For the last three weeks I’ve been immersed in the world of HPC–High Performance Computing. HPC is that parallel universe where researchers run programs that take five days of processing, where tiny jobs only require 12-15 processors, where terabyte drives fill up in matters of hours and where shouting at and threatening colleagues is considered a perfectly acceptable way of communicating. Now humanities scholars are being invited play in the HPC sandbox too.
The NEH Office of Digital Humanities has just launched a resource page for Humanities High Performance Computing. This new resource is designed to attract scholars in the humanities and social sciences who have masses unstructured data that needs to be sorted, mined, or visualized to be better understood. Programs include a series of grants (deadline is July 15th for award in January 2009) and invitations to access to the National Science Foundation’s teragrid.
William and Mary has a HPC operation that has recently become a part of our academic and research support for faculty. Like the folks at the NEH, we’re hoping that a broader range of faculty will take advantage of the college’s investment in these high performance tools.