UTFSM becomes the first CUDA Teaching Center in Chile

Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María has officially been named a CUDA Teaching Center by NVIDIA, the world leader in visual and high-performance computing. Our institution is the first in Chile to obtain this honor, and it is among the first CUDA Teaching Centers in Latin America.

CUDA is NVIDIA’s parallel computing architecture that enables dramatic increases in computing performance by harnessing the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU). CUDA Teaching Centers are recognized institutions that have integrated GPU computing techniques into their mainstream computer programming curriculum.

This distinction is an important milestone in our research and teaching activities on GPU computing, and it has been received at a very exciting time for our institution.

Our already-deployed 8-GPU computing cluster will enjoy a significant upgrade thanks to the donation of a large GPU cluster by professor Tsuyoshi Hamada, from the Nagasaki Advanced Computing Center. Also, as part of the CUDA Teaching Center program, NVIDIA will provide the Informatics Department with donated GPUs to help upgrade a teaching laboratory. With this infrastructure, UTFSM will strengthen its position as the Chilean leading center in GPU computing.

On the teaching track, the Informatics Department has committed to including GPU programming in CUDA as a permanent part of its curriculum. Meanwhile, UTFSM has already hosted other GPU-related training events, the most important having been the PASI school on massive parallelism held last summer. For this school, more than 80 students from all around the world attended a series of lectures given by world-class researchers on High-Performance Computing. In August 2011, CTI-HPC also hosted an intensive 4-week course on CUDA, attended by 30 participants from the university community who were enthusiastic about incorporating CUDA to their own work.

Current research activities in CTI-HPC include the use of GPUs for financial algorithms, astronomical applications, computational fluid dynamics and medical image processing, under the lead of center’s director Dr. Luis Salinas.

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