The inauguration of our new computing cluster, GRACE, took place at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS), Leiden University, on 13 February 2018. Martijn Ridderbos (Vice-President of Leiden University), Geert de Snoo (Dean of the Faculty of Science) and Bart Hoogervorst (Head of Department Operations ICT Shared Service Centre) ceremonially booted up GRACE, the latest supercomputer at Leiden University.
GRACE consists of 32 computing nodes with 1024 CPU cores and 12 GPUs. It has a peak computing capacity of about 135 teraFLOPS and very fast interconnects (about 56 Gb/sec per link). The cluster is named after Grace Hopper, who was one of the first programmers and made significant contributions to the development of high-level programming languages.
GRACE was purchased by LIACS at the initiative of Prof. Holger H. Hoos (Head of the ADA Research Group). Equipped with it, the ADA Research Group will undertake cutting-edge research in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques that complement, rather than replace, human intelligence. In particular, we will use GRACE for developing cutting-edge methods for the automated design and analysis of algorithms for computationally challenging problems from AI, leveraging human creativity, advanced machine learning and optimisation methods. An important part of our work is the development and deployment of AutoML and, more generally, AutoAI techniques, that are aimed at making the development, deployment and customisation of AI techniques accessible to non-experts.
Aside from the immense enjoyment of using GRACE for our research, we also had a lot of fun building the cluster, under the capable leadership of our ICT Manager, Vianney Govers.
Additional details can be found at ada.liacs.nl/hh/Talks/grace-inauguration-18.pdf.