• During the course of the year, the Shared Computing Cluster is significantly expanded with more Shared and Buy-In nodes, bringing the total number of processors to over 6000, GPUs to 236, and storage to over 2 petabytes
  • In March 2014, the Scientific Computing and Visualization (SCV) group was renamed the Research Computing Services (RCS) group as part of expanding its scope to include full support for the BU Medical Campus


  • At the end of 2013, the IBM Blue Gene and the Katana Cluster were retired, after 8 and 6 years of service respectively
  • The new Shared Computing Cluster (SCC) at the Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) in Holyoke, MA goes into production on June 10, 2013. Many elements of the Katana Cluster also move out to the MGHPCC to become part of the SCC.
  • Added additional GPUs and support to the Katana Cluster, bringing the cluster to a combined 173 nodes with 1572 processors and 232 GPUs


  • Katana Cluster is again expanded with 20 BUDGE nodes, each featuring 12 processors and 8 GPUs, bringing the total number of nodes to 171 with a combined 1548 processors as of January 1, 2013


  • IBM BladeCenter Katana Cluster is again expanded several times during the year, bringing the total number of nodes to 151 with a combined 1308 processors as of October 15
  • IBM pSeries systems retired on June 1 after being in service for 11 years. At the time of its retirement, it had 72 processors.
  • Older IBM Pentium 3 Linux Cluster retired in April after 10 years of service


  • IBM BladeCenter Katana Cluster expanded several times, bringing the total number of nodes to 65 with a combined 404 processors


  • IBM BladeCenter Katana Cluster has again been expanded with two new 8 processor large memory (96GB per node) nodes, bringing the total number of nodes to 52 with a combined 272 processors
  • IBM BladeCenter Katana Cluster is expanded with eight new 8 processor nodes
  • SCV website incorporated into the new Information Services & Technology TechWeb comprehensive website


  • IBM BladeCenter Katana Cluster greatly expanded to 176 processors, including four quad-core (8 processor) systems
  • IBM p690 systems retired after seven years of production use


  • Project disk storage expanded to 75 TB
  • 8 additional nodes (with 32 processors) added to the Katana Cluster
  • Free Workshop on Scientific Visualization presented by SCV Staff


  • The 56-processor IBM BladeCenter Katana Cluster goes into production
  • SCV rolls out a redesigned website
  • Two VR pieces for the DVD Wall, Surge by Deborah and Richard Cornell and Interactions by CFA students, are shown during the Boston Cyberarts Festival
  • SCV installs a DVD Wall and DAFFIE system at the Pueblo of Jemez, NM as part of the BPC grant
  • SCV staff chairs the Broader Engagement component of the IEEE Supercomputing Conference


  • SCV leads the NSF Broadening Participation in Computation project, “New Voices, New Visions”, a collaboration between BU, University of New Mexico, and Jemez Pueblo
  • SCV installs a DVD Wall and DAFFIE system at the HPC Center, University of New Mexico
  • IBM produces video on computational research featuring BU faculty and SCV staff


  • The 1024-node IBM Blue Gene is installed, with partial support from an NSF MRI grant to CCS, and ranked 59th  on the Top 500 List
  • SCV’s Doug Sondak wins NASA Marshall’s Software of the Year for CFD work done as part of NASA grant
  • A streaming movie player is developed for the DVD Wall
  • Jazz by CFA students and On the Street Where I Live by Jennifer Schwartz are shown during the Boston Cyberarts Festival at the Sherman Gallery and at the CGL. Linea Australis by Deborah and Richard Cornell is shown at the 119 Gallery in Lowell, MA


  • Distributed Earlab is shown at the Human Brain Project meeting at the NIH using a small SCV Linux cluster which has been packaged for easy shipping
  • Distributed VR navigation software implemented using commodity game controllers


  • The IBM ESS 800 (a.k.a. Shark) with 7 TB of disk space is installed
  • The Intel Pentium III Linux Cluster goes into production
  • The IBM p655 system goes into production
  • SCV collaborates with IBM Research on distributed interactive defibrillation demo using pSeries, workstations, OpenDX, and BU research code
  • An SCV paper “Building a Large Scale, High Resolution, Tiled, Rear Projected, Passive Stereo Display System Based on Commodity Components” presented at the IEEE Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Conference in San Jose
  • SCV chairs and participates in the SC Global component of the IEEE Supercomputing Conference
  • Terpsichore’s Haunt is shown on the Display Wall during the Boston Cyberarts Festival
  • SCV is a founding member of the Art on the Grid collaboration


