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The scientific researchers and the computer officers who run the COSMOS system

COSMOS Management

Scientific oversight

Professor Stephen Hawking - Founding Principal Investigator

Stephen Hawking requires no introduction as one of the world's best known scientists. He has made ground-breaking contributions in the endeavour to unify quantum theory with gravity, notably in its application to black hole evaporation, spacetime singularities and whether there was a beginning in time, and in his proposals for setting the initial conditions for our habitable universe. He has also made singular contributions to the popularisation of science with over ten million copies of A Brief History of Time in print, amongst other titles.

In 1980 in his inaugural lecture as Lucasian Professor (the chair once held by Isaac Newton), he famously predicted that the end might be in sight for theoretical physicists (if not for theoretical physics) because computers would begin to take their place!

Find out more about Stephen at his own website. For a more in-depth assessment of his scientific contributions why not take a look at the proceedings of his 60th birthday conference, entitled The Future of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology (Cambridge University Press 2003, edited by Gibbons, Shellard and Rankin).


Professor Paul Shellard - COSMOS Director

Paul Shellard received his PhD in cosmology from the University of Cambridge. He subsequently pursued postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then back in Cambridge with a Trinity College Research Fellowship and a PPARC Advanced Fellowship. He is now a faculty member - Reader in Cosmology - at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in the University of Cambridge.

Since 1997 he has also been Director of COSMOS, the UK national cosmology supercomputer, which entails oversight of scientific activities and grants, as well as coordinating weekly management meetings. His research interests include numerical modelling of early universe cosmology (notably cosmic strings) and theories for large-scale structure formation and cosmic microwave sky fluctuations.




The COSMOS team

Since 2014. Dr Juha Jäykkä - COSMOS System Manager

juha.JPGJuha has a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Turku, Finland, and has worked as a postdoctoral researcher in topological solitons. In research support roles he has managed the local part of a HPC cluster acquisition in a multi-university procurement process, acted as an HPC cluster administrator and as a support scientist for Cray supercomputer users, where his responsibilities included code optimisation and porting.

Juha is responsible for the day-to-day management of COSMOS operations, and system administration including the Moab resource allocation system.

Juha can be contacted by email at cosmos-help.



James Briggs
Since 2013. James Briggs - COSMOS Parallel Programmer

James Briggs joined COSMOS in April 2013. He holds an MPhys in Computational Physics from the University of Edinburgh (2012). In his final year he specialised in parallel computing with OpenMP and MPI, and numerical methods. His master thesis was on modifying the cosmological code Gadget-2 to include physics for star formation, radiative cooling, and feedback.

His work currently focuses on porting COSMOS user codes to use the Intel Xeon Phi, with collaboration from Intel and SGI, and parallelising user codes for either distributed or SMP machines. He is available to provide programming support for all the users in COSMOS.

James can be contacted by email at cosmos-help.


SGI, Intel and Adaptive Computing support
cosmosUV-team.jpgThe smooth operation of the COSMOS facility would not be possible without the close links that have been forged between the COSMOS team and SGI software and hardware engineers (some of whom are pictured right), as well as Intel software support.

Resource allocation is controlled MOAB/Torque Work Load and ResourceManagement system from Adaptive Computing, with whom the COSMOS team also enjoys a close collaborative relationship.





Former team members:

andrey.jpg2007-2013. Andrey Kaliazin - COSMOS Facility Manager and System Administrator

Andrey Kaliazin joined COSMOS in December 2007 as System Administrator and Relativity Group Computer Officer. He holds an MSc Degree in Solid State Physics from the Technical University of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Andrey is an accomplished System Administrator with several years of experience in High Performance Computing. Before joining COSMOS he worked at Aston University, where he managed various supercomputing resources, including a large cluster from Cray (XD1).


stuart.jpgFrom the dawn of time, till 2007. Dr Stuart Rankin - COSMOS Facility Manager and System Administrator

Stuart Rankin read mathematics at the University of Cambridge and continued his studies in the High Energy Physics group at the Department of Applied Matdhematics and Theoretical Physics, going on to receive a Ph.D. Since 1995 he has worked as Administrator and System Manager for the Relativity group in the same Department.

This post has always provided great variety, and in 1997 Stuart took on the management of the COSMOS supercomputer facility on behalf of Stephen Hawking and the UK cosmology community, a role that like the real Cosmos continues to expand.

He was responsible for day-to-day management of COSMOS operations, system administration including the LSF resource allocation system, and financial controls on the many COSMOS grants. He is original author of the COSMOS User Guide.


victor.jpg2003-2008. Victor Travieso - COSMOS Parallel Programmer
Victor Travieso studied Physics at University College, London. After completing this, he did a Masters degree in Scientific Computation at the Royal Military College of Science. During summer 2003, he worked on a project at NAG Ltd., developing software for the SMP numerical library.

Victor joined the COSMOS team in December 2003 as Parallel Programmer, a position funded jointly by Intel and SGI. His tasks included advising and helping cosmologists so that they could take full advantage of the COSMOS supercomputer facility, achieving scalability on the Altix architecture for both parallel OpenMP and MPI applications.

He was the original author of the COSMOS Developers Guide and he was also collating a database of key cosmology codes optimised for the Altix (see the Cosmology Software Tools section).

People involved with the COSMOS project

Professor Stephen Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS (PI)

University of Cambridge
Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
Institute of Astronomy
Cavendish Laboratory - Astrophysics Group
Sussex University
Theoretical Physics and Astronomy
Portsmouth University
Institute of Gravitation and Cosmology
University of Manchester
Physics/Jodrell Bank
Imperial College London
Blackett Laboratory - Astrophysics
Blackett Laboratory - Theoretical Physics
University of Hull
E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics
University of Nottingham
Physics & Astronomy
University College London
University of Oxford
University of Durham
Mathematical Sciences