Johns Hopkins Gazette: November 3, 1997

Intel Corp. To
Support High-Tech

14 teams benefit from
$1.7 million in computers,
Astronomer Alexander Szalay is working on a project to catalog information on more than 200 million cosmic objects. To succeed, he needs a computing system with 1,000 times the storage capacity of the typical desktop computer he and his research team are currently using.

Astronomer Alexander Szalay is working on a project to catalog information on more than 200 million cosmic objects. He and his colleagues in the Department of Physics and Astronomy are among the 14 research teams that will benefit from Intel's recent award to Hopkins of $1.7 million in computer equipment and services.

Radiologist James Anderson is working on a project to record and store 3D images of the brain using magnetic resonance. The data from a single study may exceed 50 megabytes. He needs a multifaceted computer capability that will allow him to quickly scan in data and have it easily accessible for teaching and clinical use.

English professor Jerome Christensen and biologist Harry Goldberg have spent a year developing, in their Center for Digital Media, a virtual classroom that uses multimedia to engage students in the study of neuroscience. But the project requires far more computer power than currently in use if students hope to download complex 3D multimedia images in real time.

The Intel Corp. has stepped in to help these researchers realize their projects. It has selected Johns Hopkins University to receive an award of more than $1.7 million in computer equipment and services as part of its three-year Technology for Education 2000 Program. The program is designed to support research and curriculum development at key universities through the donation of high-speed, multimedia computers, workstations, servers and networking hardware and software.

The criteria for winning a grant in the Technology for Education 2000 Program included the academic excellence of the university, the potential beneficial impact of the grant to students and faculty and the commitment of the institution to support the grant objectives.

Winners were chosen by Intel managers, senior researchers and Intel fellows--the company's highest technical position.

Fourteen teams of investigators from around the university were selected to make presentations to Intel, representative of the many projects under way that have, or will require, high-performance computing systems, said Theodore Poehler, Hopkins vice provost for research.

"This is a wonderful opportunity not only to accelerate work on many projects throughout the university, but also to benefit from a relationship with one of the world's leaders in the development of information technologies," said university President William R. Brody.

"This allows our faculty to continue important investigations at the level they demand and it greatly benefits students working in a range of academic departments," said Poehler.

"We benefit by having input in modifying high-performance computers and systems to accelerate ongoing research. And Intel wants to try to find what it takes to make a better machine to respond to higher and higher end applications. This will help them, in effect, build better architecture and systems. They also want to know where we might be able to apply their platforms and parallel systems to generate a large computer capacity equivalent to a supercomputer."

Poehler said the award reinforces the recognition Hopkins has gained recently as a center for high-technology research. Besides being one of fewer than 50 institutions to receive an Intel grant, the university also has been included in three important federally funded initiatives to create faster, more reliable Internet connections: Internet2, the "very high speed backbone network services," or vBNS, project and the Next Generation Internet.

Intel granted 12 universities a combined $61.2 million in first-phase awards this past August. The second phase awards to 13 universities, including Johns Hopkins, total $29 million. Other recipients of second-phase grants include Stanford, Princeton, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke, UCLA, Rice, the University of California/ San Diego, the University of North Carolina and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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