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About ICDS

A High Performance Computational Research Community

The Institute for Computational and Data Sciences is one of seven interdisciplinary research institutes within Penn State’s Office of the Senior Vice President for Research. ICDS brings researchers together to develop and apply innovative, high performance computation methods.

Penn State’s Research Hub

ICDS operates and continues to expand a world-class high-performance computing system. The Roar supercomputer, formerly known as ICDS-ACI, lets Penn State researchers carry out advanced simulation and statistical modeling, data analysis, data mining, machine learning, and more.

ICDS offers

  • 36,500 computing cores
  • 25 PB of storage
  • a dynamic software stack of broadly used research applications
  • ~890 gigaflops of total peak theoretical performance

The Roar supercomputer is located in a data center operated by the Data Center Services unit of the Penn State Office of the Vice President for Information Technology.

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A Brief History of ICDS

The Institute for Computational and Data Sciences traces its origins to 2011, when an intra-university task force was charged with developing a strategic vision for cyberscience at Penn State. On the recommendation of this task force, the Institute for CyberScience was established in 2012 through the Office of the Vice President for Research under the direction of founding director, Dr. Padma Raghavan.

In 2016, Dr. Jenni Evans was appointed interim director of ICS; Dr. Evans became director in 2017.

In 2019, the institute was renamed the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences to be more aligned with the research community.

Since 2012 ICDS has coordinated a joint hiring initiative in partnership with Penn State colleges and institutes, known as the ICDS Faculty Fellows program. The 32 ICDS Faculty Fellows come from 20 academic departments across 7 colleges. ICDS has awarded over $1.3 million in seed grants in yearly competitions and funds several research centers.

In 2014 Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones and Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey took steps to ensure that Penn State can deliver the broad spectrum of computing and data services required for advanced research. As part of this process, ICDS began to develop the Roar supercomputer. Today, more than 4,000 researchers and students use Roar to boost their productivity and accelerate their research.

Our work intersects with six other Penn State institutes: