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Michigan Universities Pool Funds To Buy More Cores

Two Michigan universities have pooled their funds to add a new cluster to a high performance computing center located at one of the institutions. Michigan State University's Institute for Cyber Enabled Research invested $750,000 and Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant about $130,000 to build a cluster that adds 1,500 processor cores and 4 TB of RAM to the High Performance Computing Center's compute capacity. The capacity will be used by researchers at both universities, as well as others in the state.

The mission of iCER is to ensure that researchers are able to use large-scale computer systems to produce results faster, and the new expansion furthers that mission, said Wolfgang Bauer, founding director of iCER and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State in East Lansing. "If you add the high-performance computing upgrade with iCER's existing infrastructure, the system's total cloud capacity is equivalent to one of the top 500 supercomputer systems in the world."

"Having access to a computer of this caliber is a great opportunity, one that I'm certain our faculty and students will take full advantage [of]," said Jane Matty, interim dean of Central Michigan's College of Science and Technology. "And being able to gain access through such a small investment makes good financial sense as well."

Recent projects at the center include research in the areas of chemistry, biology, aerospace, computing, and climate modeling.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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