Research Computing Center supports leading-edge research

Tuesday 10/01/2013

Whether it’s designing more energy-efficient aircraft or exploring the role of social networks in politics, the Research Computing Center (RCC) is often a key player in supporting groundbreaking research at FSU. In the past five years, the resources available through the RCC have helped fuel more than 1,000 researchers representing five colleges and over 25 departments at FSU.

The Research Computing Center, previously known as FSU’s Shared-High Performance Computing Center (HPC), offers a broad base of research computing and data storage services that allow FSU researchers to analyze and store large amounts of data. The Center also supports research projects from start to finish with free and dedicated consulting services on topics ranging from writing grant proposals to developing complex workflows.

The tools available to researchers through the RCC open up doors to new research opportunities and breakthroughs. When the NoleNet Express-lane, a high-speed dedicated network for the transmission of large amounts of data, opens this October, researchers will be able to move data more efficiently among local and remote resources. The ability to transmit data at faster rates not only enables researchers to meet tight deadlines, but also increases the amount of time available for experimenting and exploring more complex questions.

Steve Morey and Dmitry Dukhovskoy, Research Scientists at the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, use the RCC to conduct numerical ocean model studies of deepwater ocean currents in the Gulf of Mexico. Their research will help oil and gas companies engineer designs necessary to support safe ultra-deepwater operations for the future. “The RCC supports our research by providing the computational resources necessary for us to . . . successfully complete these contracts. Our past successes in this field . . .  are leading to additional projects.” - Steve Morey, Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies

The demand for the Center’s services contributed to the decision to rename the organization and move it under Information Technology Services (ITS) in December 2012. The Center now operates as an academic service unit of ITS, and as a result, is better-positioned to support university-wide research projects. RCC Director James Wilgenbusch considers the move a great benefit for university researchers. “There are many reasons for why positioning the RCC under ITS makes sense. Perhaps the most obvious is the fact that more and more disciplines are requiring dedicated computing and data storage resources. In other words, the RCC is not a department or a college resource; rather, the RCC is a university resource.”

In line with FSU’s U.S. News & World Report ranking as the most efficient high-quality university in the country, the Center is subsidized by the university in order to promote best practices and enable faculty and students to focus on their research instead of trying to build their own computing and data storage infrastructure. In addition, the Center’s robust, in-house research tools are an appealing incentive for researchers. “New systems are helping us attract world-class faculty and provide current faculty and students the resources they need for groundbreaking research,” states RCC Director James Wilgenbusch.

For more information on how the RCC supports leading-edge research at FSU, visit