UW To Receive IBM Hardware & Software

November 3, 2000

NEWS BRIEFS

San Diego, CALIF. — The University of Waterloo and IBM will formally announce the company’s selection of the University as a recipient of a Shared University Research (SUR) grant to help establish the UW/IBM Facility for Scientific and Deep Computing. This Facility will enable the university to pursue leading-edge research in the area of large scale parallel computing by providing researchers and students alike with access to IBM’s RS/6000 SP technology – a leading research technology in the world today.

IBM is providing an in-kind contribution in excess of $1M (Cdn.) in the form of high performance hardware and software to the University. The new UW/IBM Facility for Scientific and Deep Computing will both be a leading research site as well as an integral component of the educational environment. The University will utilize this new Facility to develop parallel applications to help them conduct advanced research primarily in Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science and Mechanical Engineering. The University will also use the Facility to develop Computational Science curriculum for undergraduate teaching.

“This gift once again underscores the outstanding long-term relationship that UW has had with IBM over the years, going back to the creation of the Institute for Computer Research and before,” said David Johnston, president, University of Waterloo. “It is our goal to establish a premier site for the use of supercomputing to address problems in scientific computation and for the preparation of highly trained people who will meet the needs of an environment driven by emerging technologies. This facility will greatly enhance the data analysis and capabilities of our researchers.”

The UW/IBM Facility for Scientific and Deep Computing will explore many aspects of computationally intense research areas. Possible topics currently include: Molecular Modeling, Material Sciences, Hydrological Modeling, Superconducting and Solid-State Materials, Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optical Telecommunications Components. Expanded and new areas include: Automatic Parallelization, Electric Field Modeling, Computer and Communication Networks, Molecular Dynamics Modeling, Optical Field Modeling, Algorithms for Parallel Computation, Turbulence and Fluid Modeling, and Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

“The University of Waterloo has long enjoyed a reputation as a leading centre for the study of computational science,” said John Wetmore, President and CEO, IBM Canada Ltd. “IBM is proud to be able to enhance that reputation by providing the University with our world-class and industry-leading technology. From unlocking the secrets of disease and the common cold to enabling breakthroughs in weather forecasting, drug design and geological research, Deep Computing is helping both institutions and industry find the answers to some of life’s most perplexing problems. For the University of Waterloo, this new capability allows the Facility of Scientific and Deep Computing to pursue research into a broad range of topics in engineering, mathematics and science as well as prepare those highly skilled people needed for today’s knowledge economy.”

Most Popular Supercomputer The University of Waterloo’s new SP system joins a long roster of IBM SP supercomputers around the world. According to the TOP500 Supercomputer List, IBM SPs now account for 144 of the world’s 500 most powerful high performance computers – more than any other machine. The list is published twice a year by supercomputing experts Jack Dongarra from the University of Tennessee and Erich Strohmaier and Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim (Germany).

IBM SP supercomputers are used to solve the most complex scientific and business problems. With the IBM SP, scientists can model phenomena as diverse as the effects of the forces exerted by galaxies or the interactions between individual atoms and molecules; corporations can perform complex calculations on massive amounts of data in order to support business decisions; petroleum exploration companies can rapidly process seismic data to determine where they should drill; and company executives seeking to meet Internet demand can enable complex Web-based transactions.

The University of Waterloo, founded in 1957, is one of Canada’s leading comprehensive universities, with undergraduate and graduate programs in the faculties of applied health sciences, arts, engineering, environmental studies, mathematics and science. UW has an enrolment of more than 21,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students and an annual operating/research budget of just over $300 million.

UW is highly respected for its leadership and innovation in many branches of research, including the new knowledge and information technology areas. It is also noted for many interdisciplinary teaching programs and its expertise in transferring technology and new discoveries to society.

IBM Research is the world’s largest information technology research organization, with more than 3,000 scientists and engineers at eight labs in six countries. (Locations include New York, San Jose, Austin, Zurich, Haifa, Tokyo, Beijing and Delhi.) IBM has produced more research breakthroughs than any other company in the IT industry. In addition, IBM maintains more than two dozen development labs around the world.

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