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University of Arkansas at Little Rock to Acquire New Supercomputer

Dr. Kenji Yoshigoe

Dr. Kenji Yoshigoe

The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Arkansas at Little Rock a $291,908 grant for the purchase of a high-performance data storage system that will be a first at this scale for higher education and research in Arkansas.

The three-year grant will help UALR’s Computational Research Center (CRC) acquire a peta-scale data storage system to expand on the supercomputers already available there.

To put this in perspective, the new system will be 10 times larger than the latest system we currently own,” according to Dr. Kenji Yoshigoe, principal investigator and director of the CRC.

Supercomputers are capable of performing as much as multi-quadrillions operations per second.

They can be used for simulation, data mining, and visualization to solve various scientific problems not possible by theoretical and experimental approaches, Yoshigoe said.

Supercomputing represents, in many ways, the most effective mechanisms for tackling advanced scientific and engineering challenges,” he added.

The purchase is expected to support a wide range of big data research projects throughout Arkansas, including computational chemistry and physics groups, as well as the joint bioinformatics program offered through UALR and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

More and more research projects require substantial amounts of computational power that individual research groups cannot afford in their own labs,” said Yoshigoe. “The popularity of big data research has quickly caught up to the capability of the existing system we offer, so we are fortunate to receive this competitive award in order to boost new and ongoing research projects at UALR and collaborating institutions.”

Yoshigoe said the goal is to finalize the purchase later this academic semester.

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