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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    SB Supercomputer Makes Debut

    On September 25, 2006, Stony Brook scientists of all ages gathered in celebration at the Heavy Engineering building to welcome the Seawulf Cluster, a supercomputer that will greatly increase the appeal for computational science at SBU. The Seawulf Cluster is powered by 235 Intel Dual Core 3.4 GHz Pentium Xeon processors.

    Josef Sipek, one of the undergraduate students on the Seawulf Cluster’s hardware support team, helped to assemble the computer.

    When asked if he could put the total computing power of SBU’s new supercomputer into perspective, Sipek was at a loss of words. He said, ‘Simply, if you take a standard 3.4GHz processor today, any computer, and put 235 of them together, you get this supercomputer.’

    Sipek is a computer science major here at SBU. He continued, ‘Its basically using a network of individual computers to collaborate and solve a problem.’

    Among the notable Stony Brook scientists who attended the event was Professor James Glimm, the Director of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics. Glimm gave a brief view into the vast array of interdisciplinary research that would be made possible through the Seawulf Cluster. He commented, ‘Climate, astrophysics, biology, fluid dynamics, and many, many diverse areas of study will be helped right here on campus.’

    When asked what the overall purpose for the machine would be, Glimm responded, ‘It is for the general use for the university.’ Interestingly enough, as Glimm gave his introductory remarks for the celebratory event, he did mention that the Seawulf Cluster would be used as training facility for professors, graduates, and undergraduates to prepare for an even bigger and more powerful supercomputer to be unveiled at Brookhaven National Laboratory six months from now.

    It is the hope that the new supercomputing facility will attract other scientists to come to SBU, not only for the prospect of having the their basic or applied science research aided by the power of the Seawulf Cluster, but also to continue to build up the collaborative ‘computing department,’ so to speak, on campus.

    Both Glimm and Provost Robert McGrath made lofty statements of the benefits the Seawulf Cluster would have for researchers. In addition, Yacov Shamash, the Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences expressed great relief as he commented on the length of time it took to make the idea of having a supercomputing facility at SBU a reality.

    Shamash commented, ‘We always hear about seeing light at the end of a tunnel. We see the light now, but we still are just at the beginning.’

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