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Trio Brings Supercomputing to Physics and Engineering

The department is very excited to welcome one of the world's leading research groups in advanced computational simulations to USC from Louisiana State University. The visibility and recognition they will bring to USC will be tremendous.

Priya Vashishta, Rajiv Kalia and Aiichiro Nakano have received joint appointments in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. Their research and teaching will be based in departments of Computer Science, Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering and Physics & Astronomy. Rajiv Kalia will be a Professor of Physics, Priya Vashishta will be Professor of Materials Science and Aiichiro Nakano will be Associate Professor of Computer Science.

The three began their collaboration during the 1980s when they were Research Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory. In 1990, they moved to LSU where they established an internationally recognized program in the areas of communication, nanotechnology, life sciences and biotechnology. They created the Concurrent Computing Laboratory for Materials Simulations (CCLMS) where large-scale computers were used to investigate the properties of various materials and to simulate the behavior of these materials and devices at the atomistic level. The goal of their research has been to find ways to develop greater strength and durability in ceramics materials and greater speeds in electronic devices. They were using CCLMS to develop tougher ceramics for use in engines, aircraft, and other structures and to simulate debris impact in low-earth orbits for improving coatings on satellites and space shuttles.

"Computing technology will grow by a factor of more than a thousand in the next ten to fifteen years. Our goal is to follow this computing revolution from teraflops(102 flops) to petaflops (1015 flops). Using this unprecedented computing power, available for the first time in the history of science and engineering, it will be possible to carry out realistic simulations of complex systems and processes at the bio-nano interface" says the group.

Kalia specializes in molecular dynamics and his research efforts concentrate on atomistic simulations of nanoscale devices and interface with biological systems, parallel computations and immersive visualization. He has organized more than 20 conferences and symposiums and has authored more than 220 research papers and 8 books.

Vashishta's research interests are in atomistic simulations of bio-nano systems, parallel computing, and interactive and immersive visualization. He has edited or co-edited 10 books and authored or co-authored more than 240 papers.

Nakano's research is in the development of scalable scientific algorithms, grid computing on geographically distributed parallel computers, and scientific visualization. He has authored 151 refereed papers, including 89 journal papers.

Along with them, comes their own 166-node supercomputer. The group will work closely with the USC Center for High Performance Computing and Communications which is operated by the Information Services Division and the School of Engineering's Information Sciences Institute.

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