Pitt, CMU supercomputing center gets $10 million NSF grant

The National Science Foundation awarded a $10 million grant to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, a joint research center in Monroeville sponsored by Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University, according to a news release.

The grant, the July 9 release read, would go toward the Bridges-2 project, a supercomputer that would “provide researchers in Pennsylvania and the nation with massive computational capacity and the flexibility to adapt to the rapidly evolving field of data- and computation-intensive research.” Hewlett Packard Enterprise also will partner with the PSC on the Bridges-2 project.

“Unlocking the power of data will accelerate discovery to advance science, improve our quality of life and enhance national competitiveness,” Nick Nystrom, PSC’s chief scientist and principal investigator for Bridges-2, said in the release. “We designed Bridges-2 to drive discoveries that will come from the rapid evolution of research, which increasingly needs new, scalable ways for combining large, complex data with high-performance simulation and modeling.”

This project could help researchers crack open mysteries in quantum computing, the human brain, improving agriculture, developing sustainable energy production and more, according to the release.

It also would help develop artificial intelligence and scalable high-performance computing. This data, potentially, would all be digested into user-friendly interfaces that would promote more collaboration throughout the STEM field.

“Bridges-2 is a major leap forward for PSC in high-performance computing and data analytics infrastructure and research,” Alan D. George, interim director of PSC, said in the news release. “PSC is unique in combining the strengths of two world-class universities (CMU and Pitt) and a world-class medical center (UPMC). Bridges-2 will amplify these strengths to fuel many new discoveries.”

The grant is part of the NSF’s awards for Advanced Computing Systems & Services. Bridges-2 will officially launch summer 2020.

— Donovan Harrell