We are very happy to announce that our research group is receiving a large, competitive grant from FAPESP (Jovem Pesquisador, R$415k, grant 2017/01461-2). Besides including funding to support the group’s computational needs, this grant includes 1 PhD, 1 MsC and 2 undergraduate scholarships.
415k reais may not look like much when converted to dollars, but this amount of funding is quite hard to get lately in Brasil, especially for junior faculty.
Our group just obtained a 2 million CPU-hours allocation time at the Santos Dumont supercomputer. We will use this allocation grant to perform our numerical simulations of black hole accretion disks and their outflows, in order to understand how they impact their galaxies.
The PhD students of the group working on gamma-ray observations—Fabio and Raniere—spent the last two weeks in Washington DC and surroundings. They went to the Fermi LAT Collaboration meeting at George Washington University, where they interacted with gamma-ray astronomers in the Fermi Collaboration. Raniere presented his ongoing analysis of the gamma-ray emission of a population of nearby AGNs.
Following the Collaboration meeting, the students presented their research at the Fermi Symposium in Baltimore. Raniere presented a poster about his work on the pulsar populations in Milky Way globular clusters—which is about to be submitted for publication—while Fabio gave a talk describing his analysis of the gamma-ray emission from the Galactic Center on constraints on Sgr A* physics.
After the symposium, Fabio and Raniere spent a couple of days visiting NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to discuss their research with GSFC scientists.
Their visit was possible thanks to NASA funds, grant xxxxxx.
Matheus Tavares Bernardino, an undergraduate student working in our group, presented his work on the acceleration of black hole radiative transfer with OpenACC in GPUS at the undergraduate science symposium at USP and now will compete in the international phase of the symposium which will happen in November.
Yosuke Mizuno (Goethe University, Frankfurt) taught an advanced course on general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics on August 13-17 at our institute. General relativistic magnetohydrodynamics—or GRMHD—is an essential tool to model high-energy astrophysical phenomena such as accreting black holes and relativistic jets—precisely the type of phenomena that our group loves and cherishes. This course was very useful for everybody in the group.
On the final week of July, members of our research group (Fabio, Raniere & Rodrigo) will be teaching a lesson on the analysis of Fermi LAT gamma-ray observations in the School and Workshop on Dark Matter and Neutrino Detection at ICTP-SAIFR. In this hands-on activity, we will teach how to analyze gamma-ray data for a dwarf galaxy, do a simple estimate of the dark matter cross section and reproduce the analysis described in Ackermann et al. (2015).
I am excited to announce that today we received a generous donation from NVIDIA through its GPU Grant Program, which will allow us to accelerate our science to another scale. We received a Quadro P6000 GPU, packing a powerful punch of 12 TFLOPS of FP32 processing power and 24 GB. This GPU will allow us to severely speed up the calculations of electromagnetic spectra from black holes that our group is developing. One estimate that always amazes me: this GPU is almost faster than the whole computer cluster—called Alphacrucis—that our institute hosts, which has 2300 CPUs (~20 TFLOPS) and was purchased in 2011.
Thanks to NVIDIA for the great gift, which will soon be put to good use. Let’s see those fans spin at maximum RPM! Science!
Last Friday we had a group meeting with João Paulo Navarro from NVIDIA. João Paulo gave an OpenACC tutorial to the group, demonstrating how easy it is to accelerate scientific codes on GPUs. With just two lines of code (yes, I said two lines), we made a partial differential equation solver run almost 10x faster on a GPU! It is truly impressive.
We have great plans ahead, with some group projects where we anticipate huge speedups using GPUs. Stay tuned!
Let’s congratulate Artur Vemado─the newest graduate student in the group─who got a prestigious FAPESP scholarship. Artur just graduated with an astronomy degree at USP. His project will consist of incorporating radiative cooling in the energy equation of hot accretion flows, in order to investigate state transitions in black hole binaries.