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Supercomputing is performing computational science on high-performance computers.
This statement introduces two questions: what is computational science, and what are
Computational science is a discipline in which a scientific problem,
be it one of biology, physics, geology, medicine, engineering, or any other field, is modeled
by one or more mathematical equations. These equations are typically so computationally intensive that it
might take human beings years to solve the problem by traditional pencil and paper methods.
Thus, these equations must be solved by a computer, where the work can be accomplished in
relatively little time. Similarly, the output can be so complex that it must also
be interpreted by a computer. Often this means displaying the output in some type of graphical format.
As you can see, computational sciece isn't just computer programming, but it
includes any general area of science along with math and computer science.
The definition of a high-performance computer (or a supercomputer), changes daily
since computers are continually getting stronger and faster. Therefore, a high-performance computer
could simply be considered to be one of the "best" at the current time.
For Challenge participants, you may request direct access to a high-performance
computer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory if your project
demonstrates the need for more computing power than your local machine.
However, it takes special programming techniques to utilize
all of the power that a high performance computing cluster has.
Furthermore, the Challenge only grants computer
accounts at LANL to those teams who display the need to have access for so
much computing power. E-mail
to request access to an HPC cluster.
You may access these machines from your home or school computer by using an