A collaboration with accelerated computing leader NVIDIA will dramatically boost SMU’s high-performance computing system — increasing its current supercomputer memory tenfold and setting the stage for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning 25 times faster than current levels.
SMU is investing $11.5 million in hardware, software and training to strengthen AI infrastructure with an NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD, bringing world-leading AI supercomputing capabilities to Dallas. The collaboration will give SMU faculty, students and research partners the ability to integrate sophisticated AI technology across a wide array of research disciplines, ranging from computational biology to human performance, from national defense to digital humanities.
“This partnership will put us in the fast lane for artificial intelligence,” says SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Research universities like ours have an obligation to actively engage in the development and application of AI for societal good, and this partnership gives us the tools to do it.”
The expansion of high-performance computing supports SMU’s goal to enrich teaching and research – one of the priorities of SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, the University’s multiyear $1.5 billion campaign for impact.
Increasing SMU’s computing capability also will provide real benefits for North Texas as the region continues its growth as a technology hub.
NVIDIA’s collaboration with world-class institutions such as SMU is equipping the next generation of scientists with the extreme performance to supercharge AI and supercomputing exploration.
Cheryl Martin, director of higher education and research at NVIDIA
“NVIDIA’s collaboration with world-class institutions such as SMU is equipping the next generation of scientists with the extreme performance to supercharge AI and supercomputing exploration,” says Cheryl Martin, director of higher education and research at NVIDIA.
Machine learning uses statistics to find patterns in large data sets. AI is a broader concept, equipping computer systems to perform functions normally requiring human intelligence. Scientists outlined the concept of artificial intelligence during the second half of the 20th century, but it took years for technology to develop that could deliver the power and speed to bring AI to reality.
The collaboration between SMU and NVIDIA is a big step in a journey that began a decade ago with the University’s pursuit and acquisition of its first high-speed computing cluster. SMU acquired that initial system to enable University researchers to analyze data from CERN, which led to SMU’s role in identifying the probability of the Higgs boson — the so-called “God particle.”
The Office of Information Technology and the SMU Center for Research Computing work together to provide the computational and digital data infrastructure necessary to support the research endeavors of SMU’s faculty, research staff and students. Students with a faculty sponsor are allowed individual access to the supercomputing system.
This leap in computing power supports the University’s commitment to reach within a decade the top R1 research status as designated by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
“This partnership is a significant boost to our plans for high-performance computing prowess in the academic realm and the expansion of data science across the SMU curriculum,” says Elizabeth G. Loboa, SMU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “This will be of great value to our faculty and students who are already using accelerated computing in areas such as drug discovery, computational chemistry, virtualization, astrophysics and engineering.”