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The Beauty of Big Data

When facing a challenging scientific problem, researchers often turn to supercomputers. These powerful machines crunch large amounts of data and, with the right software, spin out images that make the data easier to understand. Advanced computational methods and technologies, for instance, can provide unprecedented maps of the human brain. In the image at left, the colors represent white matter pathways that allow distant parts of the brain to communicate with each other.


For over 30 years, the National Science Foundation has invested in high-performance computing, both pushing the frontiers of advanced computing hardware and software and providing access to supercomputers for researchers across a range of disciplines. Use of NSF-supported research cyberinfrastructure resources is at an all-time high and continues to increase across all science and engineering disciplines.


The following images showcase the striking beauty of big data visualizations produced by NSF-funded advanced computing resources and the range of disciplines that rely on these critical scientific tools.