CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (May 5, 2005)—In the last two weeks, Universidad de Chile and Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) became two of the newest members of the Gelato Federation (http://www.gelato.org), an international organization composed of leading universities, supercomputing centers, national labs, and research institutes, dedicated to advancing Linux on the Intel® Itanium® processor. Also announced at a visit to UBA on April 18 and a press conference held at Universidad de Chile on April 21 were donations by HP, Gelato’s founding sponsor, of HP Integrity servers to both universities.
"We're delighted to expand the Gelato Latin American family and look forward to dynamic partnerships promoting research on the Linux Itanium platform," stated Lueny Morell, Director for University Relations in Latin America at HP.
Participants at Universidad de Chile’s press conference included Bess Stephens, Vice President for Corporate Philanthropy and Education at HP; Lueny Morell, Doctor Patricio Poblete, Director of the Engineering and Science College; Doctor Dalia Finkelstein, Vice-Director for Management and External Projects at the Center for Mathematical Modeling, as well as other University and HP officials.
During HP’s visit to UBA on April 18, UBA Dean of Exact Sciences Doctor Pablo Jacovkis confirmed that “this distinction places UBA on a par with top universities and world-renowned research groups, besides playing a key role in developing cutting-edge research in computing technology.”
Gelato is composed of 49 member institutions—to which Universidad de Chile and UBA are the most recent additions from Latin America—for a total of five institutions from the region, including: the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul and the Universidade Federal da Campina Grande, both from Brazil, and the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico. With members from almost every continent on the globe, the work of the Federation centers around seven main focus areas: compilers, parallel file systems, performance, scalability, cluster and grid computing, Linux Itanium Standards, and Linux Itanium tool integration. Within these areas, Gelato members are applying new technology and solutions to specific applications in bioinformatics, high-energy physics, and atmospheric sciences just to name a few. Research results are published to the entire community through Gelato’s website, http://www.gelato.org.
Both Universidad de Chile and UBA were invited to participate in Gelato as sponsored members by HP. The universities will contribute to the community through research in software and applications for Linux on Itanium. The teams at both institutions will undertake research projects with doctoral- and masters-level students in computer science, as well as with external collaborators.
At Universidad de Chile, Gelato-related activities will take place under the auspices of the Center for Mathematical Modeling (Centro de Modelamiento Matemático - CMM), under the direction of Doctor Alejandro Jofré, Vice Director of the CMM and Professor in the Computer Science Department. “The focus of our work will be to port certain computing-intensive applications to the Linux Itanium platform,” explained Doctor Jofré, who emphasized that this recent computing platform is defining a new generation of high-performance computing.
At UBA, Gelato-related activities will be under the direction of Doctor Hugo Scolnik, Professor in the Computer Science Department, who noted that his team has already undertaken a comparative study of different microprocessors versus the Itanium chip; this work has proved to be of tremendous value to HP Labs researchers.
HP Donation to Universidad de Chile
In addition to the membership announcement, Universidad de Chile also acknowledged receipt of an Itanium server cluster donation from HP of HP Integrity rx1620 and rx2620 servers valued at more than US $130,000 given in support of Universidad de Chile's Gelato-related work. The donation is part of HP’s overall commitment to education and research and was donated in close collaboration with HP Chile.
HP’s donation will augment a larger Itanium computing cluster that the University has acquired. Itanium is a series of high-performance, 64-bit microprocessors developed by Intel and HP. HP Integrity servers can handle more demanding workloads than 32-bit processors. This cluster is the first of its kind in Chile, offering new areas for investigation to the University’s researchers.
Doctor Alejandro Jofré, coordinator of Universidad de Chile’s grid computing project, noted that “this cluster will provide a means for us to solve complex modeling problems in the areas of transportation, environmental studies, genomics, energy and telecommunications, among others.” This work is also relevant to numerous other areas, and will be shared with the worldwide scientific community. Doctor Jofré also explained that he hopes HP’s donation “will be the beginning of a strong collaborative relationship with HP, which will hopefully grow over time through joint research projects in areas that are central to Chile’s development.”
HP Donation to UBA
In March 2004, UBA received an Itanium server cluster donation of HP Integrity rx2600 servers, valued at more than US $51,500, from HP’s University Relations division, with the support of HP Argentina, given to advance the Gelato-related projects UBA will carry out as a member of Gelato.
"Besides the already-completed processor comparison study, UBA has already begun development and parallel implementation of new algorithms for reconstruction of tomographic images," explained Doctor Scolnik.
The Gelato Federation is the global research community dedicated to advancing the Linux Itanium platform through collaborative relationships targeting real-world problems and solutions. Gelato members are suppliers and users of Linux Itanium technology with a shared goal of producing open-source solutions for academic, government, and industrial HPC research. The Gelato portal (http://www.gelato.org) serves as the primary channel for Federation business and collaborations. Information about Gelato members' software and solutions are available through the portal, and the community is welcome to participate and contribute.
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