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Awards and Recognition | Argonne National Laboratory

New Argonne-led project to advance data analysis methods for light sources

Argonne scientists will also join another newly funded effort led by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

The U.S. Department of Energy has approved funding for three 5-year projects focused on the integration of high performance computing at its X-ray and neutron source user facilities.

As scientific facilities get more powerful, the amount and complexity of the data they generate will only grow. Advanced computing resources and techniques will be required to keep up with the sheer volume of data flowing from next-generation facilities. One of those will be the upgraded Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

The Office of Science has recently approved $30 million in funding for three new projects aimed at integrating high performance computing at DOE’s X-ray and neutron light source facilities. Five million of that funding will go to an Argonne-led research project called X-ray & Neutron Scientific Center for Optimization, Prediction and Experimentation (XSCOPE). This project will tackle the technical obstacles and tools needed to enhance data analysis capabilities at X-ray and neutron source user facilities. It aims to address challenges in computational science, applied mathematics and artificial intelligence/machine learning relevant to X-ray light sources. Its focus will be on the APS as the upgraded facility comes online next year.

These capabilities will accelerate the discovery process and help to answer some of the most pressing scientific challenges of our time.” — Sven Leyffer, Argonne National Laboratory

XSCOPE will focus on unlocking new and pressing scientific challenges while dealing with the deluge of data from large-scale X-ray facilities. Enhancing the data analytics capabilities of light sources such as the APS will help fuel discoveries in biotechnology, advanced materials for energy and microelectronics, and more.

The project is led jointly by Sven Leyffer, principal investigator and deputy director of Argonne’s Mathematics and Computer Science division; Ian Foster, director of Argonne’s Data Science and Learning division; and Nicholas Schwarz, the lead for scientific software and data management at the APS. The team includes X-ray and computational scientists from several areas of the lab.

This cross-cutting team will deliver truly transformational scientific computing capabilities for DOE’s X-ray light sources,” Leyffer said. These capabilities will accelerate the discovery process and help to answer some of the most pressing scientific challenges of our time.”

Argonne is also part of a new $10 million collaborative effort led by DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, along with other DOE national labs: Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley and Oak Ridge. The project is called Intelligent Learning for Light Source and Neutron Source User Measurements Including Navigation and Experiment Steering (ILLUMINE). It will focus on the testing, delivery and productive use of advanced computing methods and tools across DOE’s X-ray and neutron sources.

This project will leverage the massive amounts of data generated by the user facilities and apply common tools and infrastructure to enable faster discoveries and breakthroughs,” said Schwarz, a co-principal investigator for ILLUMINE.

A third project, the Center for Advanced Mathematics for Energy Research Applications, will be led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The three projects will collectively address emerging challenges at DOE’s light and neutron sources.

All three of these projects are supported by the DOE Office of Science programs in Advanced Scientific Computing Research and Basic Energy Sciences.

The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility provides supercomputing capabilities to the scientific and engineering community to advance fundamental discovery and understanding in a broad range of disciplines. Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science, Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program, the ALCF is one of two DOE Leadership Computing Facilities in the nation dedicated to open science.

About the Advanced Photon Source

The U. S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory is one of the world’s most productive X-ray light source facilities. The APS provides high-brightness X-ray beams to a diverse community of researchers in materials science, chemistry, condensed matter physics, the life and environmental sciences, and applied research. These X-rays are ideally suited for explorations of materials and biological structures; elemental distribution; chemical, magnetic, electronic states; and a wide range of technologically important engineering systems from batteries to fuel injector sprays, all of which are the foundations of our nation’s economic, technological, and physical well-being. Each year, more than 5,000 researchers use the APS to produce over 2,000 publications detailing impactful discoveries, and solve more vital biological protein structures than users of any other X-ray light source research facility. APS scientists and engineers innovate technology that is at the heart of advancing accelerator and light-source operations. This includes the insertion devices that produce extreme-brightness X-rays prized by researchers, lenses that focus the X-rays down to a few nanometers, instrumentation that maximizes the way the X-rays interact with samples being studied, and software that gathers and manages the massive quantity of data resulting from discovery research at the APS.

This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. DOE Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.