Stevens Selected as CUDA Research Center by NVIDIA

7/10/2013

Stevens Institute of Technology has been selected by NVIDIA as a 2013 CUDA Research Center.  NVIDIA recognizes and fosters collaboration with research groups at universities and research institutes that are expanding the frontier of massively parallel computing.  Institutions identified as CUDA Research Centers are doing world-changing research by leveraging CUDA and NVIDIA GPUs.

Stevens was selected based on the vision, quality and impact of its research leveraging CUDA technology.   As a CUDA Research Center, Stevens will utilize equipment and grants provided by NVIDIA to support a number of research projects and academic programs in financial engineering, quantitative finance, business intelligence & analytics, computer science, electrical engineering and physics.

The grant was submitted to NVIDIA as a collaborative Stevens’ effort that included 17 faculty members from three schools, across six academic programs within the university.  This group serves as the CUDA research faculty and will utilize the new computing capabilities to advance research in their respective areas and to utilize the cluster to enhance teaching methods to students.

Stevens will start a GPU computing cluster which will support both research projects and teaching capabilities for three schools within the university:  the School of Systems and Enterprises; the Schaefer School of Engineering and Science; and the Howe School of Technology Management.  The first of its kind at Stevens, the cluster will provide faculty and students with the most advanced computing technology possible and aligns with the university’s commitment to providing the best education via innovation and research by keeping up with current trends and technologies.

The CUDA Research Center at Stevens will be facilitated and administered by the Hanlon Financial Systems Lab which will support the hardware donation and integrate it into Stevens’ current system.   The GPU computing cluster will extend the computational capabilities of Stevens and support a variety of projects from all domains of science and engineering as well as the research being done at the Center for Complex Systems and Enterprises (CCSE).   The focal point and use of the equipment will be the Hanlon Lab which will host courses teaching GPU computing and projects and meetings featuring the technology.  

As part of the grant, Stevens will also receive NVIDIA Tesla K20 GPUs to support research, teaching kits, textbooks, software licenses, NVIDIA CUDA architecture-enabled GPUs for teaching lab computers, and academic discounts for additional hardware.  NVIDIA Tesla GPUs are massively parallel accelerators designed for power-efficient, high performance computing, computational science and supercomputing. They deliver dramatically higher application performance for a range of scientific and commercial applications than a CPU-only system.

“The Hanlon Financial Systems Lab is the ideal place for such a collaborative effort because it already embodies a truly interdisciplinary effort across the university,” said Stevens Provost  George Korfiatis. “The GPU courses offered by the impacted departments will be accessible to all interested students at Stevens.”

Research projects that will be supported by the lab infrastructure and the new CPU-GPU platform will be of a collaborative nature, engaging multiple faculty PIs and integrating applications from diverse areas such as computational and systems biology, financial engineering, computer vision, social media analytics and trend prediction, data mining and large scale sensor data fusion. Each of these applications holds promise to advance the state of the art in its own domain as well as streamline high performance computing with massively parallel GPU processors to the field.

“The new CUDA center at Stevens and the NVIDIA donation will allow us to perform 21st century parallel computing,” says Ionut Florescu, Stevens professor and director of the Hanlon Financial Systems Lab.  “This would not have been possible without a truly interdisciplinary effort from our faculty.”

NVIDIA recently also awarded a donation of a NVIDIA Tesla K20 GPU to Dr. Germán Creamer, associate professor of quantitative finance at Stevens.   This donation will support the research of Creamer and financial engineering doctoral student Patrick Houlihan in the area of news and social media sentiment analysis of the U.S. stock market.   According to Houlihan, who was instrumental in arranging this donation, the CUDA GPU “is ideal for running risk simulations, text analysis and option pricing models” among many other uses. CUDA is preferred because of its low latency and highly parallelized architecture compared to traditional architectures.

Stevens joins a prestigious list of institutions as a CUDA Research Center. Among them are the University of Oxford, Carnegie Mellon University, John Hopkins University, UCLA and Virginia Tech.  The CUDA research faculty at Stevens includes:  Adriana Compagnoni; Jingrui He; Gang Hua; George Kamberov; Philippos Mordohai; Hui Wa; Rajarathnam Chandramouli; Narayan Ganesan K. P. Subbalakshmi; John R. E. Toland; Rupak Chatterjee; Ionut Florescu; Khaldoun Khashanah; Steve Yang; Germán Creamer; Eleni Gousgounis and Winter Mason.           

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University®, is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, N.J. overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Founded in 1870, technological innovation has been the hallmark and legacy of Stevens’ education and research programs for more than 140 years. Within the university’s three schools and one college, more than 6,100 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate with more than 350 faculty members in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment to advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront global challenges. Stevens is home to three national research centers of excellence, as well as joint research programs focused on critical industries such as healthcare, energy, finance, defense and STEM education. The university is the fastest-rising college in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of the best national universities, and it is consistently ranked among the nation’s elite for return on investment for students, career services programs, and mid-career salaries of alumni. Stevens is in the midst of a 10-year strategic plan, The Future. Ours to Create, designed to further extend the Stevens legacy to create a forward-looking and far-reaching institution with global impact.

About CUDA
CUDA is NVIDIA’s parallel computing environment, which enables dramatic increases in computing performance by harnessing the power of GPUs.  NVIDIA CUDA GPUs support all GPU computing programming models, APIs and languages. More than 580 universities and institutions worldwide teach the CUDA parallel programming model within their curriculum.

About NVIDIA
NVIDIA  awakened the world to computer graphics when it invented the GPU in 1999. Today, its processors power a broad range of products from smartphones to supercomputers. NVIDIA's mobile processors are used in mobile phones, tablets and auto infotainment systems. PC gamers rely on GPUs to enjoy spectacularly immersive worlds. Professionals use them to create 3D graphics and visual effects in movies and to design everything from golf clubs to jumbo jets. And researchers utilize GPUs to advance the frontiers of science with high performance computing. The company has more than 5,000 patents issued, allowed or filed, including ones covering ideas essential to modern computing.