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Research Efforts

University of Mississippi

  1. Data analysis for large-scale collaborative experiments in physics and astronomy.

    Modern research in physics is often driven by extremely large instruments: the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, the Stanford Linear Accelerator in California; and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory in Louisiana are all very famous examples. These instruments generate staggering amounts of data --- more data than could possibly be stored or processed by the labs that operate these instruments. The LHC, for instance, produces data at a rate of about 15 petabytes per year. To put that in perspective: that's about 1500 times the amount of data stored in the entire Library of Congress. No computer system in the world could store and process that much data -- and this is just one experiment!

    To store and process this data, it is first broken into (still-huge) pieces and passed around the world. It's then broken into smaller pieces and analyzed at places like the University of Mississippi. Physicists here work with the data from these international experiments in order to better understand the underlying natural laws that govern our universe. The rate at which our physicists can make discoveries is strongly dependent on their ability to obtain and share large chunks of experimental data with their collaborators around the world. MissiON will be a great help to these scientists.

  2. Flood simulations for emergency managers.

    Ole Miss is home to the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering (NCCHE). Among other things, NCCHE is home to a flood simulation system called War Games for Flood Emergency Managers (WGFEM). WGFEM is a service running on a computer at NCCHE here on the UM campus. Emergency management officials can log in to the system and conduct computer-game-like simulations of flooding. Think: if this dam breaks, what are the flooding consequences at a particular location downstream 5, 10, 60, 120 minutes later? How does this change if we blast another levee over here, or put in a 6-foot high barricade over there? WGFEM enables emergency managers to form detailed plans in advance, and also to test mitigation strategies in real time during an unfolding flooding disaster.

    The WGFEM system is very network-dependent: flood managers connect to the system from around the world, upload data on the terrain they are interested in, and request simulations. The simulations are carried out at UM, and the data then passed back via the network to the flood manager. The faster the network performs, the sooner the flood manager will have good information on which to act.

  3. Shared supercomputing services.
  4. UM is also home to the Mississippi Center for Supercomputing Research (MCSR) a high performance computing center serving all of Mississippi's public colleges and universities. MCSR supercomputers are used for a variety of data- and network-intensive research projects. For instance, researchers at the Jackson Heart Study use our supercomputers to search for genetic markers for heart disease in African-Americans. To do this work, the researchers in Jackson must upload huge data sets to our servers in Oxford, carry out the calculations here, and then download the results back to their local computers. Similar work is done by researchers looking for genetic risk factors for various cancers at the Cancer Institute of the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

    In addition to providing processing power for scientific research, MCSR provides instructional support for classes in computer and natural sciences. For instance, MCSR works with Alcorn State University on a class on a special type of programming for supercomputers. His students use computers at UM for their work, and the staff at the Center will be deliver a series of interactive guest-lectures to his class via the Internet. The ASU students get expert training from MCSR staff and hands-on experience with advanced computers, helping prepare them to enter the complex high-tech economy of the future, all via the inter-university network.

University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi continues to meet head-on the intellectual and human issues of the day. The challenges are formidable, and university professors and students are tackling the issues through relevant research that translates into real-world applications and learning opportunities.

At The University of Southern Mississippi, researchers are creating new knowledge that directly impacts society by

  • Monitoring the health of the ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and impacts of the BP oil spill
  • Offering solutions for the safety and security for sports stadiums and arenas that have been identified as potential targets of terrorism
  • Developing strategies for management, conservation and repopulation of marine species commonly used as food resources throughout the world
  • Implementing educational programs designed to deal with nutrition, obesity, diabetes and autism in Mississippi
  • Creating in our polymer science program new polymer materials used in everyday products such as cosmetics, ship building and sports equipment
  • Gathering statistical data to improve weather forecasting models in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Refining devices used by first responders to detect airborne pathogens
  • Forensic technology designed to rehydrate degraded fingerprints
  • Developing an airborne laser instrument for mapping coastal areas

These are only a slice of the total spectrum of research activities found across the university's dual-campus locations. Bolstered by $80 million in external funding during the 2009-10 fiscal year, support for USM research has increased substantially during the past decade and annually sustains a variety of robust research projects.

From the humanities to the sciences, faculty members are awarded highly competitive funding from prestigious federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Endowment for the Arts.

As a comprehensive Carnegie research university, USM is committed to creating a culture that nurtures and supports a rich and innovative environment where students and faculty are making a difference in the world around them.

For more information about Research at Southern Miss, go to http://www.usm.edu/research.

Jackson State University

Disaster Response Intelligent System (DRIS) Architecture

The Center for Defense Integrated Data at Jackson State University created the Disaster Response Intelligent System (DRIS). DRIS is an intelligent decision-support system for use by emergency operators for urban search and rescue, risk assessment, evacuation planning, and resource management. DRIS utilizes GIS and fuzzy logic to support decision-making prior to, during and following a major disaster.

DRIS provides crisis management centers with the ability to create a common operational picture that strengthens information sharing and coordination. Emergency managers will be able to identify the location of survivors, deploy personnel, view available assets, recommend search areas, track casualty statistics, and recommend routes to disaster areas.

