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New Supercomputer Puts Chapman at the Cutting Edge of AI Research The new computer system, the product of Chapman’s participation in the CEO Leadership Alliance of Orange County, is the first community-operated supercomputer in the nation.

Chapman University’s students and faculty researchers now have access to one of the fastest supercomputer clusters in the region.

The new computer system, capable of performing eight quadrillion calculations a second, is the product of Chapman’s participation in the CEO Leadership Alliance of Orange County, a group that includes executives at some of the most influential high-tech companies in Orange County. For Chapman’s students, the supercomputer opens doors to unimagined research.

“This kind of computing power allows us to ask research questions that couldn’t be attacked previously,” said Andrew Lyon, dean of Chapman’s Fowler School of Engineering. “These types of facilities have their own gravitational pull, bringing in people excited to work with massive amounts of data and extraordinarily sophisticated algorithms so they can do big things.”

Video graphics giant Nvidia Corp. donated the computer cluster to advance the shared goal of preparing more students from underserved communities and to help ensure that the region’s tech workforce is ready to thrive at the cutting edge of AI advances.

Keith Strier, vice president of worldwide AI initiatives for Nvidia, said the hardware donation is “the first community-operated supercomputer” in the nation.

Erik Linstead, the senior associate dean at Fowler Engineering and principal investigator of Chapman’s Machine Learning and Affiliated Technologies (MLAT) Lab cited research in pharmaceuticals to illustrate how the new computer will help facilitate advances across academic disciplines.

“When you look at what’s going on in drug discovery right now, no one starts with in vivo research anymore – they do it in silico first, because it’s so much cheaper to simulate before you do anything in the lab,” Linstead said. “So, yes, in general I think the data sciences are an extremely interdisciplinary field.”

The new computer strengthens Chapman’s research aspirations and the university’s links to the community, says Chapman President Daniele C. Struppa.

“Two of the founding principles of the Fowler School of Engineering were to broaden access to engineering education and to deepen our ties to our local community and industry,” Struppa said. “This collaboration will achieve both of those goals while simultaneously accelerating our push into AI, machine learning and cutting-edge data science research.”

About Chapman University

Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally ranked private university located in Southern California. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Based in the city of Orange, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine. In 2019, the university opened its 11th college, Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Learn more about Chapman University:


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Chapman University’s participation in the CEO Leadership Alliance of Orange County provides students and faculty researchers access to one of the fastest supercomputer clusters in the region.

Paul Pe

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