High Performance Computers for Plant Science Department

Project Title: Seeking funds for upgrading computer facilities in the Department of Plant Sciences of the University of Colombo for the Bioinformatics Special Degree Students

Funds to be raised: $2750 x 2 =5500

After reviewing the proposal submitted to the executive committee of CUFSAA by the plant science department, CUFSAA has undertaken the task to raise funds to purchase two high performance computers to the plant science department at University of Colombo. Currently the department does not have adequate computational facilities to serve the Bioinformatics special degree students. Bioinformatics is a promising research field and in the last few years the field has grown enormously. The plant science department plans to train the current bio informatics students suitable to the needs of the field and needs these high performance computers. Bioinformatics based research projects require significant amount of dedicated and continuous computer time to do the analysis and run programs which sometimes last for a couple of hours or days. Currently the department receive around 6-8 bioinformatics special degree students every year and all of them are required to conduct a final year research project in addition to the academic courses and other training programs. In particular, most of the final year research projects require continuous use of high-end computer facilities for long periods and having their own high end computer facility will help the faculty to train the students for today’s job market. CUFSAA also discussed whether cluster based computing can provide a good enough solution. However, many students lack adequate computer and networking facilities to connect to a cluster. Also, given the number of students and their course loads, flexibility becomes a crucial issue. CUFSAA also looked for expert opinion and found flexibility to be a very important practical aspect in this type of research and is planning to fund one computer initially with an external hard drive (< 5 TB) to facilitate data storage and based on the progress to fund the second computer in the future.

Proposal Outline
The Department of Plant Science wishes to set up a high-performance computer facility to enhance applied bioinformatics skills among undergraduate students and initiate genome-scale research projects. In this regard, the Department wishes to purchase two high-performance computers to meet the current requirement. The Head of the department of Plant Sciences, Dr. C. M. Nanayakkara sent CUFSAA a Request for Funding and the association expressed its willingness to support the project. CUFSAA also discussed whether cluster based computing can provide a good enough solution. However, the bioinformatics special degree students and faculty require longer uninterrupted flexible time to complete their research projects which can take a couple of hours or days. Hence given the number of students and their course loads, flexibility becomes a crucial issue. CUFSAA also looked for expert opinion and found flexibility to be a very important practical aspect in this type of research.

Please review the complete project proposal and support us. The complete project proposal is here.

You can send your donations to CUFSAA via postal mail or via Paypal/credit card using the donation button below.

 




To post a paper check to CUFSAA, please make your checks payable to CUFSAA and add Plant Science Project on the memo line.
The postal address to send the donations is:

Colombo University Faculty of Science Alumni Association
c/o Dr. Saliya De Silva
393 Valley Road
River Edge NJ 07661
USA.

Thank you for your support!