Information Technology Services

Research Computing

Union College is dedicated to providing students and faculty with access to resources that facilitate faculty research and undergraduate student research. With this exposure, students gain valuable research skills that they might not otherwise acquire until later in their academic career.

Previously, Union operated an IBM Intelligent Cluster on campus. It was donated by John E. Kelly III ‘76 during the dedication of the Peter Wold Center in May 2011. At that time, this IBM Intelligent Cluster provided the College with the greatest research computing capability of any undergraduate liberal arts college in the nation.

The IBM Intelligent Cluster was decommissioned in July 2017.  In order to continue to offer research computing capacity, Union will now utilize cloud-based High Performance Computing (HPC) resources, with the help of Sly Media Networks, LLC, Union’s HPC vendor. The majority of the workload will utilize Amazon Web Services (AWS).  Union also has access to the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC).

By using a cloud-based service like AWS, Union has access to a vast amount of computing power for research computing. The benefit of cloud-based services is that an expensive on-site physical infrastructure to house this hardware is no longer required. Utilizing a cloud-based solution also supports one are of Union’s strategic plan that focuses on sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint.

Support for Research Computing

Support for research computing is provided by ITS in conjunction with our HPC vendor, Sly Media Networks. Sly Media Networks, LLC is an HPC solution provider and has extensive experience with Unix based systems, open source software, research computing and general Unix/Linux assistance.

Please contact hpcadmin@union.edu for assistance with utilizing AWS resources, software installation assistance, or general research computing assistance. AWS resources will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Requests for assistance are usually responded to within 4 hours (it may occasionally take longer).

Need Research Computing Resources?

Faculty who are interested in research computing should contact Ellen Yu (yue@union.edu; x6293). Students who are interested in using the Cluster for their student research should discuss the project with their faculty advisor. The faculty advisor should then submit a request to the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@union.edu.