ORNL’s computational expertise is built on a foundation of computer science, mathematics, and “big data”—or data science. The projects we undertake run the gamut from basic to applied research, and our ability to efficiently apply the massive computing power available at ORNL across a range of scientific disciplines sets us apart from other computing centers. We have decades of experience in developing applications to support basic science research in areas ranging from chemistry and materials science to fission and fusion, and we apply that expertise to solving problems in a number of other areas.
For example, our experience developing materials science applications has allowed us to build a “virtual” nuclear reactor that our scientists and industrial partners use to optimize current and future reactor designs. Similarly, our computational capabilities enable us to create highly detailed climate models and interactive simulations designed to improve the reliability and efficiency of the nation’s electric grid and transportation infrastructure.
ORNL has a 60-year history of computing stretching from Titan, currently one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, back to ORACLE (Oak Ridge Automatic Computer and Logical Engine), the fastest computer in the world in 1954. Our experience in providing computational expertise and facilities to the U.S. Department of Energy has given us the in-depth understanding of computer science needed to wring the greatest scientific benefit from every dollar invested in these big machines.
Making the most of these world-class supercomputers requires a dedicated team of computer scientists, mathematicians, and computational scientists. Having a talented, interdisciplinary staff, and the resources to support them, also appeals to potential collaborators and prospective employees seeking broad opportunities for their interests and abilities.