So we announced the finalists of the CycleCloud BigScience Challenge 2011 at Supercomputing 2011 in Seattle last night. Finalists were selected based on their proposal’s long-term benefit to humanity, originality, creativity and suitability to run on CycleCloud clusters.

We're excited to announce that in addition to the $10,000 Grand Prize, and $500 for Finalists, the awesome folks over at Amazon Web Services are adding their own $2500 for the Grand Prize, and $1000 per Finalist, bringing our totals to $12500 for the BigScience award and $1500 per Finalist. With $12500 we will be able to do about 10 hours on a 30000 core environment, or 30 hours on 10000 cores.

The finalists will be judged by me, and a panel of industry luminaries, including Kevin Davies, editor-in-chief, Bio-IT World, Matt Wood, technology evangelist for Amazon Web Services, and Peter S. Shenkin, vice president, Schrödinger. Thanks to Kevin, Matt, and Peter for helping judge the winner. Picking Finalists from all the entrants we got was hard enough. We're going to have our hands full picking a winner from all this great research!

So without further ado, below are the Finalists for the inaugural CycleCloud BigScience Challenge:

Alan Aspuru-Guzik, Harvard Clean Energy Project, professor in department of chemistry and chemical biology and Johannes Hachmann, postdoctoral fellow: Hachmann and Aspuru-Guzik wish to conduct computational screening and design of novel materials for the next generation of organic photovoltaics (OPVs). The goal is to facilitate creating the next generation of photovoltaic cells.

Jesus Izaguirre, University of Notre Dame, associate professor of computer science and engineering and concurrent associate professor of applied and computational mathematics and statistics: Izaguirre intends to explore mutations in proinsulin case misfolding and analyze the ability to stimulate the folding pathways of these mutations to provide mechanic insight into the events of onset of diabetes. He also plans to examine the dominant states in the folding pathways to enable structure-based drug design and the production of new therapies to combat this disease.

Soumya Ray, Harvard Medical School, assistant professor of neurology: Ray’s team has identified a mutation that represents the majority of Parkinson’s disease patients. They seek to utilize the additional computational power to explore the dynamics of the protein and how it interacts with inhibitors to understand how drugs interact with the mutation, benefitting a large number of researcher and other drug discovery programs around the world.

Victor Ruotti, Morgridge Institute for Research, computational biologist: Ruotti aspires to collect genetic information, specifically RNA alignments, from different types of cells to build an RNA-based indexing system for stem cells. Once these alignments are identified, analysis based on this knowledgebase will provide a better understanding of the overarching signaling mechanisms used by stems cells to support generation of personalized, cell-based therapies for a variety of diseases.

Martin Steinegger, TU Munich ROSTLAB, bioinformatics researcher: Steinegger’s team’s goal is to provide access to every possible mutation in the gene sequence that will ever be observed in humans. To achieve, they have started a new project called SNAP-Map, which strives to calculate every possible single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in human proteins to make this technology and data available worldwide. With this data available, researchers will have the ability to access the effect of mutations in individuals and advance the efforts towards individual medicine based on understanding human diversity and variation.

We had many other wonderful submissions, including the runner-up from Purdue's Gerhard Klimeck, of the NanoHUB project. If you're interested in finding out more about the Challenge, and you're at Supercomputing, visit us at SC11 BOOTH 443.

Thanks to all the entrants, and we'll keep you posted on the winner!

Jason Stowe
CEO, Cycle Computing

ShareShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone