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News Archive 2001 - 2010

UTA to be Home of Regional High-Performance Computing System

October 7, 2002

The University of Texas at Arlington has received a major research instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a high-performance computing and high-bandwidth storage infrastructure for interdisciplinary research. Computer Science & Engineering Professor Sharma Chakravarthy, the principal investigator of the project, collaborated with faculty from Computer Science & Engineering and Physics at UTA and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas to create the winning proposal.

The goal of the grant is to promote multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research by providing a facility that stimulates collaborative efforts with universities and colleges in the region. The three-year, $1,357,000 project will create a distributed-memory cluster system with 200+ processors linked to enormous amounts of storage – in the hundreds of terabytes (1012). This will be augmented with more storage and a shared-memory, or symmetric, multi-processor system.

Both distributed-memory and shared-memory systems are needed as they serve different applications. For instance, the computer science and engineering group will use the facility to solve problems that cannot be solved on individual or a small number of computers, problems involving data mining, software engineering, artificial intelligence, network research, video streaming and distributed computing. The high-energy physics group will use it for experiments, such as searching for fundamental particles, which need hundreds of processors and generate terabytes of data. The computer science group will collaborate with the dermatology group at UT Southwestern to address problems related to skin cancer research and mining large volumes of image data. Other science and engineering departments will also use the facility.

Dr. Chakravarthy believes that this is the beginning of establishing UTA as a national-level, high-performance computing center. Plans are underway to seek additional funding over the next five years to add to the computing power of the facility to create a regional high-performance computing center and become part of a national computing grid.