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UMass Amherst’s high-performance computing platform bolsters scientific research

UMass Amherst’s high-performance computing platform bolsters scientific research

UMass Amherst’s research computing and data team has announced an opportunity for faculty members to explore Unity, a collaborative and multi-institutional high-performance computing (HPC) platform.

Unity collaborates with UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell, UMass Boston, the University of Rhode Island and Mount Holyoke College to offer scholars and researchers facilitation, education and HPC services.

According to the vice chancellor for information services and strategy and chief information officer, research computing is crucial to innovative research at UMass.

“We have recently grown and expanded our research computing and data team to support the important work of our faculty, staff and students,” states Chris Misra, the vice chancellor for information services and strategy and chief information officer.

UMass Amherst faculty, staff and students can request a Unity account to access support from research computing facilitators and systems administrators.

According to Thomas Bernardin, the director of Research Computing and Data and executive director of the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences’ Center for Data Science, high-performance computing is becoming increasingly essential for research in various fields.

“A core value of our team is to reduce barriers to entry and democratize access to state-of-the-art computing resources that accelerate faculty research across the university,” explains Bernardin.

Further, Mike Malone, the interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, notes that collaborations like this provide a solid basis for advancing research in high-performance computing.

The school says that Unity and research computing are crucial to its scientific mission and education at all levels. With the growing demand for high-computationally intensive work, more faculty, graduate students and undergraduates are seeking these resources.

UMass Amherst faculty researchers have discovered that Unity is essential for fostering innovation, advancing research, deepening students’ knowledge and preparing scholars to push the boundaries of research.

Meanwhile, Peter Chien, a biochemistry and molecular biology professor, notes that his Unity ecosystem has contributed to advancements in human health. By utilizing AI-enabled prediction systems, new features of protein structures have been discovered.

Additionally, UMass researcher and scholar Charlie Schweik highlights the significance of research computing and data organization in supporting environmental conservation and public policy approaches.

“Unity and research computing are critical in our R1 scientific mission and our teaching at all levels,” says Schweik. “Increasingly, there will be more faculty, grad students, and even undergraduates who will want to do high-computationally intensive work.”

Kristen DeAngelis, a microbiology professor, also relies on Unity for assembling, annotating and analyzing DNA and RNA sequences in her research and teaching.

She says this collaborative initiative enhances her students’ knowledge and supports her National Science Foundation research on microbial ecology and the evolution of climate change.

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