IBM Announces University Grid Computing Projects

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ARMONK, NY - 17 Mar 2004: IBM announced today that two of the nation's leading universities -- the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Oregon -- are turning to Grid computing technology to provide massive computing power to solve complex problems in heath care and environmental research.

IBM and The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) plan to build the largest university grid-computing project in the nation. The UT Grid, led by the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at UT Austin, will unite the vast computational resources of the nation's largest university campus, boasting more than 50,000 students and some 20,000 faculty and staff members.

UT Grid will connect computing resources across the university, from the high-end supercomputers at TACC to personal computers. Researchers, educators, and students will have unprecedented access to computing power for simulations, data sharing, and data-intensive calculations ranging from climate modeling, petroleum exploration and environmental remediation to genomics.

UT Austin Vice President for Research Juan Sanchez described the launch as "an important step forward for the campus as a whole and all of its many scientific researchers, for whom grid-based computing is becoming the best way of accessing information and collaborating with researchers around the world. UT Grid is a model of world-class academic and industry organizations collaborating for goals that will benefit society."

Separately, the University of Oregon, Electrical Geodesics, Inc. (EGI), and IBM announced a new project that uses Grid computing, Linux and IBM supercomputer technology to speed and improve the diagnosis of Epilepsy, stroke and depression.

In 2003, Researchers at the University of Oregon Neuroinformatics Center received a one million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to study the use of Grid and high performance computing technologies in diagnosing and treating brain conditions. Earlier this year, the university completed the ICONIC Grid, (Integrated Cognitive Neuroscience, Informatics, and Computation) which features IBM eServer p690, eServer p655 servers and IBM Bladecenter J20 servers running Linux, WebSphere Application Server and the open source Globus Toolkit.

The ICONIC Grid allows more rapid diagnosis by harnessing the collective processing power of the school's collective computing systems. In addition, the Grid offers the ability to better respond to temporary spikes in demand for computing horsepower and helps university researchers gain better access to and control over the large volume of data generated during its diagnostic imaging work.

"Grid computing technology from IBM will play an important role in helping EGI provide doctors and researchers with on demand access to critical patient data," said Dr. Donald Tucker, CEO, Electrical Geodesics, Inc. "We believe Grid computing not only brings performance capacity, but allows the patient security and accountability required for critical medical applications."

EGI is a private medical device and imaging provider based in the Riverfront Research Park adjacent to the University of Oregon campus. EGI is working with the Neuroinformatics Center to further study the commercial possibilities for using Grid and Linux-based systems to speed and improve brain wave monitoring at hospitals and research centers.

"With the multiple architectures provided by IBM's products, we can conduct research on ways of optimizing the medical informatics demands for high performance computing," said Neuroinformatics Center Director Dr. Allen Malony. "At the same time, we can evaluate all of these architectures running the Linux operating system, simplifying our system administration and improving our reliability."

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