LSU joins OpenPOWER Foundation to improve research capabilities

    LSU just upped its game in data processing and research by following suit of other universities like Rice and Arizona State in joining the OpenPOWER Foundation, an open source development community, with hopes of improving the school’s ability to handle large research projects.

    OpenPOWER members collaborate to address problems with working with large and complex data, data applications and the technological infrastructure needed to process such large amounts of information. The group shares solutions among its members.

    “Data-enabled research is of fundamental importance to many research and development activities at LSU,” says Gus Kousoulas, LSU associate vice president for research and economic development, in a news release issued today. “Coastal scientists are integrating disparate data sets to develop smarter approaches to wetlands management. Engineers develop and utilize powerful modeling and simulation tools to create the next generation of materials for storing and delivering electrical energy.”

    Kousoulas says the OpenPOWER membership can help position LSU as a leader in advanced computing and big data research while working in collaboration with IBM and keeping the state’s economic development goals in mind.

    The largest challenge with big data is effective retrieval and analysis, which OpenPOWER works to overcome. LSU’s Center for Computation and Technology will work with the solutions developed by OpenPOWER in its research.

    In the last decade, LSU has invested more than $3 million in supercomputers, the most recent of which, called SuperMike II, was purchased two years ago. SuperMike II requires a special fire-safe room for housing and boasts 440 servers.

    Membership in the elite computing development club is free for LSU, but it costs organizations like Google, IBM and Samsung as much as $100,000 annually, according to its website.

    LSU has more details on the announcement.

    —Deanna Narveson

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