Researchers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy often require computing power or specialized computer systems that exceed that capabilities of those that are available on the UMKC campus. This may include the need to make use of massively parallelized machines, machines with specialized visualization software, hybrid CPU/GPU type systems, machines with field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), extra-large data sets, extreme memory requirements, etc.
To satisfy the demand, many groups make use of the computers that are maintained as a part of the University of Missouri Research Computing Support Services (UM-RCSS), the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center, and various National Science Foundation resources through the XSEDE umbrella program (e.g. the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS) and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC)). Most of the machines require specific requests by faculty members to be able to make student accounts on them and thus the requests are typically tied to specific research projects. Additionally, the systems that are managed by DOE and NSF require annual allocation requests for time on specific machines. Undergraduate students that participate in research often have the opportunity to work on such machines.