Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing

The U.S. Department of Energy's Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program was created to bring together many of the nation's top researchers to develop new computational methods for tackling some of the most challenging scientific problems

About SciDAC

Scientific computing, including modeling and simulation, has become crucial for research problems that are not solvable by traditional theoretical and experimental approaches, hazardous to study in the laboratory, or time-consuming or expensive to solve by traditional means. Beyond the scientific computing and computational science research embedded in the Office of Science (SC) Core Programs, SC invests in a portfolio of coordinated research efforts directed at exploiting the emerging capabilities of ultrascale computing. The research projects in this portfolio respond to the extraordinary difficulties of realizing sustained peak performance for those scientific applications that require ultrascale computing capabilities to accomplish their research goals.

SciDAC began in 2001 as a five-year program by the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop the Scientific Computing Software and Hardware Infrastructure needed to use terascale computers to advance DOE research programs in basic energy sciences, biological and environmental research, fusion energy sciences, and high-energy and nuclear physics. As supercomputers evolved from terascale systems to today’s petascale systems, the SciDAC program was re-competed in 2006 and recently in 2011 to meet the accompanying challenges, and the partnerships were extended to include the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Through partnerships with SC Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR)-funded mathematicians and computer scientists, SciDAC applications pursued computational solutions to challenging problems in climate science, fusion research, high energy physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, material science, chemistry, particle accelerators, biology and the reactive subsurface flow of contaminants through groundwater. Today the SciDAC program is recognized as the leader in accelerating the use of high-performance computing to advance the state of knowledge in science applications. Historical information on the previous portfolios can be found here.

The SciDAC research projects are collaborative efforts involving teams of physical scientists, mathematicians, computer scientists, and computational scientists working on major software and algorithm development for and application to problems in the DOE core research programs. Research funded under the SciDAC program address the interdisciplinary problems inherent in ultrascale computing and problems that cannot be addressed by a single investigator or small group of investigators. Read the original SciDAC Program Plan.


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