Friday, September 25, 2009

KAUST: A New Paradigm in Academia

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia is an international, graduate-level research university dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement in the Kingdom that will also benefit the region and the world. KAUST is the realization of a decades-long vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

KAUST is providing five-year grant support through the Global Research Partnership (GRP) to four interdisciplinary scientific research Centers engaged in path-breaking work in the areas of applied mathematics, molecular photovoltaics, nanomaterials and computational science.

KAUST GRP Centers Grant Recipients:

KAUST partnered with the following, world-renowned research institutions to further its mission of becoming a new contributor to the global network of collaborative research. The AEA partnership will help enable graduate students, faculty and researchers or exceptional talents from around the globe to work together to solve challenging scientific and technological problems facing Saudi Arabia, the region and the world.

The University of California, Berkeley
Mechanical Engineering

The University of Cambridge
Biosciences and Bioengineering

Stanford University
Applied Mathematics and Computer Science

The University of Texas at Austin
Computational Earth Sciences and Engineering

Imperial College London
Materials Science and Engineering

KAUST has partnered with IBM to establish a Supercomputing Research Center. KAUST is hosting the Shaheen supercomputer (ranked 14th among the top 500 supercomputers), named after the Arabian falcon famed for its swiftness of flight. This 16-rack IBM Blue Gene/P system is equipped with 4 gigabyte memory per node and capable of 222 teraflops, making KAUST campus the site of one of the world’s fastest supercomputers in an academic environment. KAUST is targeting petaflop capability within 3 years.

The Visualization Lab at KAUST hosts a Mechdyne-built CAVE, creating the world’s highest resolution and brightest virtual environment. This immersive visualization facility comprises :

  • 24 of the world’s highest native resolution projectors (4096 x 2160 pixels each), with four illuminating each side of a cubic space
  • A fully immersive stereoscopic visual environment
  • 100 million pixels
  • Allows up to 8 viewers in the environment

An Advanced Audio Studio complements the visual experience. A CORNEA cluster provides computational power to drive the displays :

  • 96 quad-core CPUs
  • 768 gigabytes of RAM
  • 12 TB of internal hard drive capacity
  • Dual gigabit interprocessor connectivity
  • 2 x 10 gigabit uplinks
  • 96 FX5600 GPUs
  • 144 GB of graphics memory
  • 48 TB of external storage

A Multi-Purpose Room has an ultra high resolution (32 million pixel) digital cinema projection system, allowing stereoscopic viewing for an audience of 75. This room also provides a reconfigurable dynamic collaborative display environment for inter-disciplinary research.