Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Coordinator: Steve Mrenna

Review abstracts for current and past practicum experiences at Fermilab >>

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) advances the understanding of the fundamental nature of matter and energy by providing leadership and resources for qualified researchers to conduct basic research at the frontiers of high energy physics (HEP) and related disciplines. Fermilab is managed by the Fermi Research Alliance (FRA), a joint limited liability company of the Universities Research Association (URA) and the University of Chicago.

Fermilab’s computational activities include: modeling and simulation of the accelerators and the experiment detectors and physics processes; accelerator and detector readout and control systems; theoretical and experimental astrophysics; simulation, processing analysis, management, and distribution of the experimental and theoretical data; and massively parallel numerical simulations of Quantum Chromodynamics in support of theoretical high energy and nuclear physics programs. Fermilab does development and research of state-of-the art systems and software in support of these activities both in the methods and technologies for the scientific calculations as well as in the areas of networking, large scale distributed computing, scientific workflow and analysis frameworks.

The Fermilab Computing Division has a staff over more than two hundred and seventy. Members of the Computing Division include more than forty scientists and one hundred and eighty computing professionals, computer scientists and engineers. Scientists and engineers in the other divisions and sections in the Laboratory collaborate on many computational activities, especially the CMS Physics, Astrophysics and Accelerator Centers. The scale and complexity of the data in the physics and astrophysics programs provide real-time data acquisition, computational and data challenges that lend themselves to research and development from computer science and related areas of computational research. Programs at Fermilab that already include such activities are:

Accelerator Modeling and Simulation as part of the SciDAC Compass project, which Fermilab leads. Specific challenges include Particle In Cell (PIC) algorithms and implementation, parallel differential equation solvers as well as general infrastructure needs.

Advanced Scientific Workflow for the Lattice QCD scientists as part of the LQCD SciDAC program. Fault detection and mitigation systems for large-scale scientific computing facilities. Multicore multithread optimization techniques for massively parallel computations. Investigations of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for high- performance scientific computing.

Theoretical Astrophysics for a wide range of projects in computational astrophysics, from modeling the large-scale distribution of dark matter and galaxies as probes of dark energy evolution, to simulations of individual galaxies and supermassive black holes. Computational physics challenges include adaptive mesh refinement techniques to model the evolution of dark matter, cosmic gas, star formation, and radiative transfer on massively parallel supercomputers. Numerical challenges include large dynamic range (1 million in space and 1 billion in time), rich multi- scale physics (from non-equilibrium ionization and thermodynamics to long-range gravitational interactions).

Advanced Distributed Systems Research and Development including: Advanced network technologies and end-to-end deployments as part of the US CMS world-wide system (programs like the DOE ASCR funded project LambdaStation); computer security and trust analysis and modeling for the distributed, collaborative systems deployed for experiment data processing and analysis (including investigations of the utility of social networks based security intrusion and incident pattern access recognition); and data management and distribution technologies (including collaborating on the SciDAC Center for Enabling Distributed Petascale Science).