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Clarkson University to use $400K NSF grant to grow its research cyberinfrastructure

By Eric Reinhardt


The ACRES cluster, which is installed in Clarkson’s Green Data Center. (Photo credit: Clarkson University website)

POTSDAM, N.Y. — Clarkson University will use a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to construct a new “high-performance” computing cluster to support data and “computationally intensive” projects.

The funding will facilitate the creation of a new computational cluster, “Accelerating Computational Research for Engineering and Science” (ACRES), at Clarkson. It will provide “state-of-the-art” computational resources to support current research and provide a structure for future growth, the school announced.

A computing cluster is a group of independent computers “most commonly” linked together through a high-performance network.

“Building upon the University’s strong history of high-impact fundamental and applied research, Clarkson faculty are increasingly pursuing data-intensive, intra- and inter-institutional collaborative activities,” Joshua Fiske, chief information officer at Clarkson and principal investigator of the NSF award, said in a news release. “Access to high-performance computing resources is critical to expanding these research activities.”

About the project

As proposed to the NSF, the project will support 10 active research projects in Clarkson’s four research focus areas: data and complex system analytics; healthy world solutions; advanced materials development; and next-generation healthcare technologies.

“ACRES will facilitate research currently not practical or feasible,” said Fiske. “It also will support new student-learning opportunities through courses, undergraduate research, and an existing NSF research experience for undergraduates that focuses on high-performance computing.”

ACRES will be available for use by all Clarkson faculty and their research teams to support sponsored research, Brian Helenbrook, professor and chair of mechanical & aeronautical engineering, said.

“It will support the University’s increased focus on computational research as well as the hiring of additional computationally active faculty,” said Helenbrook, who is also the award’s co-principal investigator.

For users who need more than casual access to a shared computing environment, Clarkson will also offer faculty members the option of purchasing additional dedicated resources to augment ACRES by becoming ACRES owners.

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