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Srikant uses world's most advanced supercomputers to combat COVID-19

3/29/2020

Joseph Park, Illinois ECE

Rayadurgam Srikant
Rayadurgam Srikant

Illinois ECE Professor Rayadurgam Srikant, Fredric G. and Elizabeth H. Nearing Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is working with the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute to find ways to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

As the co-director of the institute, Srikant will be using supercomputing power from C3.ai, Microsoft, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois per The New York Times

According to the NCSA, this new institute is a multi-disciplinary effort focused on artificial intelligence and advanced computing. Founded by Thomas M. Siebel, the institute aims to find new ways of alleviating the spread of the disease, accelerating the development of treatment, predicting the evolution of the disease, and learning how to fight infectious outbreaks in the future. The institute will be accepting initial proposals related to those fields.

The Blue Waters supercomputer in the NCSA at the University of Illinois (Picture credit to The New York Times/C3.ai)
The Blue Waters supercomputer in the NCSA at the University of Illinois (Picture credit to The New York Times/C3.ai)

C3.ai plans to award up to 26 grants annually, with each featuring up to $500,000 in research funds as well as computing resources. Proposals should be submitted by May and the first grants will be awarded in June with the research findings to be made public. Siebel stated that the consortium would spend "$367 million in its initial five years" to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

"This new institute will greatly expand the use of computing and data to improve the world, starting with bringing together a consortium of leading institutions to address the COVID-19 crisis," stated NCSA Director William "Bill" Gropp. 

Read more from the NCSA and The New York Times.