ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, has named a 12-member Chinese team the recipients of the 2017 ACM Gordon Bell Prize for their research project, "18.9-Pflops Nonlinear Earthquake Simulation on Sunway TaihuLight: Enabling Depiction of 18-Hz and 8-Meter Scenarios."

Using the Sunway TaihuLight, which is ranked as the world's fastest supercomputer, the team developed software that was able to efficiently process 18.9 Pflops (or 18.9 quadrillion calculations per second) of data and create 3D visualizations relating to a devastating earthquake that occurred in Tangshan, China in 1976.

The team's software included innovations that achieved greater efficiency than had been previously attained running similar programs on the Titan and TaihuLight supercomputers.

The ACM Gordon Bell Prize ( tracks the progress of parallel computing and rewards innovation in applying high performance computing to challenges in science, engineering, and large-scale data analytics.

The award was presented today by ACM President Vicki Hanson and Subhash Saini, Chair of the 2017 Gordon Bell Prize Award Committee, during the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC17) ( in Denver, Colorado.

Although earthquake prediction and simulation is an inexact and emerging area of research, scientists hope that the use of supercomputers, which can process vast sets of data to address the myriad of variables at play in geologic events, may lead to better prediction and preparedness.

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