CHAMPAIGN — If you haven't checked out the supercomputer on campus yet, public tours will be available later this month as part of Petascale Day.
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois has invited the public to celebrate Petascale Day, which marks big computing and big data.
"Petascale" refers to computing and data in the quadrillions, such as the more than 13 quadrillion calculations the UI's Blue Waters supercomputer can perform every second.
On Petascale Day, Oct. 15, the Blue Waters supercomputer will be open for tours and the public can view various demonstrations at the NCSA building on campus.
Tours of the supercomputer are self-paced at the National Petascale Computing Facility, 1725 S. Oak St., C. The building will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. Guides will be on hand to answer questions. Before 5 p.m., metered spots are available in University Lot E-14. After 5 p.m., free parking is available across Oak Street in E-14.
At the NCSA Building, 1205 W. Clark St., U, visitors can view 3-D high-definition visualizations of scientific phenomena, including the Orion Nebula and a hurricane created by NCSA's Advanced Visualization Laboratory for IMAX theaters and planetariums. It also will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. Demonstrations will last about 15 minutes. Metered parking is available on surrounding streets and in the parking garage north of the NCSA Building.