  • With funding from the NSF IGERT program CCS inaugurates the ACES (Advanced Computing in Engineering and Science) training program
  • CCS receives an IBM SUR grant for a dedicated IBM p690
  • IBM p690 system goes into full production
  • The Deep Vision Display Wall is upgraded to the full 12 tile, 24 projector configuration in the CGL
  • The first art installation on the DVD Wall, The Stitched Wall Project by Cindy Ludlam, is shown as part of her MFA Thesis Exhibition
  • SCV leads the NSF Middleware Initiative Distributed Account Management research project with NCSA
  • SCV partners with Argonne National Labs in the Scientific Workspaces of the Future (SWoF) project


  • An IBM Linux cluster with 52-compute nodes and 24-visualization nodes is installed with support from an IBM SUR grant to CCS
  • The four tile Deep Vision Display Wall is shown at the Supercomputing conference in Denver, Colorado
  • The New York Times prints “In a Virtual Sculpture Park, the Art Talks Back”, an article about Spirited Ruins
  • Tracer by Deborah and Richard Cornell and Soft, Fluffy, and Virtual by Cindy Ludlam are the first two art installations on the Access Grid and are shown during the Boston Cyberarts Festival
  • CCS receives funding from the NSF MRI program which will be used for the acquisition of an IBM p690
  • SCV partners with Biomedical Engineering on Earlab, a project funded by the NIH Human Brain Project to model the mammalian auditory system
  • SCV supports BU’s participation as a Tier 2 site for the ATLAS project, the international Large Hadron Collector experiment at CERN
  • SCV creates the IBM pSeries Repository
  • SCV founds and leads the Access Grid Documentation Project


  • An 8-node/64-processor IBM RS/6000 SP is installed, beginning the transition from the SGI Origin to the IBM pSeries systems
  • SCV works with Sargent College researchers on the design of a virtual reality lab for detecting and understanding Parkinson’s disease.
  • Spirited Ruins, with physical sculptures linked to virtual reality, is shown in the Sherman Gallery


  • The three 64-processor Origin 2000 are interconnected placing the 192-processor system at 113th  on the June Top 500 List
  • Alzheimer’s plaque visualization appears in Computer Graphics World
  • Gateway to Spirited Ruins virtual reality environment is shown at the Boston Cyberarts Festival
  • The Access Grid is installed at 111 Cummington Mall
  • BU hosts the Chautauqua conference with a Spirited Ruins opening and a HiPArt Computing and the Arts symposium
  • Image processing is done for the IMAX Solarmax film


  • SCV leads the PACI Alliance Partners for Advanced Computational Resources and Services
  • The HiPArt outreach project begins with partial support from the PACI Alliance
  • SCV begins development of Distributed Applications Framework For Immersive Environments (DAFFIE) software
  • DAFFIE-based ArtWorld virtual environments debuts at Alliance’98 conference at NCSA
  • Maya modeling and animation software is installed on SCV facilities
  • SCV helps create the CAS computing laboratory
  • BU Origin2000 system used for rendering Lost in Space movie


  • 32 processors are added to the SGI Origin2000
  • CCS/SCV join the NSF PACI-funded National Computation Science Alliance
  • An ImmersaDesk virtual reality display is installed in the CGL
  • SCV develops the SGI Origin2000 Repository
  • The Rooms virtual environment is shown at a MARINER Open House
  • 128 processors are added to the SGI Origin2000 completing the installation
  • Boston University receives a grant to expand its high-bandwidth connectivity via the vBNS program of the National Science Foundation, January. Driving applications include distributed supercomputing, visualization and virtual environments.
  • Smart Skin Airbag Control System animation is aired on CNN and rebroadcast on numerous television stations across the country
  • The 12th AEGON Computer Chess Tournament uses MIT’s Cilkchess running on Boston University’s Origin 2000


  • The SGI Origin 2000, serial number 11, is installed with 32 processors and ranked 212th on the Top 500 List
  • CGL’s Head-mounted Display VR system is used in the treatment of fear-of-flying phobia


  • The BU MARINER regional supercomputing project begins with NSF MRA funding to CCS
  • SGI Power CHALLENGEarray is installed and ranked 147th on the Top 500 List
  • Scientific Visualization Sampler in SIGGRAPH/NE Film and Video Show
  • SCV produces TERRIERS satellite animation
  • Tektronix Phaser 540 color laser printer is installed
  • SGI Indy machines replace SGI Personal Iris machines in the Computer Graphics Lab
  • CFA offers AR581, 3D Design and Animation


  • CCS is awarded funding from the NSF ARI program which will be used for the acquisition of the SGI Origin 2000


  • A 64-processor Thinking Machines CM-5 is installed and places BU at 58th on the Top 500 List
  • CCS receives NSF ILI funding for an undegraduate computing laboratory
  • SCV starts running a Web server and installs the NCSA Mosaic web browser
  • Tektronix Phaser IISDX dye sublimation printer is installed
  • Video production facilities are upgraded to component Betacam-SP decks and Sony LVR-3000N Recordable Laser Disc
  • HiPPI network installed to interconnect CM-5 and SGI systems using HiPPI-over-fiber extenders. Two HiPPI frame buffers are installed for graphics from the CM.


