Stefan Robila, Computer Science, $190,010 award from NSF

Dr. Stefan Robila, Computer Science, has received a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation for the acquisition of a high performance computing environment that will support computational science research and education at Montclair State University (MSU) and enhance research collaboration with various outside partners. Reflecting the diversity of computational science directions, the computer cluster will be used across a large number of diverse projects and will include Computer Science (Dr. Stefan Robila, Dr. Dajin Wang) Mathematics (Dr. Lora Billings, Dr. Bogdan Nita), and Linguistics (Dr. Anna Feldman) faculty. The cluster will be hosted in state of the art computing facilities within the Montclair campus and will be accessed by seven researchers and collaborators, in addition to undergraduate and graduate students involved in both research and educational activities.

Computational science, the field concerned with designing computing models and techniques and using computers to analyze and solve scientific and engineering problems, involves the appropriate use of a computational architecture. Many of the problems tackled require large and complex data processing. To support such processing, designing computational science solutions often requires the use of high performance computing (HPC). High Performance Computing does not replace good algorithms, but instead it complements them by allowing for faster robust implementations that will alter every direction in computational science. Research activities otherwise impossible due to computational challenges are now possible and allow for the solution of otherwise intractable questions. One lead and four auxiliary projects have been identified to directly benefit from the acquisition of the cluster, covering a broad spectrum of research directions ranging from spectral imaging, to phylogenetic trees, scattering theory applications, and dynamic disease modeling. In addition to the MSU faculty, collaborators from Syracuse University’s Sensor Fusion lab will support the lead project (Drs. Pramod Varshney and Hao Chen). The instrument, a 512 compute cores AMD Opteron system provides the essential computing power necessary to advance the computational science research programs of the participating faculty.

The project is titled “MRI: Acquisition of a High Performance Computer Cluster Supporting Computational Science Research and Learning”, totals $190,010 and has a duration of three years (2009-2012).