Argonne National Laboratory

About Us
Providing tools for transformative science

MCS provides intellectual and technical leadership in the computing sciences ‐ applied mathematics, computer science, and computational science. To this end, we tackle the most important scientific problems of our nation — problems that require innovative computational tools and technology for transformative science during the next several decades.

We are a large group, and we welcome new members -- especially postdocs and students -- to join us in tackling exciting  initiatives in four key areas:

  • Extreme Computing: Exploring new approaches to system software, fault tolerance, and innovative programming models for next-generation computers
  • Data-Intensive Science: Formulating novel techniques for managing, storing, analyzing, and visualizing the enormous amounts of data produced by leadership-class computers and large experimental facilities
  • Applied Mathematics: Formulating rigorous theory leading to fast algorithms, deployed in software on leading-edge computing platforms
  • Science & Engineering Applications: Working with scientists and engineers to apply our advanced algorithms and tools to applications critical to our society, such as life science, climate change, materials, and energy systems simulations

In addition to our world-class research, we provide access to some of the fastest, most powerful computer systems in the world: systems that are enabling scientists to tackle problems previously considered infeasible. These include:

Argonne Leadership Computing Facility

The ALCF is one of two leadership computing facilities supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. Its current systems include

  • Mira, a 10-petaflops IBM Blue Gene/Q, running at 10 quadrillion calculations a second, and
  • Theta, a 9.65-petaflops system based on the second-generation Intel® Xeon Phi™ processor

Laboratory Computing Resource Center

The primary goal of the LCRC is to facilitate Argonne science and engineering programs that require mid-range supercomputing. LCRC also provides user support and training, and maintains a wide range of scalable applications and tools. The LCRC currently operates two systems:

  • Blues, a 310-node computing cluster, and
  • Bebop, a 1,024-node computing cluster

Joint Laboratory for System Evaluation

JLSE is a collaboration between the MCS and LCF divisions aimed at evaluating future hardware and software platforms. The JLSE addresses ALCF and MCS needs in a variety of areas in hardware and software research, including

  • investigating alternative approaches to current and future deployments within ALCF, and
  • maintaining a range of hardware and software environments for testing MCS research ideas.

MCS at a Glance


  • 90 staff
  • 30 postdocs
  • 72 interns, coops, predocs

Research Range

  • Software development
  • Parallel computing
  • Communications technology
  • Scientific simulations


  • SciDAC institutes
  • Grid and cloud development
  • Metagenomics analysis of global microbial communities

Society Fellows

  • SIAM: Sven Leyffer, Lois Curfman McInnes, Barry Smith
  • IEEE: Franck Cappello, Andrew Chien, Valerie Taylor
  • ACM: Andrew Chien, Ian Foster, Valerie Taylor
  • AAAS: Andrew Chien, Paul Fischer, Ian Foster

Computational Resources

  • MIRA: IBM Blue Gene/Q system
  • Theta, a 9.65-petaflops system
  • NVIDIA Tesla C1060 GPU computer testbed