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Project TitleParallel supernova simulation software development intern
SummaryIntern will assist research team in converting existing non-parallel supernova explosion simulation code into a parallel supernova explosion simulation.
Job DescriptionThe explosion mechanism of core collapse supernovae remains an outstanding problem in astrophysics after several decades of intense study. While it is now widely believed that neutrinos play a critical role in the generation of the supernova explosion, the precise contribution of neutrinos remains to be determined by numerical analysis.

Motivated by the success of kinetic theory in the description of observables in intermediate and high-energy heavy ion collisions, we use kinetic theory to model the dynamics of core collapse supernovae. The specific way that kinetic theory is employed to solve the relevant transport equations allows our team of researchers to explicitly model the propagation of neutrinos and treat neutrino-matter interactions in a very general way. The resulting simulations have allowed researchers to observe dynamics that may prove to be an entirely new, neutrino capture-induced supernova explosion mechanism.

The current simulation code is written in C as a proof of concept and is limited to run only on a single processor. The next step in our research plan is to scale the code so that it will run on multiple cores and ultimately run on a petascale sized system such as Blue Waters.

The undergraduate student intern will work with the team programmers to redesign the simulation to use MPI and run benchmark experiments on a mid-sized HPC system with the goal of identifying problems that will need to be addressed in order to scale to a petascale system.

The intern position will include; writing test cases, tracking down bugs, running benchmarks and actual code writing. The intern will be mentored by and work directly with both Physicists and Computer Science researchers. Specifics of the internship will be adjusted based on the students experience and interest.
Conditions/QualificationsShould be a student at a university in Michigan. Should have some programming experience in C/C++. Some flexibility in start and end dates.
Start Date05/17/2011
End Date05/15/2012
LocationDepartment of Physics & Astronomy and the Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-2320
Student will be working in the Wolfgang Bauer's Supernova research team
Rodney Pickett