MILWAUKEE, June 3, 2021 — Marquette University officially opened “Raj,” a new $1.5 million high-performance computing (HPC) cluster, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, June 2.
Raj was brought online in April 2021 after being purchased, in part, through a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation. The new HPC cluster will boost research and scholarship across the campus, offering faculty and students access to a modern powerful supercomputer.
“We are so excited to finally open ‘Raj’ to the Marquette’s research community as it will have a profound impact on research at Marquette,” said Dr. Qadir Timerghazin, associate professor of chemistry, the principal investigator on the NSF grant. “These days, high-performance computing is an essential part of the research in STEM disciplines and beyond. As a major component of Marquette’s research infrastructure, this cluster will be used by researchers throughout campus. Raj provides very impressive capabilities both for traditional number-crunching as well as for artificial intelligence and machine learning applications, opening door for new, innovative research.”
Raj is built with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise servers using the AMD Rome line of EPYC processors as well as NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs and is equipped with 1.5 PB storage array. It has a total of 7,808 CPU cores and 48 GPUs, including three 8-GPU nodes designed for advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning applications. A detailed description of Raj’s specifications is available on the HPC’s System Overview page.
The NSF grant was obtained through Marquette’s Department of Chemistry due to the efforts of the late Dr. Rajendra “Raj” Rathore, Pfletschinger-Habermann Professor of Chemistry, who died in February 2018. Despite being already very ill, he conceived a vision of a compelling grant application and enlisted—from his hospital bed—Timerghazin and Dr. Scott Reid, professor of chemistry, to complete the application that eventually was funded by the NSF.
“It’s part of Raj’s legacy,” Timerghazin said of the new cluster. “His passing was a huge loss for our department.”
Prior to the ribbon-cutting, limited access to the Raj HPC cluster had been available as staff members extensively tested the new facility. Raj replaces the previous HPC cluster, Père, which was installed in the late 2000s and contributed to approximately 200 research papers published by Marquette researchers.
Source: Marquette University