1998 - 1999 CS Annual Report   Interdisciplinary

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The Cornell Theory Center

The Cornell Theory Center (CTC) is Cornell's high-performance computing and interdisciplinary research center. CTC's main technical research and development thrust is in large-scale NT-based cluster computing. Through its Advanced Cluster Computing Consortium (AC3), CTC acquired a 256-processor cluster - AC3 Velocity - which consists of 64 Dell PowerEdge™ servers, each with four Intel Pentium III Xeon™ 500 mhz processors and running Microsoft Windows® NT™. The primary cluster interconnect is provided by Giganet, Inc.

Cornell is one of the leading institutions for computational science and engineering in the country, due in large part to the resources and expertise available at CTC. Associated researchers work in some of the most computationally challenging fields. The kinds of interdisciplinary research projects that need the power of AC3 Velocity include:

Computational Finance - projects such as investigating new optimization algorithms for large-scale portfolio analysis and value-at-risk calculations.

Digital Material - a virtual working environment for scientists simulating the deformation, fatigue, and failure of materials.

Computational Genomics - development of highly-advanced tools for large-scale data acquisition and analysis to understand the origins of life and the molecular processes that underlie life.

Biomedical Research - development of new algorithms and interdisciplinary approaches to molecular structure research, with a special emphasis on protein dynamics.

These projects also benefit from CTC's extensive visualization expertise and resources, including a three-wall CAVE virtual reality environment, where scientists can "immerse" themselves in their application.

CTC is an integral part of Cornell's new Computing and Information Sciences initiative, and is active in attracting new communities, such as business, the arts, and the social sciences, to advanced computing and information technologies. CTC works closely with its AC3 Infrastructure Members, among whom are Dell Computer Corporation, Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, and Giganet, Inc., and with a range of corporations interested in implementing state-of-the-art cluster environments and in having a strategic window into future technologies.