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UD supercomputer ranked among world’s best

Karl Steiner, associate director of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI); Yong Duan, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemisty; and Douglas O'Neal, manager of DBI’s Bioinformatics Center; with DBI’s Sun Microsystems Biowolf cluster
10:11 a.m., Dec. 10, 2003--The University of Delaware is among the world’s leaders in supercomputers, with the Sun Microsystems Inc. Biowolf cluster at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute having been ranked No. 218 internationally.

Among academic installations in the United States, the DBI supercomputer is ranked No. 29.

The list of the world’s top 500 supercomputers was released during the 2003 International Supercomputer Conference held Nov. 15-16 in Phoenix, Ariz.

DBI's Biowolf cluster is a 128-node dual processor computer system purchased through two National Institutes of Health grants and will support researchers through the NIH Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network and Center for Biomedical Research Excellence programs.

The computer cluster was installed in September and is part of a leading-edge bioinformatics center at DBI, which includes the computer cluster, a database server for storing genomic and proteomic data and a visualization studio, according to Karl V. Steiner, associate director of DBI.

“Biowolf will enable us to address complex questions in the life sciences by allowing us to model and simulate biological events,” Steiner said. “As University of Delaware researchers convert biological matter into digital information, we will utilize advanced computer algorithms to search for critical information. High-end computational power is necessary to extract valuable knowledge from of the databases.”

A broad range of research topics will benefit from the supercomputer, including molecular simulation, protein folding, genome comparison and biomedical research.

In 2001, DBI was selected as a Sun Microsystems Center of Excellence for its leadership in high-performance computational biology and its potential to advance the field through research and partnerships with other institutions.

Other Sun Microsystems higher education supercomputing sites in the top 500 include Pennsylvania State University, the University of Queensland in Australia, Aachen University in Germany and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

Article by Neil Thomas
Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

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