Applications and Environmental Effects of Nanomaterials

The NSF CREST Interdisciplinary Computational Center for Nanotoxicity at Jackson State University develops new approaches to enhance knowledge related to nanomaterials, their practical applications and environmental effects and implement an integrated education and research program in the area of nanotoxicity. The implementation of these studies provide new insights into the mechanisms of the toxic action of nanomaterials, as well as relevant scientific information for making informed decisions regarding the cost-effective management of nanomaterials.

Disaster Detection and Response

National Center for Biodefense Communication (NCBC) at Jackson State University is an internet-based technology center which assists policy makers, healthcare personnel and first responders in the early detection and response to significant human and animal health events. The basic and applied research undertaken by NCBC seeks to minimize the impact of bioterrorism and disasters, through surveillance, early detection and timely response. NCBC uses the Disaster, Incident, and Situational Collaborative Operational Virtual Environment Resource for Mississippi (Discover MS) system to bring Google’s familiar “flyable” globe to the First Responder community. The “flyable” globe is easy to use and explore. It aims to provide the right data at the right time in an easy to understand, user defined context allowing the First Responder to make better decisions through incident and disaster planning, mitigation, response, and recovery. Alabama and Louisiana both use a Google solution that Mississippi’s globe complements and ensures true data interoperability.

High Performance Computing

The Northrop Grumman Center for High Performance Computing Ship Systems at Jackson State University develops computational technologies to design next generation ships, studies the dispersion of contaminants in urban and battle fields, applies high performance computing methodologies to investigate the impact of hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, develops simulation technologies to study the aerodynamics characteristics of future combat systems in Amy’s modernization program, and provides research and educational training for JSU students. The Center recently developed the CaMELSWE simulation software to simulate ocean circulation – potentially 100 times faster than traditional models such as ADCIRC, while producing as accurate results. CaMELCHH is a time accurate parallel two fluid flow simulator and tracks the dynamics of two fluids (water and oil) accurately. This visualization software technology is seamless visualization which produces JMZ files viewable using public domain Google Earth. The software can accurately broadcast wind magnitude and direction using 1 KM spatial resolution just above ocean surface.

Geographic Information Systems

Trent Lott Geospatial and Visualization Research Center at Jackson State University bonds existing capabilities and expertise in the areas of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS) and Scientific Visualization (Sci-Viz). This centralization of technology, data, people, and institutional linkages enables the discovery, evaluation, and application of geospatial and visual data for adding value to research across various areas and disciplines. The Center’s infrastructure allows researchers may conduct their research without regard to geographical location interacting with colleagues, accessing instrumentation, sharing data and computational resources, and accessing information in digital libraries.

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University scientists are at the forefront of applying technology and cutting-edge research to solve problems, make discoveries, enhance our state’s economy, and improve quality of life for all Mississippians. Additionally, researchers at MSU are addressing many of the world’s most pressing issues related to food and fiber production, water resources, information and infrastructure security, and material sciences and engineering.

Increasingly, Mississippi State’s research enterprise depends on processing, moving, and sharing terabytes of data, and MissiON is a critical resource in this process. There are numerous projects underway at MSU that benefit from the enhanced supercomputing capabilities and high-speed network access MissiON facilitates, including:

  • Mississippi State researchers and colleagues at Jackson State and the University of Mississippi Medical Center are investigating particulate deposition in human lungs. The project simulates particulates deposited in lungs using computational fluid dynamics to simulate airflow. Dynamic linkage between collaborators is essential to the project.
  • Blast modeling at Mississippi State is giving researchers essential information about blast impacts on vehicles and allowing blast modeling in urban environments. MSU faculty members and graduate students are working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center and the U.S. Department of Defense Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.
  • 3-D visualization research at MSU is providing MSU researchers with simultaneous vehicle simulation in real time with partners, real-world scenarios for warfighters, enhanced research discovery through simultaneous simulation and visualization, and graphical information that correlates with real-world locations and objects using augmented reality.
  • Virtual human modeling in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, GM, Ford, and the Defense Department that predicts organ failure under extreme loading conditions is contributing to better protection systems and safer vehicles. In addition, virtual real-world scenarios simulating human-vehicle interactions are helping develop next-generation vehicle design through simulations.
  • Scientists at Mississippi State and Stennis Space Center with national and international research partners are conducting advanced meteorological modeling based on weather data, animations, graphic files, satellite data, and other sources.
  • Located in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, the High Performance Computing Collaboratory at MSU is a coalition of member centers and groups that share a common core objective of advancing the state-of-the-art in computational science and engineering using high performance computing, a common approach to research that embraces a multi-disciplinary and team-oriented concept, and a commitment to a full partnership between education, research, and service. HPC2 includes the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, the Center for Computational Sciences, the Geosystems Research Institute, the Institute for Genomics, Biocomputing and Biotechnology, and the Northern Gulf Institute.

Participants

  • University of Mississippi
  • University of Southern Mississippi
  • Jackson State University
  • Mississippi State University
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center
  • Stennis Space Center

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