This project will create a fundamental shift in the design and development of tools for next-generation scientific data by focusing on efficiency and scientist productivity that will be important to tackle some of the nation’s biggest scientific challenges. Improved usability of tools to harness supercomputers is key to enabling scientific data understanding at scale and with efficiency. Traditional approaches to efficiency in supercomputers focus on the hardware and software of the machine and do not consider the user.
This project takes a holistic approach to the development of tools and interfaces appropriate to the massive machines by employing a user-centered design process that will focus on developing a deep understanding of user workflows through empirical usability and ethnographic studies. The project will use insights from the user studies to develop new tools that are easier to use, helping the researchers focus on their science, rather than on the process of conducting that science. Users will be able to provide hints and requirements that are then used to ensure that the massive supercomputers operate at highest efficiency. The initial focus areas for this project will be climate sciences and combustion physics.