Administration of our shared computing resources and infrastructure is the primary task assigned to the department's technical staff. They aim to meet all teaching needs while also pursuing the most effective support for the different needs of our researchers. Feedback from all members of the department is welcome; the better the technical staff understands the needs of our individuals, the better their efforts will be for the department as a whole.
Shared Memory, Multi-processor Computing
The department maintains a shared memory, multi-processor system primarily suited for multi-threaded, CPU intensive programs. The current hardware bearing the gauss hostname has two Intel Xeon X5670 CPUs with 12 cores and 128 GB of memory. This system is running CentOS Linux.
The department also maintains an older shared memory, multi-processor system. The current hardware bearing the compute hostname is a Sun Microsystems SunFire V880, with 8 CPUs and 16 GB of memory running Solaris.
The department maintains a high performance cluster with 16 nodes and 128 processor cores. Each node has two quad core Intel Xeon L5420 2.5 GHz CPUs, 16 GB RAM and a TB drive. The nodes are connected via Gigabit Ethernet. The cluster runs CentOS Linux and features a scheduled/distributed resource management environment using SLURM. The department also maintains other smaller clusters.
The department also utilizes workstations from the teaching lab to form a compute grid. The pool of nodes normally includes 32 identical systems each with an Intel i7 CPU, 4 processor cores and 8 GB of memory; by arrangement, additional systems could be recruited to increase the total number of CPUs.
Storage for departmental servers and workstations is provided by a 8GB/sec Fiber Channel Storage Area Network and Jetstor arrays. Online daily backups are available to the end users. The storage is further backed up daily to our QualStar LTO tape robot.
The department computing lab, located on the 3rd floor, comprises two, adjoining spaces. The immediate, thirty-two seats are available to undergraduates for work on computer assignments. A tiered floor, teaching lab adjoins via restricted access door. In addition to allowing for overflow capacity and doubling as an after hours cluster, this second space offers the same audio/visual capabilities of the classrooms and may be reserved in advanced for teaching. Laboratory rules and hours are located on our external webpages under Computing Lab.
The department classrooms have new Sony laser HD projectors and also new screens with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The classrooms are equipped for audio/video presentation using the computer, the document camera, DVD/VCR, or a user-supplied laptop (A/V/network cabling present). A small, touch-driven display atop the desk incorporates system power control, input select, audio volume, video mute, screen and shade controls, and mode specific functions.
Course materials may be distributed electronically via web, e-mail, or shared folders. When desired, computer assignments can be completed using department facilities; instructors must communicate this need to the technical staff. High capacity printing capabilities are available for academic needs (e.g. mid-terms and exams).
Wired and Wireless Networking
The department is served largely by two, physical networks. Every faculty office has an one active port for a department workstation and one for a personal computer, connecting to our primary network. The wireless network [MathCS], reserved for use by department personnel, along with wired ports in shared offices and teaching spaces connect to our utility network. In both cases, user equipment should configure network parameters dynamically by using DHCP.
In addition to support for department workstations, scan/print/fax equipment, and computational facilities; the department maintains its own e-mail, web, file storage, and network resources.