Florida Tech Interdisciplinary Collaborators Earn NSF Funding for Parallel Computer

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology researchers have received National Science Foundation funding of $181,126 to obtain a new parallel computer to replace a computer cluster that dates to 2001. Florida Tech will provide direct matching funds of more than $77,000 to support the new computing effort. The computer will be used by the senior research faculty members who collaborated on the grant proposal and by their students.

Collaborating faculty members, from the College of Engineering and the College of Science, are: Mark Archambault, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Charles Bostater, Sen Chiao, Steven Jachec and Gary Zarillo, Department of Marine and Environmental Systems; Charles Fulton, Department of Mathematical Sciences; Fred Ham, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Jim Jones, Department of Applied Mathematics; and Ke-Gang Wang and Ming Zhang, Department of Physics and Space Sciences.

The new parallel computer will be similar to the previous one, a high-performance, massively parallel system that performs similarly to a supercomputer for a fraction of the price. The new computer will be composed of a cluster of multiprocessor nodes connected by a high-speed network, and will provide a powerful, modern, on-campus computing platform. The computing capability of this machine will enable the large-scale simulations needed by Florida Tech researchers in the application areas of ocean modeling, space weather and material science.

For example, the new machine would almost immediately allow greater fidelity simulations of important applications, such as the impact of space radiation on astronauts and electronic components on satellites. The new cluster will also bring new energy to Florida Tech’s educational programs designed to train students for jobs in high performance computing.

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