“Seeing the Unsee-able"
Visualization and Analytics Center for Enabling Technologies (VACET)

Helping scientists gain insight into structures and relationships "hidden" within data

E. Wes Bethel (project website)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Scientific visualization plays an important role in the scientific process: to “see the unsee-able”; as the most visible element of scientific research; and as the visual component of day-to-day diagnostic and exploration tools. Its aim is to help scientists gain insight into structures, relationships, and anomalies “hidden” within data. Its impact can be seen in all areas of science, medicine, engineering, finance, security, and safety.

Since the advent of computing, the world has experienced an “information big bang” - an explosion of data. Information is being created at an exponential rate, such that new information generated annually exceeds the information contained in all previously created documents. Furthermore, digital information now makes up more than 90% of all information produced, vastly exceeding that generated on paper and film. One of the greatest scientific and engineering challenges of the 21st century is to effectively understand and make use of this growing wealth of information to scientific advantage. Software plays a central role in providing the means to manage and understand relationships, anomalies, trends, and features contained in today’s abundant scientific data.

The Visualization and Analytics Center for Enabling Technology (VACET) focuses on the creation and deployment of scientific visualization and analytics software technology to increase scientific productivity and create new opportunities for scientific insight. Experience has shown that there simply is no “single visualization technology solution” that is responsive to the broad set of challenges facing the scientific research community. Instead, effective solutions require the careful adaptation and deployment of technologies from many sources. VACET draws from a diverse set of visualization technology ranging from production quality applications and application frameworks to state-of-the-art algorithms for visualization, analysis, analytics, data manipulation, and data management. The goal is to respond to the urgent needs of the scientific community by providing significant, production-quality technology to aid in data understanding. The vision for this Center is to adapt, extend, create when necessary, and deploy visual data analysis solutions that are responsive to the needs of DOE’s computational and experimental scientists for use in DOE’s large open computing facilities.

The VACET are a team of international leaders in scientific visualization and analysis with a strong record of creating and deploying visualization software and of effectively collaborating with application stakeholders. For four of the past eight years, members of the VACET team have authored or coauthored the Best Paper Award-winning papers at the IEEE Visualization Conference. Center members are involved in many leadership activities within the visualization field, including serving on editorial boards for visualization journals and co-chairing international visualization conferences and national workshops.

Center for Enabling Technology: Visualization

Project Title: Visualization and Analytics Center for Enabling Technologies (VACET)

Principal Investigator: E. Wes Bethel
Affiliation: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Project Website: http://www.vacet.org

Participating Institutions and Co-Investigators:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: E. Wes Bethel (PI)
University of Utah - Christopher Johnson (co-PI), Charles Hansen, Steven Parker, Claudio Silva
University of California-Davis - Kenneth Joy, Bernd Hamann
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Sean Ahern, George Ostrouchov, Jeremy Meredith
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Valerio Pascucci, Peter Lindstrom, Mark Duchaineau, Jonathan Cohen, Daniel Laney, Hank Childs, Kathleen Bonnell, Ming Jiang, Ajith Arthur Mascarenhas

Funding Partners: Office of ScienceOffice of Advanced Scientific Computing Research

Budget and Duration: Approximately $2.2 million per year for five years 1

Other SciDAC Enabling Technologies Centers
Other SciDAC visualization efforts

1Subject to acceptable progress review and the availability of appropriated funds


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