UF houses a $9 million supercomputer that has attracted researchers to UF and helped make it a top-10 university.
The computer, called the HiPerGator, was created in 2013, said Erik Deumens, the director of UF Research Computing. It is the third-fastest U.S. university supercomputer.
The computer processes information using approximately 50,000 cores, which is the unit used to measure the amount of processes able to be done on a computer, Deumens said. Most cell phones and laptops have about four to eight cores.
The name HiPerGator stands for high-performance gator and costs about $2.5 million to run annually, including staff and operational costs, Deumens said. It is funded by UF’s annual research computing budget.
The HiPerGator is located at the UF Data Center off Waldo Road but is remotely used by faculty, Deumens said. Researchers can log in and access data from anywhere in the world using their laptops, similar to cloud services.
The computer can be used by about 500 researchers at any given time, Deumens said.
The computer helped UF earn a top-10 spot because of the increased faculty-to-student ratio, Deumens said.
Political scientists have used the computer to predict voting behavior using data from polls to determine which candidate is likely to win, Deumens said.
"It is an asset that really helps faculty,” Deumens said. “Faculty find it incredibly valuable to have it.”
Stephen Coombes, a UF applied physiology and kinesiology assistant professor, uses the HiPerGator to complete research to map pathways in the brain using brain imaging collected from humans.
Without the HiPerGator, the research would’ve taken years to process, Coombes said.
“It’s phenomenally powerful,” he said.