SCENE October 1992

Table of Contents

Convex Computer Corporation Donates Supercomputer to UNLV

Convex Computer Corp, of Richardson, Texas, has donated a supercomputer to UNLV to enhance the university's research and teaching capabilities, UNLV President Roben C. Maxson announced Monday August 24, 1992.

The Convex C220 parallel/vector supercomputer, valued at $1.4 million was donated through the UNLV Foundation.

UNLV President Robert C. Maxson (left) and Terrence L. Rock, Chief Operating Officer of Convex Computer Corporation (right). The C220 system will be used as a campus wide resource for nearly 2000 faculty members, students, staff of UNLV and the University and Community College System.

"We are extremely grateful for this very valuable equipment and the increased computing power it provides our faculty and students for their academic endeavors," Maxson said, "It will be a tremendous asset." The Convex C220 will be operated by UNLV's National Supercomputing Center for Energy and the Environment (NSCEE). The system, which will be used in conjunction with UNLV's existing supercomputing equipment, is expected to be available to users by November of this year.

The C220 system will be used as a campus wide resource for nearly 2000 faculty members, students, and staff of UNLV and the University and Community College System of Nevada (UCCSN) for research, classroom education, and training. As part of the donation an entire suite of state-of-the-art application software will be provided by Convex. This software will enhance several ongoing computational research projects in UNLV's departments of chemistry, mechanical engineering, physics, civil engineering, electrical engineering, nursing, and mathematical sciences, as well as UNLV's Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies, the Desert Research Institute, the State of Nevada Nuclear Projects Office, and the University of Nevada, Reno.

The C220, with its 256 million bytes of physical memory and 16 billion bytes of high performance magnetic hard disk storage, is 200 to 1,000 times as powerful as the typical personal computer found on campus. UNLV will be responsible for the cost of regular maintenance of the equipment, which will be provided by Convex Computer Corp.

"We are extremely grateful to Convex for providing UNLV with this high performance computer," said David McNelis, UNLV Associate Vice President for research. "It will not only enhance our existing systems, but also will add some of the latest advances in supercomputing technology."

Convex C220

"Convex is interested in developing partnership relationships with fast-growing universities that understand the benefits of leveraging supercomputing technology to enhance their research capabilities," said Terrence L. Rock, Chief Operating Officer at Convex. "We feel UNLV definitely meets this criteria, and Convex is excited about establishing a mutually beneficial relationship."

Convex Computer Corp., a leading supplier of air-cooled supercomputers worldwide, markets its products primarily to scientific, engineering, and technical users for a wide variety of applications in areas such as seismic processing, reservoir simulation, computational chemistry, computer-aided engineering, image processing, aerospace simulations, and molecular biology. The corporation has sold more than 1,050 systems to nearly 600 customers in 44 countries. The systems are sold and serviced through direct sales and an extensive distribution network.

Navy Sets Sail on UNLV Supercomputer

UNLV has entered into a $2.7 million, three-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory to provide supercomputer time and other support for the study of global environmental change.

"We would like to thank Senator Harry Reid, who has played as important role in facilitating this agreement," said David McNelis, Associate VP for Research at UNLV. "Senator Harry Reid was also instrumental in bringing the supercomputer to Nevada and to UNLV."

Under the agreement which became effective September 30, UNLV's NSCEE will provide extensive supercomputer support to the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP).

Researchers will:

SERPD supports research into environmental matters that concern the U.S. Defense and Energy departments. SERPD also develops technologies that can assist the two departments in meeting environmental obligations.

"The agreement will provide opportunities for research into areas new to UNLV faculty, particularly those with an interest in large, complex mathematical models," said David McNelis.

NSCEE Supercomputer Time Grants

The NSCEE Technical Review Committee reviews proposals submitted to NSCEE for unfunded research projects. The following table lists currently active grants awarded by NSCEE to researchers within the UCCSN and affiliate members of NSCEE. Unfunded research grant proposals may be submitted at any time. The committee meets several times a year to review proposals and allocate supercomputer time to worthy projects. For further information, contact NSCEE at 702-597-4153.

