New data science computing resources honors memory of Olvi Mangasarian

Two new GPU servers recently acquired by the American Family Insurance Data Science Institute(DSI) at UW-Madison honor the memory of Dr. Olvi Mangasarian, who passed away in March 2020. Dr. Mangasarian, John von Neumann Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Computer Sciences at UW-Madison, was a pioneer and leader in the field of mathematical programming.

“Dr. Mangasarian’s fundamental contributions range from abstract theory to practical applications,” says Glenn Fung, a data science and artificial intelligence expert at American Family Insurance who was a student of Dr. Mangasarian. “His results have been characterized as very elegant, having great impact and providing the basis for many recent advances in the field of machine learning.”

The two fully equipped 8xA100 NViDIA GPU servers, named Olvi-1 and Olvi-2, are a dedicated campus resource for data science research. The servers are connected to the UW high-speed network, with access to other UW computation and data storage resources. While there are many GPUs in use on campus, these top-of-the-line units will allow researchers to address computing bottlenecks by running larger jobs.

“A GPU, or graphics processing unit, is a specialized processor that is really good at computations for graphics,” says David Parter, Director of Academic and Computing Services in the UW-Madison Computer Sciences Department. “Being specialized for graphics makes it really good at other specialized computations, like deep learning.”

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