[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

Rutgers has launched a high-performance computing (HPC) center at the university focused on the application of “Big Data” analytics in life sciences, finance, and other industries. The center is aimed at improving the economic competitiveness of New Jersey’s public and private research organizations.

The HPC center will be part of the newly created Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute (RDI) and will utilize supercomputing equipment and software provided by IBM in the project’s first phase.

Michael J. Pazzani (Vice president, Research and economic development, and Professor, Computer Science, Rutgers): The ability to conduct data analysis on a large scale, leveraging the power of ‘big data,’ has become increasingly essential to research and development.

The collaboration involving Rutgers and IBM scientists and engineers is expected to extend beyond computer science and engineering, to encompass fields such as cancer and genetic research, medical imaging and informatics, advanced manufacturing, environmental and climate research, and materials science.

The IBM Blue Gene supercomputer, housed in the Hill Center for Mathematics on Rutgers’ Busch Campus in Piscataway, will be the only supercomputer available to commercial users in the state. “Excalibur” is the name Rutgers has chosen for it, playing off the university’s sports mascot, the Scarlet Knight.

Rutgers has agreed to purchase hardware and software from IBM, as well as entering into a three-year maintenance agreement for the equipment. As future funding becomes available, Rutgers expects to add the latest-generation Blue Gene/Q system by the end of the year, it says. Rutgers also envisions building an expanded facility on the Busch campus in 2013 as the system and center grows.

[Image Courtesy: Rutgers]