An advanced computing system was constructed at Bridgewater State University to provide students access to computing machines tailored to the purpose of computational scientific research. This paper provides an overview of the construction, design, capability, and future potential of the computing system.

Project Reasoning
During the course of projects utilizing a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model, it became evident that the desktop computing machines provided to students in computer labs were not capable of yielding results in a reasonable amount of time for non-standard applications. The standard configuration of computers in the Conant Science and Mathematics Center at Bridgewater State University is sufficient for the majority of student purposes; however, these standard computers become insufficient for more comprehensive applications. Because of this insufficiency, it became necessary to seek better performing computer systems to support research applications.

Project Execution
To increase the computational power of computing systems on campus, two distinct steps were taken. The first step was the upgrade of a standard desktop computer. This upgrade provided a single desktop machine with superior computing capability to the standard machines available to students. The second step was the construction of a Linux computer cluster from several networked previous generation machines.

Note on the Author

Jared Buckley, Jason Covert and Talia Martin collaborated on developing a more efficient technology resource for scientific computing under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Hellström (Geography). Jared (’14) majored in Physics at BSU and is continuing his interest in using computing systems to study weather and climate at UMass Dartmouth. Jason is majoring in geography and has an interest in weather studies and GIS mapping. Talia is a physics major at BSU and enjoys astronomy. She was awarded a 2013 NASA Space Grant to conduct astrophysics research.

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