"When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. " - Walt Disney
Question #14265 posted on 04/08/2005 3:02 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have spent many hours in the CTB working on projects for a mechanical engineering class and have seen the super computers many times. What are these "super" computers actually used for? Thanks!

- Super Computer Wonderer

A: Dear SCW:

BYU Magazine ran a pretty good article about it (them) last year: http://magazine.byu.edu/article.tpl?num=41-Win04

Uses that weren't mentioned in the article: my research group has used the supercomputers quite a bit over the last two years to do simulations of how proteins and other complex molecules behave. Students in the CS 684 class learn how to write "parallel algorithms" (meaning computer code that can run efficiently on multiple computers simultaneously) and use Marylou to test their programs.

-- Misaneroth