Thanks to a gift from Omaha business leader and philanthropist Richard Holland, supercomputing resources housed at the Peter Kiewit Institute on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus, and in the Schorr Center on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, now comprise a single, expanded university-wide high performance computing center that ranks among the top 10 academic supercomputing centers in the U.S., with Texas, Oklahoma, Harvard and others. The Center is designed to serve faculty on all campuses and to be a leading regional resource for research. Milliken announced the gift at the Board of Regents meeting June 12.
"The University of Nebraska is poised to become a national leader in a number of areas that are vitally important to Nebraska, including water, climate, transportation and cancer research," Milliken said. "To realize our potential, we must have the computing capacity to support our faculty. That is the promise of the University of Nebraska Holland Computing Center—that faculty in all disciplines will have the computing resources they need to put Nebraska on the map."
Supercomputing centers allow faculty to perform complex computer simulations that are vital to research in a wide range of disciplines. Without adequate capacity on campus, researchers must compete with those from other institutions for time on the national academic computing grid. The new center offers combines the capacity of the “Firefly” supercomputer at UNO and “Prairie Fire” and “Red” at UNL.
Walter Scott, chairman of the board of policy advisors of the Peter Kiewit Institute, said, “The new University of Nebraska Holland Computing Center is essential to achieving our vision for the Peter Kiewit Institute to be a national leader in research. It will bring university resources together in an unprecedented way and draw talented faculty and students to the university.”
With this expanded capacity, the university is now aligned with the national cyber infrastructure strategy, which envisions a number of large supercomputing centers with a concentration of expert personnel to manage them. That will also put the university in a far stronger position to compete for research funding, including grants to upgrade and expand the system, Milliken said.