Research Computing is an umbrella in the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) at the University of Minnesota that consolidates management of research computing services.
Research Computing oversees the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, the University of Minnesota Informatics Institute, and U-Spatial. All three units are critical infrastructure that provide resources for compute- and data-intensive research to the University research community.
The goal of Research Computing is to:
- streamline and increase visibility of research computing services
- take a user-centric approach to delivering computational and data management services
- bring people and resources together to create a seamless user experience
- provide funding
Research Computing Units
Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI)
The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) provides advanced research computing infrastructure and expertise to the University's research and scholarly community and the State of Minnesota in order to advance and accelerate research and foster innovation and discoveries through advanced computing technologies, scientific computing and informatics, application development, and services.
MSI's High Performance Computing (HPC) systems, Mesabi and Itasca, are designed for compute- and memory-intensive programs and are primarily accessed via a terminal interface. In addition, MSI offers interactive HPC resources. MSI consultants assist the user community with their questions on computing and storage resources. They participate as key personnel in research projects. MSI makes available high performance and second tier data storage, and hosts portals and databases. The institute also regularly offers tutorials on MSI, bioinformatics, and other scientific computing topics.
University of Minnesota Informatics Institute (UMII)
The University of Minnesota Informatics Institute fosters and accelerates data-intensive research across the University system in agriculture, arts, design, engineering, environment, health, humanities, and social sciences through informatics services, competitive grants, and consultation. UMII serves as the link to connect the research community to the services related to managing data across the data life cycle.
UMII developed a service layer to interface with high-throughput facilities on one side and the Minnesota Supercomputing Research Informatics Solutions (RIS) on the other side. The institute's analysts process and analyze data generated in high-throughput facilities (the University of Minnesota Genomics Center, Center for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics, and University Imaging Centers). Workflows for NGS data produce reports on the quality and standard statistics. UMII consultants also provide imaging analysis and consulting and standard analysis for mass spectrometry data.
UMII provides funding for informatics-related research in both MnDRIVE and other areas.
U-Spatial serves and drives a fast-growing need for expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and spatial computing across the University. Spatiality is a ‘Rosetta Stone’ for transdisciplinary teams. U-Spatial collaborates closely with large research centers and programs, and purposely seeks to serve researchers working in the so-called “long tail” of the scientific enterprise. These are often smaller projects that cannot support full-time spatial research staff, but with a little help from U-Spatial, cumulatively provide a good deal of critical research that advances the many missions of a land-grant university and offer disproportionately great benefits.
U-Spatial has been nationally recognized in many venues as a leading model for how universities can successfully integrate spatial data, visualization, analysis, and spatial thinking.