Principal Investigator Affiliation Project Title Grant Value Project
James Ventresca Carnegie Mellon University, Mechanical Engineering Analysis of Erosion Control $3,630 1992
Jerzy Cioslowski Florida State University, Chemistry Electronic Structures of Large Water Clusters $36,300 1992
Peter Langhoff Indiana University, Chemistry Studies in Complex Molecular Ionization $54,450 1992
Ken Houk University of California, Los Angeles, Chemistry Thermal Processes Involving New Forms of Carbons $54,450 1992
Wolfgang Kollmann University of California, Davis, M.A.M.E. Large Eddie Simulation of Turbulent Round Jets $60,500 1992-3
Donald Aue University of California, Santa Barbara, Chemistry Calculations of Energies of Ions $24,200 1992
Kathleen Robins UNLV, Chemistry Faculty Start-Up Computational Chemistry $24,200 1992-3
Reginald R. Soulerette UNLV, Civil Engineering Supercomputer Applications in Transportation Planning $9,695 1992
Ajoy Datta UNLV, Computer Science Algorithms in Self-Stabilization $48,400 1992
Laxmi Gewali UNLV, Computer Science Algorithms for Generating and Covering Orthogonal Polygons $3,150 1992
Kia Makki UNLV, Computer Science The Design and Development of Transputer Networks $20,000 1992
Evangelos Yfantis UNLV, Computer Science A Parallel Visualization Language $17,530 1992
Yahia Baghzouz UNLV, Electrical Engineering Economic Start-Up and Shut-Down of Generating Units in Daily Dispatch Implementation by a Supercomputer $4,840 1992-3
Ashok Iyer UNLV, Electrical Engineering Nonlinear Control Strategies for Large Scale Systems $96,800 1992-3
Rama Venkatasubranian UNLV, Electrical Engineering A Novel Computational Algorithm for, the Simulation of Crystal Growth $72,600 1992
George Miel UNLV, Mathematics Simulated Annealing and Genetic Algorithms in Environmental Engineering $4,936 1992
Peter Shiue UNLV, Mathematics Parallel Computations for Least Median of Squares Regression $2,150 1992
Robert Boehm UNLV, Mechanical Engineering Development of Design Tools for Direct Contact Heat Exchangers $3,970 1992-3
Georg Mauer UNLV, Mechanical Engineering Real Time Decision and Control for Sensor Equipped Robots $4,003 1992
Samir Moujaes UNLV, Mechanical Engineering A 3-D Transient Computer Simulation of the Heat Rejection from a Deeply Buried Underground Closed Water Loop for a Ground Coupled Heat Pump $2,400 1992
Darrel Pepper UNLV, Mechanical Engineering Faculty Start-Up Computational Fluid Dynamics $48,400 1992
Mohamed Trabia UNLV, Mechanical Engineering Robot Path Planning $2,420 1992
Woosoon Yim UNLV, Mechanical Engineering Development and Simulation of Neural Network Based Adaptive Control Strategies for Flexible Link Mechanical Manipulators $968 1992
Joseph Lombardo UNLV, NSCEE The Implicit Recognition of Parallelism by Compiler Optimization $10,760 1992-3
Sharon Meintz UNLV, Nursing UNLV/Cray Project for Nursing and Health Data Research: Application to Supercomputing of Mega Database Analysis $147,098 1992-3
Changfeng Chen UNLV, Physics A New Computational Approach to the Study of Strongly Correlated Electronic Materials $48,400 1991-2
John Farley UNLV, Physics Development of a Package for Performing ab initio Calculations of the Structure and Spectra of Molecular Ions $86,611 1992
Tao Pang UNLV, Physics Quantum Monte Carlo Simulations for Highly Condensed Matter Systems $121,611 1992
Bernard Zygelman UNLV, Physics Atomic Collision Theory $121,000 1992-3
Hyung Shin UNR, Chemistry Dynamics of Surface Reactions and Self-Relaxation of Vibrationally Existed Molecules $49,610 1992-3
Alexander Franz UNR, Physics Electron Impact Ionization of Helium $9,680 1992
Harvey Jeffries University of North Carolina, Environmental Science Predicted Ozone Concentration $60,500 1992-3

Paying for Health Care: the Role of the Household

Mary A. Paterson, Ph.D.,
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Department of Health Care Administration

The consumer out-of-pocket share of health care costs is increasing. This cost in 1990 was $136.1 billion or $514.00 per person. The way households pay for these services, and the impact on household financial resources is an important research area.

Questions may be based on financial or economic theory and explore issues such as the use of debt and level of financial distress in the household, and the impact of health-related spending on household income and assets.

One relevant dataset used in the analyses of these issues is the New Beneficiary Survey. This is a cross- sectional survey of 19,000 new retirees done by the Social Security Administration which contains very complete financial information on retirees and their households.

