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Texas State University

AMD COVID-19 HPC Fund to Deliver Supercomputing Clusters to Researchers Combatting COVID-19

Research & Innovation

Jayme Blaschke | September 14, 2020

computer hardware

An interdisciplinary research team at Texas State University has been awarded in-kind hardware and cloud computing services from Advanced Micro Devices’ (AMD) HPC Fund for COVID-19 research.  

Texas State’s proposal was led by Larry Fulton, School of Health Administration, and included faculty from the Ingram School of Engineering, the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Psychology. Public collaboration and support from Ted Lehr, data architect for the city of Austin, was included in the proposal.

"The exceedingly generous gift from AMD will support our computationally-intensive requirements associated with mapping, mitigation and detection of diseases, including COVID-19," Fulton said. "Our team is also engaged in health disparity identification and resolution for the state of Texas, and the associated computations saturate our available computing power. 

"AMD is providing one of the solutions to our big data problem—that is, data that taxes our existing capabilities," he said. "Some of the methods that AMD is supporting with their gift include machine learning (including deep vision), geographical information systems, complex optimization (e.g., mixed integer nonlinear), and advanced simulation modeling. The computational capability provided by AMD has already helped us with planning our next analysis steps for COVID-19, other infectious diseases and cancer."

Aspects of COVID that will be studied at Texas State include:

  • Evaluating models associated with COVID-19 forecasts, based on previously-published machine learning techniques focused on resource requirements of the opioid epidemic
  • Data mining Twitter (and particularly Chinese tweets) to evaluate the spread of information and misinformation during the epidemic
  • Use of Spatial Regression Models to investigate effects of geography, demography, socioeconomics, health conditions, hospital characteristics, and politics as potential explanatory variables for death rates at the state and county levels

The HPC Fund grants AMD high-performance GPU-based computing hardware, software and training to universities to enable research in a number of different pandemic-related topics. Additionally, researchers will be permitted access to AMD-powered cloud computing resources to support medical research. 

AMD has committed a total of $15 million to its COVID-19 HPC Fund program across 21 universities and research labs.

"AMD is proud to be working with leading global research institutions to bring the power of high performance computing technology to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic," said Mark Papermaster, executive vice president and chief technology officer, AMD. "These donations of AMD EPYC and Radeon Instinct processors will help researchers not only deepen their understanding of COVID-19, but also help improve our ability to respond to future potential threats to global health."

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922