A collaboration of five Great Plains higher education institutions and non-profit organizations in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas recently received a $4 million Major Research Instrument (MRI) award from the National Science Foundation. This grant is entitled MRI: Acquisition of a High-Performance Computational System for OAK Region to Enable Computing and Data Driven Discovery. It was awarded August 3 and begins August 15, 2022. (Award Number 2216084.)
The grant was awarded to Oklahoma State University and funds a cutting-edge high-performance computing system for universities in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas (OAK). This system will be built using the latest CPUs, GPUs, 100 Terabytes of aggregate memory, an HDR InfiniBand interconnect, and Petabyte-scale high-speed storage. This system has several types of nodes (CPUs-only, mid-range GPUs, and high-end GPUs) and will provide 100 million-core hours of computing. In addition to NSF’s $4 million funding, Oklahoma State University will contribute $1.7 million to build the new supercomputer.
This grant will enhance the region’s access to high performance compute cycles and advance research in a wide range of areas such as biology, human and animal health, agriculture, environment research, chemistry and chemical engineering, semiconductor materials research, cybersecurity and social network modeling, renewable energy research, seismology, high-energy physics, and medical physics. When it is not being used by the region’s researchers, the supercomputer will contribute unused compute cycles to researchers nationwide through Open Science Grid (OSG) and Partnership to Advance Throughput (PATh) computing.
The grant is led by Dr. Pratul Agarwal from Oklahoma State University with support from James Deaton from Great Plains Network, Dr. Xiuzhen Huang from Arkansas State University, Dr. Janet Twomey from Wichita State University, Dr. William Hsu from Kansas State University, Dr. Jingyi Chen from The University of Tulsa, Dr. Christopher Fennell from Oklahoma State University and Evan Lemley from University of Central Oklahoma.
This MRI investment will broaden the reach of high-performance computing to minority serving institutions in these three states. Agarwal’s vision is to enable supercomputer access especially for small and new users. “We want to enable new discoveries. Smart ideas can come out of anywhere. We want to make sure that the barrier to entry to supercomputing is low, so that every researcher can benefit from it.”
This project is jointly funded by the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program, the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), and the NSF’s Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) Directorate.
Dr. Pratul Agarwal, Assistant Vice President for Research (Cyber-Infrastructure), Oklahoma State University