Big changes on the way at Boston University


From the Boston Globe series ON THE HOT SEAT by Michael B. Farrell

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Boston University was invited to join the Association of American Universities, an elite club that includes Harvard and Yale, and applications surged 20 percent last fall. But it has also endured a hockey scandal, fatal accidents among its students, and a campus crime spree. BU president Robert Brown spoke to Globe reporter Michael B. Farrell about the issues at the school, and some of its latest endeavors. Below are his comments about one of them: MGHPCC.

Boston University recently collaborated with some of the area’s other big universities to build a $95 million green computing center in Holyoke. Why are you getting in the business of data centers?

The logic of building it is pretty simple. All these research­ intensive universities were sitting here building small data centers, putting in air conditioning, putting in expensive electricity and cooling to host a growing amount of computer processing units. Now, you start getting collaboration among these research entities in Massachusetts that normally have not worked together.

So, what can you achieve with all this computing power?

It will create an environment where we can share data sets and have the scientific computing capabilities to work with them. The most important thing is that our scientists are talking to each other.