OSC Awards Second Cluster Ohio Grants to State Faculty

Columbus, OH – March 20, 2003 -- OSC's High Performance Computing (HPC) Division announces that Itanium computing clusters have been awarded to five Ohio higher education institutions. Nineteen researchers submitted proposals in the competition for academic cluster computers.

Faculty researchers were encouraged to submit proposals that highlighted cluster-style parallel computing, shared scientific visualization tools, and distributed network computation applications.

The Cluster Ohio Project, an initiative of OSC, the Ohio Board of Regents, and the OSC Statewide Users Group, benefits Ohio faculty who manage research projects ranging from cell biology and chemistry to astrophysics and fluid mechanics. This Ohio Supercomputer Center initiative extends the useful life of cluster equipment by redistributing the computational resources to Ohio faculty, connecting them to enhanced teaching and research resources.

"With this round of Cluster Ohio, we've quadrupled the computational power from the first round at a significant cost savings to the awarded universities and colleges,” said Leslie Southern, OSC Interim HPC Director. “These clusters will be used for interdisciplinary computational science research and education, and as a foundation for grid computing research and discovery.”

The grant recipients are as follows:

  • Dr. Jianping Zhu, Department of Theoretical and Applied Mathematics, University of Akron, “Computational Study of Ligand-Protein-Nanafiber Interactions for the Development of Biosensors”
    16-node cluster
  • Dr. Stephen Wright, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Miami University, “Advancement of Computational Research at Miami University”
    16-node cluster
  • Dr. C. K. Shum, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Science, The Ohio State University, “Distributed Computing to Support Interdisciplinary Research in Space Geodesy and Earth Sciences Using the OSC 16-node SGI Cluster”
    16-node cluster
  • Dr. Nikolaos Bourbakis, Information Technology Research Institute and Computer Science and Engineering Department, Wright State University, “Cluster Computing for Large Scale Neural Networks, Data Mining, Simulation, Fault Tolerance and Sequence Analysis”
    16-node cluster
  • Dr. David Robertson, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Otterbein College, “Computational Science at Otterbein College: A Proposal to the Cluster Ohio Grant Program”
    8-node cluster

"This cluster will significantly enhance faculty’s research in the physics and chemistry departments, serving as a compute engine as well as a platform for algorithm and code development,” said Robertson. “It will also be a central resource in an emerging program in computational science at Otterbein, giving our students experience with a cutting-edge system much like the most powerful computers in the world."

The high performance cluster grant will assist Wright’s efforts to establish a new Miami University Center for the Advancement of Computational Research aimed at supporting faculty and student research efforts. Obtaining a high performance cluster for general use by its research community was one of Miami University’s top priorities. Its goal is to support a diverse range of projects in the physical, biological, and behavioral sciences as well as in engineering and mathematics.

“Having a cluster like this on campus will enable the more than forty faculty members in these different sciences to take our research to a higher level, pursue opportunities in exciting new areas, and increase our competitiveness for external research funding,” said Wright. “The Cluster Ohio grant is especially attractive because it paves the way for increased collaboration of Miami researchers with experts at OSC and other Ohio institutions.”

These cluster computers have an aggregate peak performance of more than 420 billion floating point operations per second, and have the same architecture as larger production systems at OSC and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

Cluster owners will join their cluster with the OSC HP 150 Intel® Itanium® 2-based HP Workstation zx6000 systems installed in October 2002. In addition to the processing units, OSC will provide on-site maintenance, software, training, and system administration advice. All researchers who submitted proposals received 2000 research units on OSC supercomputers. These grants translate to as much as 40,000 CPU hours, or more than four years of computing time.

Additional information about Cluster Ohio is available at http://oscinfo.osc.edu/clusterohio/ or by contacting Barb Woodall at 614/292-3561 or woodall@osc.edu.