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Dec. 27, 2021

Fugaku-based work on COVID-19 spread wins special 2021 Gordon Bell prize

Photo of awards ceremonyMakoto Tsubokura (second from left) and Satoshi Matsuoka (third from left) at the SC21 Awards Ceremony

A group of six researchers from the RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) and collaborators won the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Performance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research for their work, “Digital transformation of droplet/aerosol infection risk assessment realized on ‘Fugaku’ for the fight against COVID-19,” modeling the spread of droplets and aerosols using the supercomputer Fugaku. The award, presented at the SC21 conference in St. Louis, was given by the American Association for Computing Machinery both for its scientific merit and because, as mentioned in the award, “This information helped guide decisions in areas including requirements for face masks and social distancing as well as whether certain public facilities and private businesses should be closed.”

In addition to Fugaku, the group used the Oakforest-PACS supercomputer system, which is jointly operated by the University of Tokyo and the University of Tsukuba.

The group consisted of Kazuto Ando, Rahul Bale, and Keiji Onishi of the RIKEN Center for Computational Science; ChungGang Li and Makoto Tsubokura of the RIKEN Center for Computational Science and Kobe University; and Satoshi Matsuoka of the RIKEN Center for Computational Science and Tokyo Institute of Technology.