  • CCS receives NSF CISE infrastructure funding for an undegraduate curriculum in parallel computing
  • Departmental SGI graphics workstations are upgraded to Indigo-2s
  • An SGI 8-processor, shared memory Onyx is installed for computation
  • CGL participates in Interactive Painting International at SIGGRAPH ’92 in Chicago


  • Thinking Machines Data Vault is installed
  • Boston University’s Center for Computational Science (CCS) is inaugurated.  CCS is an independent unit fostering research and education in computational science, which collaborates closely with SCV


  • The Scientific Computing and Visualization group is created with staff from the Computer Graphics Lab and the Distributed Systems group to support computational science
  • Throw it in the Harbor, a student animation video, is shown at SIGGRAPH’89 in Boston


  • SGI Iris 4D graphics workstations are installed in five departments to support scientific visualization
  • A 64K processor Thinking Machines CM-2 is installed; CM2 frame buffer displays  are distributed to several locations via video over fiber. The CM2 is front-ended by VAX and Sun servers.
  • SCV installs BU-Pub, a Unix-based (Sun) server and workstation cluster for BU community
  • Digital Visions, an exhibition of CGL produced scientific visualizations and fine arts works, is shown at the GSU gallery
  • Snowflake video produced for PBS television show 3-2-1 Contact


  • 3D Font Design is exhibited


  • An IBM 3090-200 is installed (January). Two vector units are added (September)
  • The CGL replaces the VAX 11/750 with a dual processor Celerity mini computer, one of the first of the new generation of RISC processors
  • CGL acquires a Sun workstation


  • SFA offers a Graphic Design course using the DVW software


  • The CGL installs a VAX 11/750 running BSD 4.2 Unix
  • The 16-bit PDP 11/23 is upgraded to an ISI system with a 32-bit Motorola 68010 processor
  • Single frame video animation system is installed using 3/4″ U-Matic video tape and Lyon-Lamb VAS controller
  • The DVW system is demonstrated at SIGGRAPH’84 in Minneapolis
  • CGL works with Professor Robert Devaney on geometry, dynamical systems and fractals


  • CGL develops the BU-metafile system for plotting and color slide production
  • Modgraph/Liacom gives the CGL a full color graphics system with real-time video input for software development
  • CGL develops the BU Digital Video Workbench (DVW) paint system
  • CGL works with BU faculty on Gulf of Maine project for State Department as part of the international fishing boundary dispute with Canada
  • Octangular is shown at the Design Science conference at Harvard University


  • The Academic Computing Center installs a dual processor IBM 3081
  • Manufacturing Engineering offers MN745 Advanced Computer Graphics course
  • BU Modeling System (MS) 3D modeling software development starts
  • CGL produces the animated film Octangular which is shown in the Matrix booth at SIGGRAPH’82 in Boston


  • Computer Graphics Laboratory (CGL) is established under the Academic Computing Center
  • The CGL installs a PDP 11/23 running Bell Labs V7 Unix
  • The CGL receives support from Matrix Instruments to install a film recorder with a 16mm film animation camera
  • The CGL produces the animated film Episode in the Life of a Cube for Matrix, which is shown at several national conferences
  • CGL develops 3D computer graphics rendering software (in Fortran) that runs on the ACC’s mainframe IBM 370/168
  • CGL ports Bell Labs C compiler and Unix libraries and utilities to run on the IBM mainframe under VPS


  • Manufacturing Engineering offers MN735 Computer Graphics and MN740 Planning, Robotics and Vision courses
  • The Center for Computer Geometry and Design acquires the University’s first color raster computer graphics display, an Advanced Electronic Design AED512


  • The Center for Computer Geometry and Design was established, with Ron Resch and Glenn Bresnahan; the center is housed with the Program in Artisanry
  • Computer Graphics facilities are installed in Manufacturing Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering offers EK460 Computer Geometry and Design course
  • CCGD does NC fabrication for Paramount Studio’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture