University Launches High-Performance Computing Initiative

‘Colonial One’ will greatly expand GW’s research capabilities.

Colonial One
July 05, 2013

The George Washington University is in the process of implementing a new high-performance computer cluster, Colonial One, which will greatly expand the university’s research capabilities.

Housed on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus, Colonial One is a joint venture among the Division of Information Technology, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and is a $2 million investment in GW’s research computing infrastructure. A central resource to support a wide variety of projects, it will encourage inter-disciplinary partnerships across GW’s campuses.

“This computing facility is absolutely critical for research,” Vice President for Research Leo Chalupa said at a launch event last week. He added that the resource, which he hopes will be seen as a “powerhouse” across Virginia and well outside the region, will support in particular the university’s emphases on big data, genomics and engineering.

VSTC Dean Ali Eskandarian said Colonial One is an important, strategic investment for the university--and one that he wants the university to be known for.

David Steinour, chief information officer, added Colonial One is emblematic of the strong relationship between the Division of Information Technology and the university’s many schools and departments.

“This is step one of many steps to build out what will become true high-performance computing from a central standpoint that will service research areas across the university and across divisions,” he said.

Keith Crandall, director of GW’s Computational Biology Institute, and Diana Lipscomb, Ronald Weintraub Chair and Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, also spoke last week, noting the specific uses they and other researchers will have for high-performance computing.