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Feature Story | Mathematics and Computer Science

PETSc Wins 2009 R&D 100 Award

Researchers from Argonne National Laboratory’s Mathematics and Computer Science Division received an R&D 100 award for PETSc, high-performance software for engineering and science.

Judged by R&D magazine, the awards recognize the top scientific and technological innovations of the past year.

PETSc is designed to allow engineers and scientists to perform large-scale numerical simulations of physical phenomena rapidly and efficiently. Representative simulations to date include fluid flow for aircraft, ship, and automobile design; blood flow simulation for medical device design; porous media flow for oil reservoir simulation for energy development and groundwater contamination modeling; modeling of materials properties; economic modeling; structural mechanics for construction design; combustion modeling; and nuclear fission and fusion for energy development. These simulations allow the effects of design decisions to be evaluated and compared, including cost benefits, safety concerns, and environmental impact.

The ability to perform simulations allows corporations and governmental agencies to replace costly and dangerous experiments and prototypes. Simulations have led to many new products as well as improvements in existing products.

Funding was provided by the Department of Energy, Office of Science.

The principal developers are Satish Balay, Argonne senior software developer; Kris Buschelmann, former Argonne software developer; Lisandro Daniel Dalcin, post doctoral researcher with Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas; Victor Eijkhout, University of Texas at Austin research scientist; William Gropp, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign professor; Dmitry Karpeev, Argonne assistant computational mathematician; Dinesh Kaushik, Argonne computational scientist; Matthew Knepley, Argonne assistant scientist; Lois Curfman McInnes, Argonne computational scientist; Barry Smith, Argonne senior computational mathematician; and Hong Zhang, Illinois Institute of Technology research associate professor.