A new computing facility, affectionately named Maxwell, is set to help researchers at the University of Aberdeen crunch data on an advanced scale.
The specialised High Performance Computing (HPC) service is the equivalent of 300 high power desktop PCs working together and boasts large amounts of processing power and computer memory to solve complex computational problems too large to solve on conventional computers.
The cluster of computers is designed to cut the time it takes to turn research into products, services or information that can benefit society and will assist in driving forward new results and discoveries.
“In many areas of research, as increasingly larger volumes of data need to be processed and analysed and models and algorithms become more sophisticated and detailed, so too does the need for large scale computational capacity,” said Naveed Khan of the University’s HPC team.
“HPC clusters are already being used by a number of researchers across the University in a wide range of disciplines and research topics like gene sequencing and analysis, chemical pathway simulation, climate change impact assessment and financial systems modelling. It’s also used to encourage and enable interdisciplinary research in areas such as systems biology.
“We’ve named it Maxwell after James Clerk Maxwell, the famous Scottish theoretical physicist who spent a number of years as a professor at the University’s Marischal College.
“In terms of the hardware this is a very high memory computer which will be able to solve problems which generate a lot of data, such as for modelling the brain in neuroimaging.”
The HPC system represents a £300,000 investment by the University of Aberdeen.