ECE Seminar Series

Special ISTeC Seminar in conjunction with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Computer Science Department Seminar Series

Title: Better Than Removing Your Appendix with a Spork: Building a Research Compute Infrastructure
Speaker: Gerry McCartney
Affiliation: Purdue University
Day: Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: CSU Library Event Center, Morgan Library

Abstract: Purdue's computational infrastructure for research includes six TOP500 supercomputers in as many years, built and managed centrally-with no increase in the central IT budget. The secret: novel business models fashioned around a partnership between central IT and faculty researchers to make more computing power available at a better price and share it in a cooperative that maximizes the investment. Despite initial skepticism, no faculty member who's joined has left Purdue's Community Cluster Program, and the clusters now play a major role in research awards to Purdue researchers in a large and diverse array of fields. The PCCP leverages the benefits of both the central and local funding models to provide high-performance computing power to faculty, diminishing the need for faculty to operate their own system. A "coalition of the willing" is a successful model for collaboration that fits the research culture of the academy and can be adopted successfully by research-driven institutions everywhere.

Bio: Gerry McCartney has served as Purdue University's chief information officer since July 2007; in 2013, his role was expanded to include responsibility for the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) and oversight of information technology at the regional, as well as West Lafayette, campuses. Under McCartney's leadership, Purdue has developed the nation's largest cyberinfrastructure for research, with six supercomputers listed in the internationally known Top 500 list. Also during his tenure, Purdue has developed some of the nation's most advanced learning and classroom technologies, including Signals and Hotseat. As System CIO, McCartney is responsible for the management of Purdue data and IT resources at the West Lafayette, Calumet, North Central, and Fort Wayne campuses. On the West Lafayette campus, areas of responsibility include application services; cyberinfrastructure for research; IT infrastructure; IT security and policy; academic and classroom technologies; IT customer relations and support; and the Office of Institutional Research. McCartney reports directly to Purdue President Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. McCartney holds an appointment in Purdue's College of Technology and is the Oesterle Professor of Information Technology.