Dr. Bronson Messer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Luncheon Meeting Time: Mar 8, 2022, 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time

Regardless of our increasing reliance on and familiarity with computing power in our everyday lives, modern supercomputers are unique scientific instruments, more akin to the Large Hadron Collider or the James Webb Space Telescope than to our Chromebooks and cellphones. Unlike those large devices, however, supercomputers are also among the most versatile of scientific instruments, as they push back frontiers in physics, biology, climate, and many other fields.

I will describe how the Summit supercomputer is used in modern scientific research and some recent discoveries, including work on the COVID-19 pandemic. I will also provide a glance ahead to the first science we hope will be accomplished with the under-construction Frontier machine, which is planned to be the nation’s first exascale (i.e., capable of one quintillion floating-point operations per second) supercomputer. 



About the speaker:

Dr. Bronson Messer

Director of Science at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Bronson Messer

Bronson Messer is a Distinguished Scientist and the Director of Science at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is also Joint Faculty Associate Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Tennessee. His primary research interests are related to the explosion mechanisms and phenomenology of supernovae, especially neutrino transport and signatures, dense matter physics, and the details of turbulent nuclear combustion. In addition, he has worked on the application of machine learning algorithms to the analysis of galaxy merger simulations and on performance modeling and prediction for high-performance computing architectures. Prior to joining ORNL, Dr. Messer was a Research Associate in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, where he was Deputy Group Leader for Astrophysics in the ASC Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes.

Dr. Messer is a member of the American Astronomical Society and he recently served on the American Physical Society’s Committee on Informing the Public (2018-2020). In 2020, he was awarded the Department of Energy Secretary’s Honor Award for his part in enabling the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium. Dr. Messer holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Tennessee, earning his PhD in physics in 2000.