970s and 1980s as well as special effects, and Bill Gropp, Paul and Cynthia Saylor Professor of Computer Science, Deputy Director of the Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies, and co-principal investigator for the Blue Waters supercomputer.

Luke Boyce

Luke Boyce

Julie Turnock

Julie Turnock

Bill Gropp

Bill Gropp