AI TECH

The HiPerGator AI supercomputer, ranked first in the world, lays the way for the University of Florida's expanding AI Initiative

UF | July 12, 2021

Following recent Top500 rankings, UF's HiPerGator artificial intelligence has been crowned the most powerful and energy efficient university-owned supercomputer in the United States.

HiPerGator AI was ranked No. 2 in the world for energy efficiency, in addition to its national advancements.

The rankings not only bode well for the AI Initiative, but they are also welcome news in UF's ambition of being a top five public university.

According to Deumens, students and professors from all academic disciplines will be able to use AI to address real-world problems and undertake new research, which is a key criterion for admission to the top five national public institutions.

HiPerGator AI has been significantly improved since its inception in 2013, thanks to a $80 million grant from UF graduate Chris Malachowsky and NVIDIA, a computer systems hardware business he co-founded. NVIDIA has been an invaluable partner to the institution, offering technologies to boost HiPerGator's computational capability.

The supercomputer was made free of charge to student and staff researchers across the state university system in January. The institution expects that by creating students who are equipped for an AI workforce, it will be able to further position itself as a national leader in AI.

“We believe we are the only university or college attempting to bring AI instruction to majors throughout the entire breadth of a college or university,” said assistant provost David Reed. “As a result, we're interacting extensively with other institutions and universities in order to entice them to join us.”

Expanding opportunities for UF students to gain AI experience is another project at the forefront of enhancing student marketability after graduation, according to Reed. The introduction of a new nine-credit AI degree is a step toward that goal.

The AI Fundamentals and Applications certificate is available through the department of engineering education and is open to students of various majors and levels of expertise.
Students in the certificate programme will take an AI foundations course, an ethics course, and a college-specific course.

“Our goal will be to increase the number of students and advertise the programme so that more students pursue this certificate.” “We would like to see a high proportion of all university students pursuing at least a portion of this certificate,” said Hans van Oostrom, chair of the department of engineering education.

Another major priority has been involving academics and staff in the implementation of AI on campus. UF is accelerating its efforts to hire 100 more AI professionals across its 16 campuses and other UF entities by Spring 2022.

The Florida Museum of Natural History is one of the AI recruiting cohort's recipients, with plans to use two new recruits to work with AI databases and educate K-12 students on how to use AI.

Prior to the broader AI Initiative at UF, the Florida Museum of Natural History had been a leader in digitising US biological collections and creating interoperable data sets for the National Science Foundation for the past ten years, according to Douglas Jones, director of the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Machine-learning algorithms are now capable of interpreting the digital data collections of over 40 million specimens and artefacts at the museum, which is still in its early phases.
The museum also intends to expand its use of artificial intelligence to investigate how climate trends have influenced indigenous peoples' migration patterns in Florida.

“Trying to figure out whether populations have migrated or creatures have gone extinct, it quickly becomes hard for a person to try to recognise these photographs and so on one by one by one,” Jones explained. “However, once the system has been trained, AI can do that fairly quickly, so we're enthusiastic about that possibility.”

The AI hiring initiative will assist not only the Florida Museum of Natural History's objective to safeguard biodiversity, but also another section on campus dedicated to environmental preservation: the Center for Coastal Solutions.

The CCS, a 2020 UF programme to prevent environmental, economic, and health problems in coastal areas, hired a cohort of five faculty members. According to Christine Angelini, head of the Center for Coastal Solutions, the new members' tasks vary from underwater robots to computer science.

The centre will also use AI to combine satellite data regarding the location of toxic algal blooms in Florida's coastal waters as part of a new partnership with SAS Institute, a business analytics software company. The centre intends to use the AI-gathered data to assist coastal ecosystem rehabilitation operations.

Different academic centres on campus aren't the only ones utilising AI; UF research teams have also gotten involved. One research team is utilising AI technology to make homes more energy robust during power outages caused by natural disasters.

The research team, which includes engineering professors Prabil Barooah and Sean Meyn, UF alumni Naren Srivaths Raman, and graduate student Ninad Gaikwad, hopes to offer solar energy to households at a minimal cost by utilising an intelligent control system. Through AI algorithms, the intelligent control system prioritises how much electricity various household items receive during an outage.

“I was able to gain the skills that I required, so that I can actually apply it and continue a career in this direction,” Raman explained. “The positive impact you can have on society — that's something that's really rewarding for me, so my objective is to keep going in that direction.”

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Software Defined-WAN helps enterprises accelerate hybrid cloud adoption. It also optimizes the cost of using different network technologies like Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), and commercial broadband to connect remote offices and/or branches to one another.  While the move to SD-WAN makes business sense, SD-WAN users are worried about their networks’ vulnerability with this relatively new and game-changing technology for network access.


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AdBeacon Releases New Ad Optimization Platform–The Facebook Solution to iOS14.5

AdBeacon | August 26, 2022

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MuleSoft Named a Leader in New API Management Solutions Report

Salesforce | August 29, 2022

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Rocket Software | September 14, 2022

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