AUS instals supercomputer on campus

SHARJAH - The American University of Sharjah (AUS) has become the first-ever university in the Middle East to install a commodity supercomputer systems on its campus, where a combination of academic research and business application of the design and use of a High Performance Computational Cluster (HPCC) can be carried out by faculty and students.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 21 Feb 2003, 3:30 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:25 PM

The installation of the equipment by Gulf Digital Solutions (GDS) for the School of Engineering and the Computer Science Department of AUS, which is scheduled for completion by mid-March, 2003, is the result of an agreement signed yesterday between the AUS and Dubai-based GDS.

The agreement was signed on behalf of AUS by Dr Amr Abdel-Hamid, Vice- Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dr Leland Blank, Dean of the School of Engineering at AUS, and Joseph Mack Stiles, CEO of GDS.

Speaking to the press on the arrangements with GDS and the usage of HPCC, Dr Winfred Thompson, Chancellor of AUS, said the presence of a supercomputer on campus will result in yielding immense benefits to the university - from attracting the best talent to AUS to helping faculty and students conduct state-of-the-art research, and parallel programming development, to acting as an attractive showcase for local business as well.

Mr Stiles described the installation of the supercomputing laboratory at AUS to be a revolution of the future in computing in the region.

Explaining the system, he said, an HPCC is a group of high-speed networked, commodity-part PCs whose processing units divide a complex calculation evenly and work together to solve the computation simultaneously. As a result, a computation problem on a PC which could otherwise take years to solve, can be done within days on the supercomputer, speeding up the process immensely.

"Supercomputers have been described as this decade's tool for the greatest advancements in technology. The amazing leaps in medical research, aircraft design, car safety, biological and earth sciences have all taken place on supercomputers," he said, adding, from oil field simulations to credit card approvals, to animated blockbuster movies, supercomputers play a critical, but often unseen role in our daily lives.

Mr Stiles pointed out that the $150,000 equipment is the latest and fastest supercomputer, node for node, of any similar machine in the Middle East.

Brian Parks, Director of Technical Sales for GDS pointed out that the GDS will initially offer training to both the AUS faculty and students on the usage of supercomputer systems. Also speaking on the occasion, Dr Abdel Hamid, Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs at AUS, said he was excited to have the supercomputer laboratory at the AUS.

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