NSF Awards SJSU $900K for New Computing Equipment

Sen Chiao

Sen Chiao

San Jose State University professors Sen Chiao, Ehsan Khatami, Kamran Turkoglu, Brooke Lustig and Aaron Romanowsky have received a $900,798 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Their project, “MRI: Acquisition of Hybrid CPU/GPU High Performance Computing and Storage for STEM Research and Education at San Jose State University,” will support the purchase of new equipment that will benefit students.

The funding will primarily be used to purchase a high-performance computing (HPC) system to provide faculty and students regular access to a modern, on-campus facility for computational science and engineering research.

“As a key hub for STEM fields in the San Francisco Bay Area, this facility will promote the progress of science and engineering, as well as offer a wide diversity of experiences for our students, through required laboratory courses and research opportunities,” said Chiao, the principal investigator on the grant.

The interdisciplinary project includes faculty and students from biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, aerospace engineering, computer engineering, meteorology and climate science, physics, astronomy, mathematics and statistics.

The new equipment will add to SJSU’s ability to train students in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and information technology. Chiao estimated that more than 200 students a year would benefit from access to the HPC system in STEM-related courses or research.

Some of the projects that will be undertaken with the new computing system include: on-demand numerical weather prediction, assimilation, and analysis (Atmospheric Science); dynamical modeling of orbits and dark matter in gas-poor galaxies (Physics and Astronomy); computational modeling of Tat peptide mutants binding to BIV TAR RNA and protein-protein interfaces (Biochemistry); quantum mechanical properties of materials in the atomic scale (Physics and Astronomy); guidance and trajectory optimization strategies in presence of wind, and spacecraft and orbital trajectory optimization (Aerospace Engineering); genomic assessment of adaptation, and pharmacological and evolutionary perspective on bioactive compounds in marine invertebrates (Biological Science); high-resolution simulations of weather phenomena, dust transport, and climate on Mars (Planetary Science); and efficient algorithms for modeling large amount of data in high dimensions (Mathematics and Statistics)

Chiao is the director of the Center for Applied Atmospheric Research and Education (CAARE), funded with another NSF grant.

“This new facility will enable many further follow-up projects with CAARE, including cross-disciplinary collaborations as well as participation from the wider SJSU community,” he said.