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Purdue supercomputer donated to EAFIT

After a four-year relationship, the two institutions celebrate Apollo.


With a procession of nine experts in engineering, Purdue University arrived to ratify its relationship with the country. In the middle is the president of the American institution, France Córdova and Juan Luis Mejia, president of EAFIT.

By DANIEL RIVERA MARIN | Posted on March 6, 2012 | El Colombiano Newspaper

EAFIT and Purdue University share a common mission to develop engineers who are committed to easing societal burdens and to solving the problems of everyday life.

As friends eager to help each other in this purpose, the two educational institutions began four years ago to make connections, to arrange student exchange projects and to offer support for research.

That alliance was confirmed yesterday with Purdue’s donation of a "super computer" to EAFIT. Apollo, the name of the machine, will be on the fourth floor of the engineering buliding. The power of the computer effectively doubles the capacity of EAFIT’s prior system.

Alberto Rodriguez Garcia, dean of the School of Engineering at Eafit says, "This is a reason for this University (EAFIT), the University of Antioquia and EPM, to start working together."

Apollo’s infrastructure mirrors a Purdue supercomputer, says the dean, allowing some projects conducted at Purdue, such as nanotechnology and biotechnology to be replicated at EAFIT

Gerry McCartney, CIO at the American university, says that with this computer, students and researchers can advance projects faster and with less expense. Not only can they investigate theory and practice, they can conduct simulations as well.

For example, a group at the University of Antioquia, is using Apollo in the search for medications that will treat leishmaniasis, a disease spread throughout the world by sandflies. The team reduced their drug crosschecking time from 25 to 16 years with Apollo, says Juan Luis Mejia, President of EAFIT. Mejia uses the example to highlight how teams of universities and other organizations will improve their research results with this equipment.

France Córdova, president (rector) of Purdue, believes that after four years of collaboration with the Colombian university, it’s time to expand the project to work more closely with EAFIT, an institution at the forefront of engineering in Colombia.