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  1. Abstract

    Bio-inspired Topographically Mediated Surfaces (TMSs) based on high aspect ratio nanostructures have recently been attracting significant attention due to their pronounced antimicrobial properties by mechanically disrupting cellular processes. However, scalability of such surfaces is often greatly limited, as most of them rely on micro/nanoscale fabrication techniques. In this report, a cost-effective, scalable, and versatile approach of utilizing diamond nanotechnology for producing TMSs, and using them for limiting the spread of emerging infectious diseases, is introduced. Specifically, diamond-based nanostructured coatings are synthesized in a single-step fabrication process with a densely packed, needle- or spike-like morphology. The antimicrobial proprieties of the diamond nanospike surface are qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed and compared to other surfaces including copper, silicon, and even other diamond surfaces without the nanostructuring. This surface is found to have superior biocidal activity, which is confirmed via scanning electron microscopy images showing definite and widespread destruction ofE. colicells on the diamond nanospike surface. Consistent antimicrobial behavior is also observed on a sample prepared seven years prior to testing date.

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  2. Abstract

    The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is a cubic kilometer neutrino detector located at the geographic South Pole designed to detect high-energy astrophysical neutrinos. To thoroughly understand the detected neutrinos and their properties, the detector response to signal and background has to be modeled using Monte Carlo techniques. An integral part of these studies are the optical properties of the ice the observatory is built into. The simulated propagation of individual photons from particles produced by neutrino interactions in the ice can be greatly accelerated using graphics processing units (GPUs). In this paper, we (a collaboration between NVIDIA and IceCube) reduced the propagation time per photon by a factor of up to 3 on the same GPU. We achieved this by porting the OpenCL parts of the program to CUDA and optimizing the performance. This involved careful analysis and multiple changes to the algorithm. We also ported the code to NVIDIA OptiX to handle the collision detection. The hand-tuned CUDA algorithm turned out to be faster than OptiX. It exploits detector geometry and only a small fraction of photons ever travel close to one of the detectors.

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  5. Sadayappan, Ponnuswamy ; Chamberlain, Bradford L. ; Juckeland, Guido ; Ltaief, Hatem (Ed.)
    As we approach the Exascale era, it is important to verify that the existing frameworks and tools will still work at that scale. Moreover, public Cloud computing has been emerging as a viable solution for both prototyping and urgent computing. Using the elasticity of the Cloud, we have thus put in place a pre-exascale HTCondor setup for running a scientific simulation in the Cloud, with the chosen application being IceCube's photon propagation simulation. I.e. this was not a purely demonstration run, but it was also used to produce valuable and much needed scientific results for the IceCube collaboration. In order to reach the desired scale, we aggregated GPU resources across 8 GPU models from many geographic regions across Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform. Using this setup, we reached a peak of over 51k GPUs corresponding to almost 380 PFLOP32s, for a total integrated compute of about 100k GPU hours. In this paper we provide the description of the setup, the problems that were discovered and overcome, as well as a short description of the actual science output of the exercise. 
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    Scientific computing needs are growing dramatically with time and are expanding in science domains that were previously not compute intensive. When compute workflows spike well in excess of the capacity of their local compute resource, capacity should be temporarily provisioned from somewhere else to both meet deadlines and to increase scientific output. Public Clouds have become an attractive option due to their ability to be provisioned with minimal advance notice. The available capacity of cost-effective instances is not well understood. This paper presents expanding the IceCube's production HTCondor pool using cost-effective GPU instances in preemptible mode gathered from the three major Cloud providers, namely Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform. Using this setup, we sustained for a whole workday about 15k GPUs, corresponding to around 170 PFLOP32s, integrating over one EFLOP32 hour worth of science output for a price tag of about $60k. In this paper, we provide the reasoning behind Cloud instance selection, a description of the setup and an analysis of the provisioned resources, as well as a short description of the actual science output of the exercise. 
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  7. Abstract

    On 25 December 2016, a 984-hPa cyclone departed Colorado and moved onto the northern plains, drawing a nearby Arctic front into the circulation and wrapping it cyclonically around the equatorward side of the cyclone. A 130-km-wide and 850-km-long swath of surface winds exceeding 25 m s−1 originated underneath the comma head of the lee cyclone and followed the track of the Arctic front from Colorado to Minnesota. These strong winds formed in association with a downslope windstorm and mountain wave over Colorado and Wyoming, producing an elevated jet of strong winds. Central to the distribution of winds in this case is the Arctic air mass, which both shielded the elevated winds from surface friction behind the front and facilitated the mixing of the elevated jet down to the surface just behind the Arctic front, due to steep lapse rates associated with cold-air advection. The intense circulation south of the cyclone center transported the Arctic front and the elevated jet away from the mountains and out across Great Plains. This case is compared to an otherwise similar cyclone that occurred on 28–29 February 2012 in which a downslope windstorm occurred, but no surface mesoscale wind maximum formed due to the absence of a well-defined Arctic front and postfrontal stable layer. Despite the superficial similarities of this surface wind maximum to a sting jet (e.g., origin in the midtroposphere within the comma head of the cyclone, descent evaporating the comma head, acceleration to the top of the boundary layer, and an existence separate from the cold conveyor belt), this swath of winds was not caused by a sting jet.

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