NSF grant will boost Pitt’s research computing resources

Chemistry associate professor Geoffrey Hutchison (picture), along with associate professors Lillian Chong in chemistry, Inanc Senocak in mechanical engineering and materials science, and David Koes in computational and systems biology, have landed a $1.2 million National Science Foundation award for new computing resources that will greatly boost the Center for Research Computing capabilities in speed, power, and scope.

Internal Pitt funding added to the grant creates a total of more than $1.5 million for new resources.

“This is not a grant to one researcher or one project but an investment in research itself. We don’t know how wide the impact will be over the life of the technology. The multiplier effect could be huge,” Hutchison said.

The grant enables a leap in technology based on state-of-the-art graphics processing units — GPUs, a technology originally developed for computer gaming and now widely adopted for artificial intelligence and machine learning. The new GPUs are twice as fast as the previous generation and up to 50 times faster than chips used in standard computing.

More than 30 existing research groups across the University — in chemistry, computational biology, materials science, psychology, astrophysics, weather forecasting, energy and sustainability — stand to immediately benefit from the new resources.

Read more on the Pitt Research website.