Lexington, KY. — Anne Trouillet Rogers reports that there is a genius in the basement of McVey Hall at the University of Kentucky (UK). It waits patiently for physics, begs quietly for chemistry and it steadily searches for “number crunching projects.”
Those who journey down to its premises may or may not recognize it as the new N-Class supercomputer that positioned the University of Kentucky in the Top 10 among all academic computer stations in the United States.
Nicknamed the “N-Class,” this computer consists of a NCX cluster that groups 12 high-tech servers together and connects them to a huge network. In comparison to the old “X-Class” super computer, this N-Class computer is much more advanced in speed and space areas.
For UK, this advancement will aid in solving complex problems and calculations at a rate 1,000 times faster than the average student computer, said John Connolly, director of the Center for Computational Sciences. Some issues it can handle include global warming, molecular shape definitions and aviation engineering.
The N-Class assists in finding problems, like figuring out the shape of a water molecule. With its high-tech networking system, it can calculate an answer within a matter of minutes, Connolly said.
Minutes might even become seconds if UK continues to progress with the supercomputer. Connolly said every two years since 1987 this super computer has been updated through the Center for Computational Sciences, a division of UK Information Systems.
With a combination of local, state and federal research funds, the Center can promote UK’s ability to provide students with the best modern technology possible. With continual support from administration, Connolly said, this innovation and the future upgrades can keep UK in the top 10 among U.S. universities.
This computer also challenges students to look toward the future, Connolly said.
With UK’s goal of becoming “The Next Great University,” modern advancements such as the N-Class nudges UK a little closer to success.
In a news release for the supercomputer, Doug Hurley, associate vice president for UK Information Systems, commented on these efforts.
“This university has long been committed to being one of the nation’s great research universities. This class of high-performance computing capability is essential to achieving that goal,” Hurley said.