Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Mike Bradley ()
Communications and External Relations


ORNL, Morehouse College offer supercomputing class

Jim Hack, Director of ORNL's National Center for Computational Sciences; ORNL Director Thom Mason; and UT-Battelle Chief Financial Officer Greg Turner help kick off the supercomputer course being taught via televideo connection between at ORNL and Morehouse College.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 2, 2009 — Students at Morehouse College will get a super-close look at the world of supercomputing through a long distance learning class this spring semester being taught in conjunction with Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

ORNL and Morehouse College today kicked off the new senior-level course titled High-Performance Scientific Computing.

The class, offered through the Computer Science Department at Morehouse College, focuses on how high performance computers are used to find solutions to scientific and engineering problems. Sixteen students are currently enrolled in the class to study operating systems, programming basics, different model designs and other aspects of supercomputers.

The students will learn from the best. The Cray XT5 supercomputer at ORNL is the fastest open science computer in the world. The system, known as Jaguar, is capable of peak 1.64 "petaflops," or quadrillion calculations per second, and is the world's first petaflop system dedicated to open research.

Amos Johnson, an assistant professor in the computer science department at Morehouse, will teach the course on campus. Robert Whitten of the National Center for Computational Sciences at ORNL and Brian Worley, director, Computational Sciences and Engineering Division, will deliver class lectures from ORNL via telecommunications connection.

Students also will make three trips to ORNL during the course and participate in research applications run on Jaguar.

"This is a monumental opportunity for Morehouse, and we thank Oak Ridge and the U.S. Department of Energy for their assistance and support," said Morehouse President Robert M. Franklin Jr. "We are confident that the course - which focuses on high performance computers -- will give rise to meaningful ideas and solutions to scientific and engineering problems. We are proud to be a part of this groundbreaking endeavor."

This collaborative course is the result of an ORNL-Morehouse mentor-protégé relationship established in 2007. The initiative was the first such agreement between a historically black college or university and a national laboratory supported by the Office of Science within the Department of Energy.

"These students have the potential to be outstanding computational scientists," said Jim Roberto, ORNL Deputy Director for Science and Technology. "By learning on the best tools, with the best people, they will be on a path to become future leaders in the field."

Other schools planning to participate include Knoxville College and Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. Jackson State and Morehouse are part of ORNL's Mentor-Protege Program.

Located in Atlanta, Morehouse College is the nation¹s largest, private liberal arts college for men. The College enrolls about 3,000 students and is the only all male historically black institution of higher learning in the United States. Morehouse offers 26 majors in three academic divisions: Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Mathematics, and Business Administration and Economics.

Noted for its reputation of academic excellence, prominent alumni include David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and director of the National Center for Primary Care at the Morehouse School of Medicine; Louis Sullivan, former Secretary of Health and Human Services; and Donald Hopkins, vice president for Health Programs at the Atlanta-based Carter Center.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

For more information on Morehouse, go to: http://www.morehouse.edu The ORNL Web site is at: http://www.ornl.gov/