The Monmouth College department of computer science has received a hardware grant from the NVIDIA Corporation for a high-end graphics card.
Along with senior computer science major Mike Stees of Plainfield, assistant professor Logan Mayfield applied for the grant.
“As part of NVIDIA’s academic partnership program, they accept requests for hardware donations,” Mayfield explained. “More specifically, people request very high-end graphics cards from them. These cards are used for all kinds of computationally-intense tasks and usually cost as much as one whole computer. For example, the card I’m getting is worth about $2,000. So it’s potentially worth more than the computer you put it in. … This brings something new and cutting edge to Monmouth.”
The card will be used to simulate quantum circuits, a form of quantum computer. Quantum computing could potentially be used to solve problems more efficiently than can be done with classical computing.
“The computing community currently cannot build a full-scale quantum computer,” added Mayfield. “Simulators allow us to explore the model without the actual hardware. I plan to use this simulator in future research on quantum computing.”
He recently spoke about that research at a faculty colloquium titled “Excursions in Applied Theoretical Computer Science.”
From its beginnings in PC graphics in 1993, NVIDIA expanded into professional graphics to become the standard bearer in visual computing. It later harnessed the parallel computing capabilities of the GPU (graphics processing unit) – which the company invented in 1999 – to advance high-performance computing.