Department of Energy to use IU's Big Red 200 supercomputer; Purdue University Fort Wayne offering astronomy concentration

Indiana University’s newly dedicated Big Red 200, its $9.6 million artificial intelligence supercomputer, IU dedicated Big Red 200 as part of its Day of Commemoration Bicentennial event Jan. 20.

It is the first in a revolutionary new Cray, Inc. line of exascale supercomputers that the Hewlett Packard Enterprise company has branded Shasta.

Department of Energy laboratories plan to install larger Shasta iterations in the coming years as part of an Exascale Computing Project to develop the world’s fastest supercomputers, with exascale speeds exceeding 10 to the eighteenth power calculations per second.

To illustrate the speed of what is now Indiana’s fastest supercomputer, IU said Big Red can perform the same number of calculations in 1 second that everyone in the state could perform together over 28 years if they could each perform one calculation per second nonstop during that period.

“I am excited about utilizing the AI capabilities of Big Red 200 to accelerate the research programs in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at the IU School of Medicine,” Tatiana Foroud, the department’s chairwoman, said in an announcement.

”I believe this new AI-capable supercomputer will enable breakthrough discoveries across a broad range of research areas, including neurodegeneration and the study of Alzheimer’s disease,” she said.

”Importantly, Big Red 200 will be an essential resource for the Precision Health Initiative, one of the Indiana University Grand Challenges, which is designed to enhance the prevention, treatment and health outcomes of human diseases through a more precise analysis of the genetic, developmental, behavioral and environmental factors that shape an individual’s health.”

In addition to medicine, Big Red will support IU advanced research in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics.

The 200 was added to Big Red’s name to commemorate IU’s Bicentennial. The new supercomputer is replacing a supercomputer that is becoming obsolete, which was installed in 2013 as the deep learning revolution was gaining steam.

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