September 16, 2005
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Scott Kaplan, assistant professor of computer science, Whitey Hagadorn, assistant professor of geology, and Will Loinaz, assistant professor of physics at Amherst College, have received a grant of $298,839 from the National Science Foundation to support setting up a computer cluster for research that requires substantial computational processing and data storage. They will be building a high performance computing cluster with 150 processors over the next three years.

This computer cluster, used to support computing-intensive research through simulations and visualization, will be made available to other Amherst faculty and students for research and curricular uses, and to Five College faculty and students collaborating with Amherst faculty.

Kaplan and computer scientists Prashant Shenoy, Deepak Ganesan and Mark Corner at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and Sami Rollins at Mount Holyoke also have been awarded $300,000 from the NSF to acquire an experimental network of embedded sensor and small-scale computing devices. This network will be placed at locations within the participating institutions and used to drive research on these devices and their networking.

Kaplan says that these grants enable research in the integration of buffer cache policies, lattice quantum field theories, fossil visualization and a computational model for dispersion of mercury.

The National Science Foundation is an independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through programs that invest more than $3 billion a year in almost 20,000 research and education projects. Amherst College is currently using almost $5 million in such grants.