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Data, Astrophysics, and Advanced Computing: Research Computing at TACC for the Next Decade

January 30, 2020

When: January 30, 2020 3:30PM

Niall Gaffney

Texas Advanced Computing Center: UT, Austin

Over the past decade, much has changed in computational research. With the end of the hype era of “big data” and soon to be of “AI”, centers like the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) are working in both fields new to computational research, like humanities and biology, and those with a firm background in traditional model driven computational research like Physics and Astronomy.  In this talk, I will briefly discuss advancements in the capacities and capabilities of modern super computing and how new technologies and techniques are changing all aspects of computational research. How applications in both data driven research and those supported by more real-time cloud-like services are changing what is possible in observational research, and how similar techniques are improving how traditional model driven computations are carried out.  Finally I will go into details of several projects, ranging from Muliti-messenger astronomy and computational biology to less standard areas like traffic safety and natural hazard engineering share many computational requirements and need support from centers like TACC.

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Niall Gaffney

Niall Gaffney's background largely revolves around the management and utilization of large inhomogeneous scientific datasets. Niall, who earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in astronomy from The University of Texas at Austin, joined TACC in May 2013. Prior to that he worked for 13 years in the role of designer and developer for the archives housed at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which hold the data from the Hubble Space Telescope, Kepler, and James Webb Space Telescope missions. He was also a leader in the development of the Hubble Legacy Archive, projects that harvested the 20+ years of Hubble Space Telescope data to create some of the most sensitive astronomical data products available for open research. Prior to his work at STScI, Niall was worked as "the friend of the telescope" for the Hobby Eberly Telescope (HET) project at the McDonald Observatory in west Texas where he started working to create systems to acquire and handle the storage and distribution of the data the HET produced.

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