The National Institute for Computational Sciences

SC11 Visualization Showcase will Highlight the Beauty of Science

          Big data and big science can be as beautiful as great works of art.

The Scientific Visualization Showcase, a new feature at this year’s SC11 conference, will display scientific images and animations created by visualization programmers, animation specialists and graphic artists to help scientists view their data in intuitive, visual and sometimes three-dimensional formats.

The Scientific Visualization Showcase is the newest addition to a technical program. The imagery, including still images, simulations and models built from scientific data, will be presented on large-format LCD panels set up to resemble a gallery in the hallways outside the convention center’s 6th floor exhibit space. The featured visualizations capture a wide range of scientific phenomena. Among them are visualizations that illustrate the properties of magnetic fields, turbulence and blood flow, simulations of an asteroid explosion, models that predict the path of a hurricane and the flow of an oil spill, and a virtual recreation of the H1N1 virus.

Jim Costa, SC11 Technical Program co-chair and senior manager at Sandia National Laboratory, said the showcase will not only highlight the intrinsic beauty and excitement of scientific discovery but will make clear the relationship between visualization and high performance and data intensive computing.

“If you spend a few minutes looking at these visualizations, I guarantee it will have you thinking about scientific discovery in a new and more imaginative way,” said Costa. “Visualization leads to a better understanding of scientific problems that require high performance computing and it helps us make sense of the huge datasets being generated by the health sciences, environmental sensors, telescopes and other scientific instruments. Data intensive science is our thrust this year, and clearly visualization is a key tool for understanding big datasets.”

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