Tech advances help make supercomputers more accessible


Jan Hesthaven, professor of applied mathematics and director of Brown’s Center for Computation and Visualization, said providing access to the university’s new supercomputer—which can perform 14 trillion calculations per second—will be a valuable public service for Rhode Islanders researching ways to tackle climate change and improve education and health services.

“We live in an era where computer-enabled research cuts across all research and opens entirely new pursuits and innovations,” she said. “However, this work demands greater computational capacity in terms of speed and the ability to handle large amounts of data.”

Brown’s new supercomputer will be 50 times more powerful than any other machine available on the campus, according to the school’s website. The machine also will have about 70 times the memory storage than Brown’s next most powerful computer, and it will be six times more energy efficient than other high-powered machines on campus.

“We wanted to encourage new forms of collaborative research via the computing platform – a platform that researchers and students at smaller institutions would otherwise have difficulties accessing otherwise,” Hesthaven said.

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