A grant from the National Science Foundation will give students at Missouri Western State University and three other Missouri universities money to build a new supercomputer.

The grant was put together by professors from Missouri Western, Truman State, Southeast Missouri State, and Webster University.

Missouri Western’s Jeffery Woodford, the principal investigator for the grant, said the new supercomputer will be housed at the University of Missouri-Columbia, right next to the supercomputer the university is currently building.

“We will be able to access our supercomputer as if we were a student at Mizzou – you know, like a graduate student potentially,” he told Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph.

Details must still be worked out with how best to communicate with the supercomputer.

“You’ll be able to pull up your laptop, open up an app, and then be able to connect to the supercomputer as if you are a student right at Mizzou,” Woodford said. “Maybe the latency is a little bit slower because you’re not like physically there, but it should be more or less seamless.”

Physicist Colin DeGraf from Truman State University uses his research on colliding galaxies and black holes as an example of how the supercomputer will help.

“You need to be able to simulate at least two galaxies that can then collide,” DeGraf said. “This scales up, depending on how many resources you have available to you. You can do cosmological simulations that will include many, many galaxies and you just sort of wait and see when they rise. As you might imagine that can’t be done without really nice supercomputers.”

The hope is to have the computer ready to go by next school year.

By Matt Pike, Missourinet affiliate KFEQ St. Joseph.

Copyright 2023, Missourinet.