MARCC Praised for Boosting Research at Johns Hopkins

MARCC Director Jaime Combariza
MARCC Director Jaime Combariza

Recently multiple JHU researchers described how invaluable the Maryland Advanced Research Computing Center is to advance their research. Biomedical Engineer Natalia Trayanova, who utilizes MARCC to build computer models of hearts and pursue treatments for heart disease, describes MARCC as “absolutely essential. This is capital letter, bold and underlined. … MARCC to us is like a godsend.”

Mechanical Engineer and IDIES Associate Director Charles Meneveau, who is working with Hopkins’ colleague Dennice Gayme on computer models that can be used to improve wind farm design and operations, echoed those sentiments.

“As a resource, to access MARCC, I feel rich,” Meneveau said.

From the HUB article:

Meneveau’s group, before MARCC and since, has produced computer simulations that you can watch on a screen via graphics animation: wind flowing in meandering streams and a scattering of moving streaks over a field of spinning wind turbines. Behind the animations lie months of complex mathematical calculations taking account of prevailing wind and many little twists of air slipping over one turbine blade, moving on and meeting the next.

The model shows the effects of turbulence, meaning wind movement that departs from steady flow. The nuances of turbulence are taken into account in designing turbines and choosing materials best able to stand up to constant buffeting. The work could eventually contribute to wind power development in Maryland and elsewhere.

Rebecca Alford and Jeliazko Jeliazkov, both PhD students in Jeffrey Gray‘s protein-modeling laboratory, which is part of Whiting’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, say MARCC speeds the time-consuming task of producing detailed models of proteins such as antibodies. Any one of the proteins they’re simulating—including membrane proteins targeted by more than 60 percent of medications on the market—can take up to 1,000 hours of computing time to complete.

With the advent of MARCC, said Jeliazkov, “we got a million more hours per quarter” of the year.

MARCC, the 17th largest academic computing complex in the country, is run by IDIES Member and Associate research professor in Johns Hopkins’ Department of Chemistry, Jaime Combariza. If you would like to inquire about utilizing MARCC’s resources, feel free to email him.

Read on the JHU Hub