UNL tapped to lead operations supporting atom-smashing research

Most of the $51 million from the National Science Foundation will leave UNL’s campus, Bloom said, but some of it will be put to use in Lincoln in support of the project.

Some of the upgrades will happen at the Holland Computing Center, which stores a copy of some of the data created through experiments at CERN, and extends computing power to the physicists trying to determine what it all means.

Carl Lundstedt, a professor of physics who serves as the grid system operator at the Holland Computing Center, said Red, the supercomputer that supports the CMS project underneath NU’s South Stadium, is capable of storing 7 petabytes of data.

In addition to maintaining a cache of the vast amount of information generated at CERN, Red also works with other Tier-2 computing sites as a kind of combination between the electric grid and Amazon Web Services, Lundstedt said.

“If you’re a physicist working with the data, you might task a job to Red but never know it,” Lundstedt said, adding that UNL is continually working to upgrade and overhaul the supercomputer as new technology becomes available.

In addition to directing funds to further research efforts across the U.S., Bloom said UNL will also engage in furthering the science that will be done at CERN in the coming years.

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