Research High Performance Computing

UIT’s new IBM 40-node research cluster with 320 64-bit cores is a major upgrade in both technology and power over the previous cluster and is offered at no cost to members of the Tufts community. The new cluster features: a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, 16 to 32GB RAM per node, and high-speed Infiniband interconnected nodes. Tufts faculty and student adopters have found compute opportunities and efficiencies that have made the difference in solving their problems. Additional information about this resource and how to apply for an account can be found at http://go.tufts.edu/cluster.

BioInformatics Bioinformatics incorporates techniques from multiple disciplines to solve biological problems in areas that include applied mathematics, informatics, statistics, and computer science.To support bioinformatics applications and associated services at Tufts University, UIT put in production in the fall of 2008 a Bioinformatics Server that offers two services at no cost to clients: 1) a gene sequence analysis package Emboss/wEmboss (http://emboss.uit.tufts.edu); and 2) a micro-array analysis server (http://carmaweb.uit.tufts.edu). The micro-array analysis server was developed in collaboration with professor Iyer of the Tufts Center for Neuroscience Research (CNR). The server also supports open-source research codes.

Tufts Parallel Computing Users Group

Over the past 12 months, various groups at Tufts have started using parallel computing for their research on the research cluster and elsewhere.[EXPAND Click here to expand]To support this interest, a user group was recently created to develop and promote parallel computing at Tufts and an e-list set-up to support discussions about future possible seminars, vendor presentations, software acquisitions and general sharing of related parallel programming topics. UIT also recently purchased a new 32 core parallel license for Star-P, a parallel computing software (http://www.interactivesupercomputing.com), which allows Matlab users to parallelize their matlab codes at relatively low effort. This has given Matlab users a scaling option for their previously long running programs. If you are interested in joining the elist group please contact Lionel Zupan at Lionel.Zupan@tufts.edu.

Opportunities for Teaching and Student Computing

Interactive SuperComputing is offering a free Star-P license to faculty who are teaching courses that support parallel computing work.

If you are interested in getting a free Star-P license for teaching, please contact Lionel Zupan at Lionel.Zupan@tufts.edu. For general information on Star-P, go to http://www.interactivesupercomputing.com. A recent upgrade of Tufts network concurrent Mathematica license will now allow Mathematica to be installed on student owned computers. Details about this upgrade will be posted on http://go.tufts.edu/cluster in the license section.

Teaching and Learning Technology

VUE 3 Beta Release

July 22, 2009, marks the release of the highly anticipated version 3.0 of the Visual Understanding Environment (VUE), the open source concept mapping tool developed at Tufts University with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation.

[EXPAND Click here to expand]Since the release of VUE 2.0 last spring, the project has seen a phenomenal increase in user adoption with the community of registered VUE users growing from 6,000 to 30,000 users. For the first time VUE will be available in multiple languages, including French, Italian, Czech, Spanish, German, Russian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, and Turkish. Some of the new features of VUE 3.0 are: Data import, analysis, and export Rules-based layout and styling Layers interface Integration with Zotero and SEASR Enhanced text formatting Map-based searching Improved windows and menu layout To download a preview release of VUE 3, please visit the VUE project web site: http://vue.tufts.edu/

VUE in the News

VUE was recently featured on the Online College Blog’s list, “100 Powerful Web Tools to Organize Your Thoughts and Ideas” (http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/uncategorized/100-powerful-web-tools-to-organize-your-thoughts-and-ideas/).

The Open Source Education blog gave VUE this excellent review: “VUE is a strong example of what a contemporary OS project can look like. With its open design process, clear communication between users and developers, modular design model, and university backing, it is clear that the project will be active in the foreseeable future, and will continue to gain functionality. The project should continue to push the standards of concept mapping software development. It is difficult to imagine using a program like PowerPoint after seeing the flexibility of a program like VUE.” http://ed697oseducation.wordpress.com/2009/03/01/software-review-3-vue-visual-understanding-environment/

LMS Update

UIT Academic Technology is facilitating a Tufts University Learning Management System (LMS) project in partnership with Advisory and Core Teams comprised of representatives from Tufts Schools and Central Administration to understand how faculty, students, and staff are currently using the available platforms at Tufts (Blackboard, TUSK, ANGEL Learning, Moodle, Spark, etc.); to gather community requirements across Tufts contexts; to research and evaluate how next-generation platforms for teaching, learning, assessment, and collaboration might support Tufts goals; to recommend a comprehensive strategy for Tufts going forward. Please visit the project site to learn more: http://go.tufts.edu/lms.

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