OSC Awards Cluster Ohio Processors to Select Ohio Faculty

Columbus, OH

OSC's HPC Division has announced that computing systems have been awarded to nine Ohio higher education institutions. Thirty-four researchers submitted proposals in the competition for academic cluster computers. In addition to the processing units, OSC (Ohio Supercomputer Center) will provide onsite maintenance, software, training, and system administration advice.

The Cluster Ohio Project, an initiative of OSC, the Ohio Board of Regents, and the OSC Statewide Users Group, is an effort to encourage faculty to build local computing clusters.

"Today, OSC continues its tradition of bringing high performance computing and software to Ohio's faculty," said Al Stutz, OSC Acting Director. "Through Cluster Ohio, researchers will be able to create an Ohio lattice of computational power."

The grant recipients are as follows:

  • Dr. Jacques Amar, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Toledo,
    "Acquisition of a Beowulf Cluster for Research & Development of Advanced Computational Physics Modeling"
  • Dr. Michael Crescimanno, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Youngstown State
    University, "Cluster Ohio Grant: The YSU Advanced Computation Working Group Cluster"
  • Dr. Charlotte Elster, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio University,
    "Modeling Complex Systems on a Beowulf Cluster"
  • Dr. Paul Farrel, Department of Math and Computer Science, Kent State University,
    "Cluster Acquisition for Communications Optimization and Computational Steering"
  • Dr. John Gallagher, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Wright State
    University, "Cluster Computing for Bioinformatics and Biocontrol"
  • Dr. Kathy Liszka, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Akron,
    "Beowulf Cluster for Multidisciplinary Research in a Parallel Computing Environment"
  • Dr. Austin Melton, Department of Math and Computer Science, Kent State University,
    "Cluster Ohio Grant: Scientific Visualization and Modeling"
  • Dr. Bin Wang, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Wright State University,
    "Design and Implementation of a Parallel Simulation Environment for Network Research and Education"
  • Dr. Edward White, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Case
    Western Reserve University, "High Performance Computing for Computational Mechanics"

Dr. Melton's proposal represents a number of research projects from faculty members at Kent State and Case Western. The cluster grant will be used to facilitate complex modeling projects that range from describing the processes and functions of a prokaryotic cell to predicting predator-prey interactions in Lake Erie.

"The complexity of such models is often too great for most computing systems. Either the model must be simplified to the point of being almost trivial, or one must wait an unreasonably long time for meaningful results," said Melton. "We are very pleased to have received an OSC cluster award. Since clustered machines are as computationally efficient as very large and expensive computers for many problems, this award will allow us to make substantive advances in our modeling efforts."

Dr. Crescimanno's cluster will facilitate the efforts of the Youngstown State's Advanced Computation Working Group. The project's science and educational scope includes computational chemistry, studies in parallel algorithm development, mathematical biology, theoretical atomic physics, and teaching students parallel programming.

"I am delighted by the opportunity the local cluster will provide for faculty research, for the 'deep learning' about parallelism that will envelope the students working with us," said Crescimanno. "I am also excited about the closer ties this cluster will necessitate with the OSC research community."

In addition, OSC will continue to expand the statewide software licensing program to support cluster construction and use. Cluster owners will be encouraged to join their cluster with the OSC Itanium Cluster installed in May. OSC will house the largest academic cluster, 160 64-bit processors, in the Cluster Ohio Project. In the fall, an additional 160 processors will be added to the OSC Cluster.

The clusters will be delivered to their respective universities in September and October, 2001.

Nearly all of the remaining 25 researchers who submitted proposals received 250 research units on OSC supercomputers.

More information is available at www.osc.edu/supercomputing/cluster_ohio/.