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OSC names new supercomputer after Jesse Owens

Officials at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) have announced that they will name their next supercomputer after the sprinter Jesse Owens, who was raised in Cleveland, Ohio.

Jesse Owens was chosen for the name of the new system because of his legacy as a renowned Olympic champion, a beacon for racial equality and a constant youth advocate. This announcement was made in connection with the 2016 Jesse Owens Track and Field Classic at The Ohio State University.

‘This major acquisition will make an enormously positive impact on the work of our clients, both academic and industrial,’ said David Hudak, PhD, interim executive director of OSC. ‘Our current systems are running near peak capacity most of the time. Ohio researchers are eager for this massive increase in computing power and storage space.’

The new Dell Owens Cluster will be powered by Dell PowerEdge servers featuring the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 product family, include storage components manufactured by DDN and utilise interconnects provided by Mellanox. The centre earlier had acquired NetApp software and hardware for home directory storage.

OSC is a member of the Ohio Technology Consortium, the technology and information arm of ODHE. The centre currently offers computational services via two supercomputer clusters: the HP/Intel Ruby Cluster and the HP/Intel Oakley Cluster. A third system, the IBM/AMD Glenn Cluster, was retired last month to make sufficient space and power available for the new supercomputer.

ODHE Chancellor John Carey announced in February that the new system will increase the centre’s total computing capacity by a factor of four and its storage capacity by three. Owens was chosen from a list of esteemed finalists that included Nobel Prize winners, famous inventors, talented musicians, well-known industrialists and a former president.

‘Our newest supercomputer system is the most powerful that the Center has ever run,’ said Carey in a recent letter to Owens’ daughters. ‘As such, I thought it fitting to name it for your father, who symbolises speed, integrity and, most significantly for me, compassion as embodied by his tireless work to help youths overcome obstacles to their future success. As a first-generation college graduate, I can relate personally to the value of mentors in the lives of those students.’

‘We are touched and honored to have this supercomputer named for our father,’ said Marlene Owens Rankin, the youngest daughter of Owens and his wife, Minnie Ruth Solomon. Rankin and her sisters Gloria Owens Hemphill and Beverly Owens Prather founded The Jesse Owens Foundation to perpetuate the ideals and life’s work of their father. ‘The learning opportunity provided by this expanded capacity will be invaluable to Ohio students.’

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