The University of Rochester today provided an advanced look of its new data visualization lab, one of the centerpieces of its commitment to apply high performance computing and data science approaches to solve scientific problems. The lab creates the immersive visual experience necessary to allow researchers to understand and manipulate large and complex sets of scientific information.
Since we know a little something about data visualization ourselves, iVEDiX is happy to see the U of R’s data lab coming on line. We have long been proponents of the visualization of data, because we know how it can change industries, organizations, and even people for the better.
And as you would suspect, the folks at the U of R aren’t slouching, here. The VISTA data lab is absolutely massive:
The display in the new lab consists of an array of 24 monitors, is 20 feet wide and 8 feet tall, and has a resolution (50 megapixels) approaching that of IMAX theaters. The visualization lab has a direct high speed fiber optic connection to the University’s Data Center, linking the display with an IBM Blue Gene/Q – which, with 16,384 processing cores, is one of the most powerful supercomputers on the planet – and the new IBM “BlueHive 2” Linux supercomputer cluster – which has a data storage capacity of 2 petabytes or 2 million gigabytes. To put this in perspective, 1 petabyte could store the complete human genome – which consists of 3 billion base pairs – of every individual in America.
What could they possibly need all that stuff for? As the article goes on to explain, the VISTA lab will be used to create new and powerful data analytics tools for scientists and researchers. And since I am a huge Star Trek nerd, maybe they can build a Stellar Cartography center with it!