Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz joins Germany's Gauß-Allianz as a full member

Mainz scientists take a leading global position in the simulation-driven sciences

15.10.2014

The German Gauß-Allianz has admitted Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) as a full member, ensuring that the Rhineland-Palatinate science hub continues to maintain a significant nationwide standing in the field of high-performance computing.

"The acceptance of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz as a full member of the Gauß-Allianz is a milestone in the national and international competition for the best minds and financial support. The state of Rhineland-Palatinate can be proud that Mainz University has been recognized as one of the leading centers among the high-performance and supercomputing facilities in Germany," stressed Doris Ahnen, Minister of Education, Science, Continuing Education, and Culture of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate. "Acceptance was made possible not least by the state-sponsored Alliance for High-Performance Computing in Rhineland-Palatinate (ARHP) and the plans for the supercomputer MOGON II. However, it is primarily the work of the scientists and their teams that has placed Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in this top tier of high-performance computing. For Mainz as a science hub, this honor is very significant and will further enhance its appeal."

The availability of a high-performance computing at Mainz University is becoming increasingly essential in fields such as physics, especially in nuclear physics and high energy physics, computer science, theoretical chemistry, and materials science, but also in meteorology and genome research. Additional computational capacity is also required to support the work of the Cluster of Excellence "Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter" (PRISMA), the construction of the new MESA accelerator, and the already existing next-generation sequencing systems used in biology and the life sciences. Mainz University is expecting its computing capacity to triple from 2013 to 2015 and then double again from 2015 to 2017.

"Our admission to the Gauß-Allianz is a confirmation of the achievements of our scientists in the area of supercomputing," explained the President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Professor Georg Krausch. "In the natural sciences, computer simulation has become, together with modeling and experimentation, the third main technique used to obtain insights. The access to state-of-the-art and sufficient capacity for high-performance computing has become a location-related factor that also significantly determines the competitiveness of our research. Mainz scientists are leading worldwide in the field of simulation-driven research and have demonstrated this, in particular, through their scientific achievements in the PRISMA Cluster of Excellence, the Graduate School of Excellence 'Materials Science in Mainz' (MAINZ) as well as in various special fields of research."

As recently as April 2014, the German Council of Science and Humanities approved JGU's application for funding for a new supercomputer, MOGON II, thus providing a further impetus towards the evolution of scientific computing in Rhineland-Palatinate. A total of EUR 8.7 million will be invested in the new supercomputer by the federal government, the state government, and JGU in the period 2015 to 2017 to ensure that the researchers within the Rhineland-Palatinate Alliance for High-Performance Computing are provided with top-class German computing power by 2019. In addition to the needs of the researchers, the German Council of Science and Humanities also took into account the fact that the necessary methodological and operational expertise in the area of high-performance computing is available at Mainz University – centrally within the university's Data Center and also in decentralized form through JGU’s Center for Computational Sciences.

The commitment of the Carl Zeiss Foundation in September 2014 to contribute EUR 750,000 over the next four years towards the construction of a Competence Center for High-Performance Computing (HPC) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz will also promote the acquirement of further methodological skills in this field. The Competence Center for HPC will stimulate interdisciplinary cooperation between the natural sciences and computer science at Mainz University and will contribute towards the conversion of developments in computer science to natural science applications.

The Rhineland-Palatinate Alliance for High-Performance Computing has been formed to enhance the integration of HPC activities at Mainz University in the structures of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. "Within the Rhineland-Palatinate Alliance for High-Performance Computing, it is the shared task of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the University of Kaiserslautern to coordinate work in the field of HPC, to extend methodological competences through courses and lectures, and to make state-of-the-art HPC capacity available to researchers working in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate," explained Professor André Brinkmann, Director of the Data Center at Mainz University.

The Gauß-Allianz e.V. supports the scientific community in Germany by providing researchers with sustained and efficient access to first-class supercomputing resources, particularly by means of the coordination and combination of complimentary competencies, facilities, and support programs. The declared aims of the Gauß-Allianz are to promote high-performance computing as an independent strategic research activity and to enhance the international visibility of German research work in this area. The focus is on researching and developing strategies to improve the efficiency, application, and availability of high-performance computing and supercomputers.