The mission of the CCS is to promote scientific discovery by computational science through the application of advanced computing technologies, and to support researches of computational science in Japanese universities and institutes by operating leading-edge computing systems. The CCS aims to carry out research on critical issues in fundamental science, material science, life science and environmental science through performing large-scale simulations and large-scale data analyses. To realize this goal, the Center performs research and development of high-performance computing systems and networks, and advanced studies in computer and information science.
The Center is an inter-university facility, and thus functions as an international as well as a national center for computational sciences. Since 2010, CCS is recognized as a national core-center, Advanced Interdisciplinary Computational Science Collaboration Initiative (AISCI), for the collaborative research on the Interdisciplinary Computational Science.
CCS Vision of “Interdisciplinary Computational Science”
High-performance computing systems are essential tools for carrying out successful computational science research. Development of computational science cannot be satisfactorily achieved solely by the scientists who use computers, and close collaboration and synergy is required with computer scientists with expertise in computer hardware, software, algorithms and programming, and information scientists with expertise in data and media engineering and technologies. Therefore, in order to establish a solid basis for the development of computational science, it is necessary to build a system that integrates the activities at the forefront of scientific research with those of computer science and information science.
To develop computational science, it is vital to establish an organization that combines the forefront of science research with that of computer science. The CCS has been striving to carry out such collaborative research: we have developed a massively parallel computer CP-PACS (ranked as the No. 1 system in the Top 500 List of November 1996) by collaboration between physicists and computer scientists. Large-scale computations were carried out on CP-PACS resulting in significant progress in particle physics and astrophysics. Since then, a large-scale cluster system, PACS-CS (2006), and a special-purpose parallel system for astrophysics, FIRST (2007) have been developed by the interdisciplinary collaboration.
The vision of CCS’s “Interdisciplinary Computational Science” is to further enhance and develop the close collaboration among various science disciplines by applying the activities undertaken in the computer sciences pursued at the CCS, which is quite unique in the world. This approach will be a key for future computational science of exa-scale computing beyond the current petaflops computing.
Collaboration and Alliance
Collaborations and alliance on the research of computational science are important factors for promoting and accelerating interdisciplinary computational science.
ILDG is an international project to develop a grid of data grids for sharing lattice QCD configurations worldwide. An XML-based markup language, QCDml, which describes metadata for QCD configurations and ensembles (sets of configurations with common physics parameters) have been developed. The construction of regional grids was finalized in US, UK, Germany, Australia and Japan. JLDG works as the ILDG Japan grid. The interoperability of the regional grids has been achieved for download operations, and valuable configurations have already been archived in the grid. JLDG is supported by “Cyber Science Infrastructure Project,” which is carried out by National Institute of Informatics as a part of the grid infrastructure for academic research between the universities and research institutions.
For nationwide alliance, we have made an alliance with University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, T2K alliance, since the acquisition of the T2K supercomputer system. We are going to strengthen the T2K alliance as well as the connection to the coming peta-scale system, not just for computing facilities, but also for research on computational science.
Our university is located in Tsukuba Science City, which has many government research organizations. We already have connections to the major research institutions in Tsukuba (e.g., High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (AIST), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Meteorological Research Institute (MRI), and National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES)).
We are going to strengthen and expand the wide spectrum of international and domestic collaborations already underway, and use these connections as bridges to send and invite researchers and students for research collaborations. We are running the “Computational Science Researchers Invitation Program”,which invite researchers who are at the forefront of research in science and computational science.
Educational Activities for advanced computational science
The Computational Science Dual-Degree (double major) Program is an educational program which enables a graduate student in a doctoral program to simultaneously belong to a masters program of a different graduate school, and receive both a doctoral degree in science and a master’s degree in computer science, or vice versa, upon graduation. The program is intended to educate researchers who can advance new interdisciplinary computational science from global viewpoints. We are running the program since 2008 with curriculum and courses for advanced computational science and begin this program in 2008.
Campus-wide courses on computational sciences for graduate students are other educational activities. Currently, we have two courses:
- Computational Science Literacy
- High-performance Parallel Computing Technology for Computational Sciences (overlapped with the HPC Seminar)
The lectures are given by faculty members of CCS and is worth one unit of graduate credit.
The HPC Seminar presents knowledge, methods and techniques for programming modern high-performance computer systems, including recent microprocessors and their performance, and parallel programming. This is an inter-university activity open for researchers outside the Center, even researchers in companies not related to the university. The seminar is held during 2 or 3 days in the summer. It is also was broadcasted via the Internet.