According to UAB News, the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s supercomputer, used by Dr. Frank Skidmore, is by far the fastest supercomputer in Alabama.
The supercomputer, named Cheaha after Alabama’s highest peak, is also one of the five fastest computers at academic institutions in the Southeast. And, Cheaha is close to making a list of the fastest supercomputers in the world.
Who uses the fastest computer in Alabama?
Frank Skidmore, M.D., uses Cheaha (UAB’s supercomputer) in his research on diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
According to Skidmore, the latest expansion of Cheaha increased the computer’s power fourfold, which reduces the amount of time it takes to process one brain image to less than two hours.
“What Cheaha has allowed me to do is accelerate the entire research process,” Dr. Skidmore, UAB associate professor of neurology, told UAB News. “If you can see better, you can plan better; you can treat better.”
The current expansion was funded by UAB Information Technology, who worked with Dell to install 72 new graphics processing units.
Why does Cheaha matter to me, a resident of Birmingham?
If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, then you may be wondering what a supercomputer has to do with anything outside of intense academic research.
However, according to UAB vice president and chief information officer Curtis A. Carver, Jr., Ph.D., “Our goal is to empower greatness in others.”
“UAB’s continued investment in the high-performance computing infrastructure can lead to exciting discoveries by our researchers, faculty and students that change the world.”
Improving IT infrastructure gives UAB researchers a comparative advantage for grants, which leads to further research and incredible discoveries.
“Our commitment to expanding the IT infrastructure at UAB,” UAB President Ray L. Watts said to UAB News, “gives us an advantage as we attract the top talent among students, faculty and staff, and as our campus community secures grant funding to pursue better care for our patients and new discoveries in all disciplines.”
So, to put it simply, better technology plus more research equals improved life for everyone!
Thank you, UAB, for your commitment to bettering our city, state, and world.