Friday, January 27, 2012

SBU CIS Department to Receive NVIDEA Instrumentation Award

SBU CIS Department to Receive NVIDEA Instrumentation Award

Southwest Baptist University News Release
Contact: Sharina Smith, Office of Marketing & Communications
417-328-1803 /

BOLIVAR, Mo. – Southwest Baptist University’s nationally-recognized Department of Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) announced today the department has been chosen to be the recipient of an instrumentation award supported by NVIDEA, a world leader in visual and parallel computing products.

The award includes four high-end NVIDEA GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) which can be used for extremely advanced video and graphics processing. Together the four cards are valued at $6,000.

According to Dr. Baochuan Lu, CIS department faculty member, the cards will be used in the CIS department’s parallel processing curriculum. “These cards represent cutting-edge graphics processing achieved through multi-core, parallel processing approaches. Two of the GPU’s have 448 cores, in essence achieving the work of 448 computers all in one unit. We’ve been given two of these cards and two more which have the ability to supply high-end graphics to three monitors simultaneously. Our students are really going to enjoy working in this kind of environment.” 

The instrumentation award resulted from the CIS department’s participation in the early adopter program of the NSF/IEEE TCPP’s (National Science Foundation, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Technical Committee on Parallel Processing) curriculum initiative for parallel and distributed computing.  SBU joins only 33 universities around the world who have achieved the same status. The initiative, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Intel, and IBM, encourages universities which have the faculty expertise to adopt the curriculum to prepare their students for the next generation of computational devices.

The GPU’s will be housed in the CIS department research lab located in the Gene Taylor Free Enterprise Center on SBU’s Bolivar campus, and pose special challenges for the Lab.

“These GPU/parallel processing boards require a significant amount of power,” said Dr. James Cain, CIS department faculty member and research lab coordinator. “We’ve spec’ed the systems at 1200 watts, which is the largest I have ever dealt with. These GPU’s are incredibly powerful.” The GPU’s are projected to be available for use by CIS department students sometime during the spring semester.

SBU’s CIS department four full-time faculty members, two faculty associates and close to 80 students majoring in the computer or information sciences. Among evangelically Christian institutions, SBU is one of the leading producers of software engineers in the United States.

PHOTO from left to right: SBU’s Dr. James Cain and Dr. Baochuan Lu

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