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High-Performance Computing

Loyola University Maryland Wins Grant to Build HPC Cluster for Research

Loyola University Maryland has been awarded a $280,120 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build its first high-performance computing (HPC) cluster, which will be used for faculty and student research across disciplines.

The grant proposal, "Acquisition of a Computing Cluster to Enable Transformative Research across Disciplines," identified 11 research projects — in fields such as software development, medicine and social policy — that will be the first to run on the HPC cluster.

Some of the research projects identified in the award abstract include:

  • Developing techniques leading to drugs to fight SARS;
  • Understanding protein-DNA interactions for biotechnology applications;
  • Providing policymakers with a better understanding of how job competition and human capital allocation influence the optimal design of unemployment insurance;
  • Improving software quality by helping programmers identify and avoid the introduction of dependence clusters;
  • Improving techniques for coordination in pursuing a moving target, such as in military operations, autonomous automobile police chases, or surveillance programs;
  • New methods for the creation of fossil fuel alternatives;
  • Providing secure communications for mobile devices in the Internet of Things; and
  • Improving techniques for nondestructive evaluation of electromagnetic materials, which is of critical importance in agriculture, bio-electromagnetics, aerospace, and the design of integrated circuits.

The HPC cluster will subsequently be made available to other researchers and undergraduate students at the university. Loyola is primarily an undergraduate institution, and until now those students have not had access to HPC clusters for research, unlike their peers at large research institutions. With this new HPC cluster, Loyola undergraduates will have the opportunity to receive training and mentorship using high-performance computing for computationally intensive tasks and multi-disciplinary research, helping prepare them for graduate studies and computational work in their careers, according to the award abstract.

"Our students will now have access to HPC cluster resources similar to what they would find at a large research university," said Megan Olsen, assistant professor of computer science and principal investigator on the grant, in a news release. "This is really the future in a lot of different fields."

Olsen's three co-investigators on the grant project are Biggi Albrecht, associate professor of chemistry; David Binkley, professor of computer science; and Jeremy Schwartz, associate professor of economics, all from Loyola.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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