INCITE Program Paves Way for Groundbreaking Research

This year marks the seventh anniversary of the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, which has given researchers from academia, government labs and industry access to some of the fastest supercomputers in the world. INCITE enables scientific discoveries and technological innovations by awarding time on multiple systems and is now accepting proposals for high-impact, computationally intensive research campaigns in a broad array of science, engineering and computer science domains.

INCITE’s Multi-Discipline Research 

Using one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world — “Titan,” a Cray® XK7™ system housed at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) — researchers across the country devoted more than 1.94 billion processor hours to 32 computational research projects last year alone. Projects ranging from nuclear fusion to astrophysics occupied some of Titan’s computing capability, allowing for groundbreaking research in multiple disciplines.

Notable Discoveries Enabled by INCITE in 2013:

  • Using a gyrokinetic code on Titan, C.S. Chang from the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, was able to model the behavior of “blobby” turbulence, which is vital fusion energy research.
  • The last massive earthquake that shook the San Andreas Fault was in 1906 causing horrific damage leaving half the city of San Francisco homeless. Scientists are predicting right now is just the quiet before the storm in the Bay Area among other regions lining the San Andreas. To help prepare California for the next big one, SCEC joint researchers including computational scientist, Yifeng Cui, of the University of California, San Diego and geophysicist, Kim Olsen, of San Diego State University are using Titan to simulate earthquakes at high frequencies for more detailed predictions.
  • Paul Shapiro and an international team of collaborators from University of Texas-Austin, Chosun University, University of Sussex and the University of Zurich focused their 81.3 million core hours on Titan researching the universe’s Epoch of Reionization. Using the code RAMSES-CUDATON, Shapiro and his team ran the largest simulation of the universe to observe the formation and suppression of stars.

Future Discoveries – Apply Now

Through June 27, INCITE’s open call provides an opportunity for researchers to make transformational advances in science and technology through large allocations of computer time and supporting resources at ORNL and the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, operated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The winning proposals will receive awards of time on the 27-petaflops Cray XK7 Titan system at ORNL, and on “Mira,” the 10-petaflops IBM Blue Gene/Q at Argonne. INCITE will allocate approximately 5.75 billion core-hours on these DOE leadership-class supercomputers in 2015. Proposals may be for up to three years. To learn more about the INCITE program and to submit an application, please visit

Jack Wells, Director of Science for the NCCS at ORNL

Jack Wells

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