Group funded by FAPESP

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.

Fermi Symposium + Collaboration meeting + NASA GSFC visit

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.

Raniere de Menezes presenting his work on low-luminosity AGNs at the Fermi LAT Collaboration Meeting, Washington DC.

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.

Fabio Cafardo presenting his work on the gamma-ray emission of Sgr A* at the Fermi Symposium, Baltimore.

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.

Undergrad working on GPU research advances to international phase of research symposium

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.

Congratulations, Matheus!

Matheus (right) and collaborator Alfredo Goldmann (left) happily showcasing the poster

Course on General Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamics by Yosuke Mizuno

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. 

The slides are available on this website.

Yosuke Mizuno lecturing about GRMHD at IAG USP. Credit: Rodrigo Nemmen.

His visit was supported by FAPESP grant 2013/10559-5.

Group will teach analysis of Fermi LAT data in dark matter school

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).

It will be fun!

Astrophysicists Arts & Culture

Science and art are two fascinating human creations. They both have the power to represent the world in two completely different approaches. In our work, we chose the first one and we always try to coldly describe the physical properties of the cosmos.

But we are humans too, and art fans. In a casual group lunch we take some photos and using the Google Arts & Culture app we find the artistic counterparts for each of the present group members. The result you can see in the following image.

Black Hole Group members - Artistic Counterpart

We have some good matches and other funny ones, in the end we all agree that the app has a good machine learning code, but this is a topic for other post. After I have seen all these artistic work I just hope that the app is correct and that we are beautiful as these paintings.

NVIDIA donation to the group

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!

Some of the grad students in our group with the new GPU donated by NVIDIA. From left to right: Fabio, Gustavo, Raniere and Ivan.
Rodrigo happily holding the Quadro GPU

Group training on GPU programming w/ OpenACC

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!

IMG_1987 (1)
The Black Hole Group after the OpenACC training with J. P. Navarro (NVIDIA; sitting at the rightmost side).