Du Competes for Prestigious Gordon Bell Prize

According to a recent announcement at Supercomputing 2016, six outstanding research efforts in high performance technical computing have been selected this year as finalists in supercomputing’s most prestigious competition, the ACM Gordon Bell Prize in High Performance Computing.

One of the finalists, titled “Extreme-Scale Phase Field Simulations of Coarsening Dynamics on the Sunway Taihulight Supercomputer,” involves the joint work of Qiang Du, the Fu Foundation Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics Department at Columbia University, along with his former postdoc (the lead author, currently a research scientist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences), Prof. Du’s former student (currently a professor at the University of South Carolina), and other collaborators in China.

For many years, Prof. Du has been working on the phase field modeling of microstructure evolutions - an important research subject in computational materials science. The work, selected as a Gordon Bell prize finalist this year, presented a scalable algorithm to numerically integrate phase field equations and its efficient implementation, as well as simulations at an unprecedented scale on the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

The Gordon Bell Prize recognizes the extraordinary progress made each year in the innovative application of parallel computing to challenges in science, engineering, and large-scale data analytics and many Columbia researchers have had success winning the Gordon Bell competition in the last century. Research in large-scale high performance computation and its applications, in particular to materials science research, remains active at Columbia, as evidenced by the formation of two working groups within the Data Science Institute (Frontiers in Computing Systems and Materials Discovery Analytics). The honor of being named as a finalist for the Gordon Bell competition this year reflects the continued development of computational science research at Columbia University.

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