Computer Science’s Baumgartner Part of National Cloud Computing Project

Gerald BaumgartnerSeptember 29, 2023 

BATON ROUGE, LA – LSU is one of several institutions that will be partnering soon with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Microsoft Corp., and Micron Technology to make computational chemistry broadly available to applied researchers and industrial users.

The project, known as TEC4—transferring exascale computational chemistry to cloud computing environment and emerging hardware technologies—is part of a broad effort announced by the Department of Energy to quicken the transfer of technology from fundamental research to innovation that can be scaled into products and capabilities that support the economic health and security of the nation.

Led by PNNL, TEC4 aims to bring the sophisticated tools of computational chemistry to more people, effectively delivering computational chemistry as a service, also known as CCaaS. The two-year project is slated to receive up to $8 million from the DOE, supporting approximately 30 researchers. The project aims to deliver significant advancements toward critical goals like sustainability, energy security, and environmental stewardship.

Leading LSU’s portion of the project is Gerald Baumgartner, associate professor of computer science.

“We will look at task scheduling in the cloud,” he said. “These quantum chemistry computations have traditionally been run on supercomputers. The overall goal of the project is to develop a cloud service, so that chemistry researchers who don’t have access to an appropriate size supercomputer can run their calculations in the cloud. The additional complexity in the cloud is that cloud providers, Microsoft in this case, have a variety of different hardware for different computing purposes. We will develop scheduling algorithms that place individual tasks of that quantum chemistry computation on to the most appropriate computing resources.”

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