Georgia Tech unveils first AI supercomputer for student use in new course programs

By Chris Benson

April 10 (UPI) -- The Georgia Institute of Technology and NVIDIA Corporation on Wednesday said together they have created the first artificial intelligence supercomputer for student use.

"The launch of the AI Makerspace represents another milestone in Georgia Tech's legacy of innovation and leadership in education," Raheem Beyah, dean of the college and Southern Company Chair in the school's College of Engineering, said about the unveiling of Georgia Tech's first minor degree program in AI and machine learning and on the creation of 14 core AI courses for undergrads.


"Thanks to NVIDIA's advanced technology and expertise, our students at all levels have a path to make significant contributions and lead in the rapidly evolving field of AI," he said in a release.

AI Makerspace is being called "a digital sandbox for students to understand and use AI in the classroom" and aims to "democratize access to computing resources typically reserved for researchers or technology companies."


For perspective, the supercomputer runs atop 160 of Nvidia's H100 graphics processing units, and it would take a single NVIDIA GPU one second to come up with a multiplication operation that would take all 50,000 Georgia Tech students 22 years to achieve, according to Georgia Tech.

Atlanta's Mayor Andre Dickens said the city commended the project's leadership team "in advancing education and technology through the AI Makerspace," said Dickens.

"Partnerships with industry leaders such as NVIDIA propel our students and workforce toward tomorrow, further enhancing Atlanta's status as an innovation hub," the mayor said.

Only Georgia Tech students at first will be allowed to use the new "virtual gateway," which was developed by California-based Penguin Solutions. That company said on social media that it is "proud" to work with GA Tech and NVIDA -- also headquartered in California -- to power up the Georgia Tech AI Makerspace and put the promise of #AI directly in students' hands."

Wednesday's development comes as the White House Office of Management and Budget recently issued a series of guidelines to reduce risks associated with government use of AI

A Georgia Tech official told CNBC that so far students have used the supercomputer in one class called "foundations of machine learning." But by spring of next year, all graduate and undergraduate students are expected to have access.


"The idea here is for us to be able to set up these computational resources ... working closely with Nvidia and Penguin Solutions, and essentially making this a sandbox where students will be able to do their own work," Arijit Raychowdhury, chair of Georgia Tech's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said.

Raychowdhury said students will use the supercomputer for projects on "computer vision, large language models, robotics, supply chain management, chemical or biomedical engineering, creativity and design pursuits related to generative AI, and also separate entrepreneurial ventures of their choice," he said.

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