Mason researchers to receive funding for GPU-based computing cluster


Harbir Antil (PI), Director, Center for Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence (CMAI), and Associate Professor, Mathematical Sciences, Rainald Löhner (co-PI), Director, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Center and Professor, Physics and Astronomy, and Mahamadi Warma, (co-PI), CMAI Faculty and Professor, Mathematical Sciences, are set to receive funding from the U.S. Department of the Air Force, under the DURIP program, to purchase a graphics processing unit (GPU)-based computing cluster. This High-Performance Computing Cluster (HPC) resource will help the team to design software and algorithms for simulation, control, and optimization of processes involving complex Multiphysics and Machine Learning relevant to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

With this cluster, the researchers will create an open environment that will be accessible to several neighboring academic institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This will also help further their collaborations with several national labs, such as the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and industries such as BlackSky, The Aerospace Corporation. The professors have identified several existing workshops and summer programs hosted by CMAI to train researchers on this hardware.

The researchers have also been involved in creating converters that allow them to run DoD legacy codes on GPUs. They will develop the converters further and extend them to emerging variants of OpenACC or CUDA. The computing cluster will have direct impact on currently funded research of the PIs (from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Army Research Office, and Department of Navy) and many applications, such as: hypersonic flow, combustion, manufacturing processes, environmental assessments, inverse problems, optimal control and machine learning problems.

The researchers will receive $482,186 from the AFOSR for this award. Funding will begin in May 2021 and will end in late April 2022.


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