This research uses these data to examine the household financial status of new retirees who give care to significant others. Preliminary findings show that these households have significantly fewer assets, more debt, and are likely to be in financial distress. Future work will identify reasons for these findings and will expand to look at the effect of catastrophic illnesses, provider costs, and taxes on household finances.

MPGS Seminar

On September 15, 16 and 17, 1992, Cray Research, Inc. presented a seminar at the NSCEE on the Multipurpose Graphic System, MPGS.

MPGS 4.1 has been installed on the NSCEE Cray Y-MP.  MPGS is a distributed application for visualizing analyses from many engineering, chemistry, physics and mathematical applications including finite element, finite difference, fluid dynamic, combustion, chemistry and physics codes.

New Software Acquired


Frederick J. Haab, Graduate Research Assistant

Geomview, "an interactive 3D geometry viewer written at the Geometry Center" is available on the NSCEE SGI. It displays and allows users to manipulate objects interactively. Multiple objects can be displayed using different camera positions and manipulations. Geomview is also equipped with a script-like language to automatically do a series of manipulations.

The program is executed by typing geomview at the prompt. Sample data can be viewed by clicking on LOAD, and then clicking on the line usr/local/bin/data/geom, a list of sample data then becomes visible. Information about the program or the language can be obtained with man geomview or by emailing questions to

IMSL Exponent Graphics Library

Michael Ekedahl, Senior Systems analyst

The IMSL Exponent Graphics library has been configured and installed on nye. Several Environment variables have been set to simplify the compilation and linking of applications using the Exponent Graphics library. Both shared and static libraries have been built.

To compile a Fortran program (main.f in this example) which calls routines contained in the Exponent Graphics library using shared libraries, the following command line should be used:

f77 main.f $LINK_EXP

To compile the same program statically, the following command line should be used:

f77 main.f -Bstatic $LINK_EXP

The environment variables LINK_EXP, GKS_DEVICES, and GKS_BUFFER are used to control the behavior of the Exponent Graphics system. They are set automatically during login. Individuals with special needs may override the values of these variables.

The libraries have been configured to support monochrome and color postscript printers and an X display device.

If a graphics workstation is being used, set the DISPLAY environment variable to workstationname:0.0. For example, to display output to a local workstation called fred, the following csh statement would be used:

setenv DISPLAY fred:0.0

Authorize nye to display output to fred by using the following xhost command:

xhost +fred

Please mail specific questions or concerns to

Both SAS and SPSS are Available on the SunMP690 Computer at NSCEE

SAS and SPSS are recognized as the leaders in analysis of large datasets in the Social and Health Sciences.

Acquisition of SAS for the NSCEE SunMP690 will allow researchers to choose the analytical package suited to their needs.

Dr. Mary Paterson and Dave Berry of the Department of Health Care Administration were instrumental in the acquisition of the SAS software.

Research Reports

Electron Correlation in Ionization Calculations of Helium by Electron Impact

A. Franz
Department of Physics, University of Nevada, Reno

For more than 20 years atomic ionization by electron impact has found wide interest both in experiment and in theory. In this process an incoming electron hits an atom in the ground state and knocks out one of the target electrons. If the two electrons in the final state are detected in coincidence then there are only single quantum mechanical matrix elements to calculate which lead to the triple differential cross section. This cross section is differential (i.e. distinguishes) in the directions of the two outgoing electrons and in the kinetic energy of one of the electrons (the energy of the other electron is then fixed by energy conservation).

Agreement between experiment and theory is not easily achieved because it is difficult to obtain experimentally absolute cross sections, especially close to the ionization threshold. On the theoretical side one has to describe two interacting electrons in the continuum of an ion. Since there are no exact solutions available for the wave functions of the multi-electron target one has to use approximations. For the initial state a trial wave function is used with several unknown parameters which are determined by an extremum principle.

The final state involves two electrons in the continuum of a positive helium ion. Here it is crucial to include the electron- electron repulsion. However, this correlation destroys the separability of the matrix element and complicates the numerical solution. The calculation involves a nine- dimensional integration in configuration space of which seven can be done analytically. There remains a coupled double integral which is solved numerically.

Angular distribution of an ejected electron
for electron impact ionization of helium.
The projectile is scattered under 4 degrees.

The cross section for intermediate to high impact energies shows a double peak structure. The larger peak which appears in the forward direction is called binary peak and can be understood as the direct collision between the projectile and the ejected target electron. The second peak is located in backward direction and is caused by an interaction between the projectile and one of the target electrons which then scatters off the nucleus.

