Rutgers develops new supercomputer for student use


unicomputers
Photo by Edwin Gano |

Photo Illustration | The Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute recently acquired Caliburn, the most powerful supercomputer in New Jersey.


The Fall 2016 semester has brought several changes to Rutgers as new apartments, eateries and bus stops adorn the campus. Another less visible addition to the school arrived this summer in the form of big data. 

Caliburn — a new supercomputer acquired by the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute is the most powerful in the state and the second most powerful among Big Ten universities.

Design and implementation of the cutting-edge supercomputer was made possible with a $10 million award from the New Jersey Higher Education Equipment Leasing Fund, according to their website. Caliburn is a completely modern system that runs big data applications, and is the first to use the new communication architecture designed by the Intel Corporation. 

Manish Parashar, founder of the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute, designed the architecture for Caliburn along with Ivan Rodero, an associate research professor with the group.

“We’ve been working on this for about a year and a half to come up with the architecture and to get the vendors to assemble it for us with the different components we designed and to deliver it for us,” Parashar said.

Parashar believes Caliburn will assist students in learning skills and conducting research that was not previously possible, and offer opportunities for the University to collaborate with industry leaders.

“Now we are number eight among U.S. universities which is a very big achievement, so now we can play at a level playing field with our peers in terms of the type of research we can do," he said.

All Rutgers students will be able to use Caliburn to conduct their own research. 

“Anyone with a NetID can have access to the system," Parashar said. "For more special access (students) can make arrangements for different types of usage."

In addition to research, Caliburn can be used as a learning tool for students to learn about new applications and even collaborate with certain industries. Using Caliburn does require certain specific skills that students can also learn such as being able to run programs on many different small computers simultaneously and breaking down large problems into smaller components.


Gabriela Amaral is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in political science. She is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum. See more on Twitter @sentientfog.


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