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K-State Today

June 18, 2018

Beocat staff impact local, national research cyberinfrastructure

By Daniel Andresen

Beocat hard drives.

Dave Turner, Beocat application scientist, recently completed work with Christine Aikens, professor of chemistry, and her research group that massively reduced the running time of PYXAID, a computational tool used for real-time data calculations. 

According to Aikens, the work with Turner reduced the run time for PYXAID from 20-30 days each down to only six to eight hours. 

"The computational support from staff like Dave Turner has been invaluable for our group," Aikens said. "Before, we had to wait for a very long time to determine the results of a calculation. If we then wanted to test new parameters, we had to wait another month. Being able to have results quickly — especially within the same day — means that we can be much more productive."

Computer science seniors Nathaniel Helgeson and Kevin Beashore worked with Kimberly Kirkpatrick, professor of psychology, and her graduate students to reduce a power analysis simulation running time from more than 12 hours to around three hours. Kirkpatrick said she plans to apply the analysis to 10 times as much data.

The pair were supervised by Turner and Daniel Andresen, director of the Institute for Computational Research in Engineering and Science, and are currently working for a 30 times speedup using Beocat.

Computer science staff also led training at the recent weeklong Linux Cluster Institute Introductory Workshop on High Performance Cluster Computing at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Kyle Hutson, Beocat system administrator, was invited back for the second year to teach content at the workshop, including networking and user account management. 

Beocat is the central computing resource for multiple departments across campus, and is available to any academic researcher in Kansas and their partners under the statewide KanShare memorandum of understanding. Use of Beocat is free for professors and students in the state of Kansas. In addition to many users across the K-State campus, Beocat also is a resource for users from Wichita State University, Washburn University, Bethany College, Pittsburg State University, the University of Kansas and other institutions.

Beocat is supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and Information Technology Services.

For more information on its use or a tour, contact Andresen at dan@k-state.edu or 785-532-7914.