The University of Rochester established the Center for Integrated Research Computing (CIRC) to provide researchers across the University with hardware, software, training, and support necessary to utilize computational science and computing technology in research activities in all areas of academic scholarship. CIRC supports users across the Medical Center and River Campus from over 110 departments and centers, including disciplines from medicine, engineering, and the biological and physical sciences. The Center currently maintains systems with an aggregated computational performance of 1,440 teraFLOPS, 5.2 petabytes of disk storage, and a variety of advanced scientific software applications and tools. CIRC hosts a monthly symposium where faculty and students showcase their research to the University community, learn about the application of computing technology to research problems, and participate in discussions that lead to collaborative opportunities. The Center’s expertise, consultation services, collaboration, and community building activities are essential for facilitating the research mission of the University.
CIRC supports research and scholarship across the entire University and participates in research design, proposal writing, and manuscript preparation with faculty. The Center collaborates with faculty on grant proposals to fund research projects that leverage computational science.
The Center for Integrated Research Computing provides individual and group support and training across a spectrum of users. From novice users who may be unfamiliar with the command line environment of a Linux cluster, to advanced users who have compilation and optimization questions about custom-developed software, the Center serves a wide variety of students, staff, and faculty with different levels of familiarity with research computing. The Center also provides support for computational research design and implementation, software implementation and lifecycle management, application porting and tuning, data visualization and analysis techniques, and recommendations for new computational technologies and methods.
CIRC hosts a monthly CIRC Symposium, where students, postdocs, and faculty showcase their research to the University community, learn about emerging computing technologies, and participate in collaborative discussions. The CIRC Symposium provides a venue for researchers to learn about and discover new directions in using computational and informatics tools for research in a variety of fields across all departments and centers. The Center also features an annual poster session, where students and faculty can share their research results with the community.
CIRC currently deploys a major computing system for high-performance computing. A Beowulf-style Linux cluster with more than 480 nodes and NVIDIA GPU cards provides high-performance computing capacity. A large number of advanced, specialized, scientific software applications and libraries are available on CIRC’s computing resources. In addition, CIRC operates the Vista Collaboratory, a visualization lab featuring a 20 feet wide by 8 feet tall, 50 megapixel display that has a high-speed optical link to the Linux cluster.
In 2005, the University recognized the need for a shared research computing resource to support both domain-specific and interdisciplinary research activities. A faculty team, consisting of 17 researchers from across the university documented the need for a central research computing resource and the opportunities presented by this resource. In addition to recommending the purchase of a large high-performance computing cluster, this team’s report recommended the formation of a university center to provide research computing support, expertise, training, and collaboration activities for the entire university community.
In late 2007, the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering and the Medical Center jointly funded the Center for Research Computing (CRC). In mid-2008, the initial computing hardware was purchased, and the CRC was officially launched.
In 2011, the center was renamed the Center for Integrated Research Computing (CIRC) to reflect its growing integration into several departments and centers across the Medical Center and River Campus. Since its launch in mid-2008, CIRC has expanded to include high-performance computing systems providing about 420 teraFLOPS of computational performance and 2 petabytes of storage space. Simultaneously, the center has grown to include six full-time staff members. As of mid-2014, CIRC supported more than 750 users in over 40 departments and centers, and has provided more than 350 million CPU hours of compute time to more than 3 million jobs.
As of 2021, the primary CIRC cluster consists of over 480 nodes with approximately 5.2 petabytes of storage, providing roughly 1,440 teraflops of performance. This system is capable of delivering 126 million CPU hours per year.
CIRC supports over 500 research groups from over 110 departments and centers, including:
- Biochemistry and Biophysics
- Biomedical Engineering
- Biomedical Genetics
- Biostatistics and Computational Biology
- Brain and Cognitive Sciences
- Center for Translational Neuromedicine
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Community and Preventive Medicine
- Computer Science
- Clinical and Translational Science Institute
- Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience
- Earth and Environmental Sciences
- Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Flaum Eye Institute
- Genomics Research Center
- Goergen Institute for Data Science
- Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation
- Imaging Sciences
- Institute of Optics
- Laboratory for Laser Energetics
- Mechanical Engineering
- Medicine – Nephrology Division
- Microbiology and Immunology
- Neural Development and Disease
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
- Pharmacology and Physiology
- Physics and Astronomy
- Proteomics Core Facility
- Political Science
- Respiratory Pathogens Research Center
- Rochester Center for Brain Imaging
- School of Nursing
- Simon School of Business
- Wallis Institute of Political Economy