More recently electron impact ionization has been extended to simultaneously ionizing and exciting the target. In this process there is a simultaneous change in state of three electrons caused by only two-body interactions. We have calculated the triple differential cross section for this reaction and are now proceeding to compute also the total cross section by integrating the differential one.

Topical Reports

procstat(1) and procrpt(1)

Sam West, Cray Research, Inc.

In this month's article for the performance analysis tools series we will discuss the prostat(1) and procrpt(1) commands.

The prostat command can be used to gather statistics on process, memory, and I/O activity including secondary data segment (SDS) usage. Note that procstat gathers statistics on entire programs only, not program units (e.g., subroutines). It can be used to analyze multi-tasked codes and produces no significant overhead.

procstat usage is very simple and resembles the time(1) command.


procstat -R rawdata myprog arg1 arg2

The above example causes procstat to gather data on the execution of program myprog to be executed withthe arguments arg1 and arg2. In this example, procstat is instructed to write its statistics to a raw data file called rawdata which will be post-processed by the procrpt command; see below. Note that this is the normal usage, although procstat can produce its own report.

procrpt formats procstat output to produce a readable, and usable, report.


procrpt -t rawdata > report

procrpt's output is written to stdout. Note that -t, which is a brief summary of all processes invoked under procstat, is the default option. Alternatively, the -s option selects a detailed summary.

For further information on procstat(1) and procrpt(1), including a detailed explanation of procrpt output, please see the appropriate chapter in the UNICOS Performance Utilities Reference Manual, CRI publication SR-2040.

Local Information man(1) pages on clark

Sam West, Cray Research, Inc.

The following is a list of man(1) pages that adress local issues of interst to NSCEE users. These man(1) pages may be accessed by typing:

man local 'topic'


man local archive

Conference Announcements

Supercomputing '92 Conference

Voyages of Discovery
Minneapolis, Nov 16-20
Voyages of Discovery through Time and Technology is the theme of the fifth annual conference and exhibition on high-performance computing. This conference will focus on past, present and future roles of supercomputing in society, science and discovery.
anonymous ftp Access to informaiton about Supercomputing '92 will be placed on anonymous FTP as soon as it becomes available. The file sc92/README is located on the computer. Questions on anonymous FTP access may be directed to
Student Volunteers for Supercomputing '92 Student volunteers are needed for the Supercomputing '92 Conference to be held in Minneapolis in November, 1992. The volunteer program will reward the student with an enriching conference experience and provide you with special opportunities to learn more about advanced computing and its applications. Questions on the Student Volunteer Program may be directed to Ginger Caldwell at (303) 497-1229 or

For more information contact: Donna Crawford, SC '92 Deputy Program Chair, Sandia National Laboratories, P.O. Box 969, Livermore, CA 94550: Phone: (510) 294-2658, Fax: (510) 294-3422, email:

General Information

Dialing-In via Modem

For users with terminals, IBM-PC's, Apple computers, and other microcomputers, connection to the supercomputing telephone can be accomplished with a modem or through the campus network. The modem and communication software must be set for no parity, 8 bits per character, 1 stop bit, 1200, 2400, or 9600 baud.

To access the NSCEE Center you initially dial-in to one of our modems.

The dial-in phone numbers are given below:

597-4154 (300 - 9600 baud modems)
597-4155 (for the 1200 or 2400 baud modems)

When your computer responds with CONNECT 1200, CONNECT 2400, or CONNECT 9600, slowly hit the [enter] key a few times.

You will soon be connected and receive the prompt:


At this point you will type in the command:

	rlogin hostname

to access to the systems on the NSCEE Internet. The host names are given below.

	Example: rlogin

The following list contains the desired host names for the computers in the Center and their IP numbers. All would fall under the domain name of ""

Request for Proposals: Cray/NSCEE Supercomputing Research and Development

NSCEE is pleased to announce the availability of the application packages for a third year of the Cray/NSCEE research and development program in supercomputing. Each year we have funded several projects which significantly and uniquely increase knowledge in computational science and engineering or development of software and algorithms for supercomputing architectures.

The total available funds this year are $150,000. We hope to fund 5-8 projects this year. The deadline for proposal submission is November 6, 1992.

The application packages are available from the NSCEE main office in TBE A-305 or alternatively they may be mailed to you. You may request the application package by calling (702) 597-4153.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]