Business & Finance

RU Unveils New Supercomputer with Super-Potential


It resembles a block of towering, black skyscrapers. It hums like an airplane. You might expect it to power a spaceship or a city of tomorrow.

But it’s right here at Rutgers University.

It’s a supercomputer—the eighth-best among U.S. universities and the 49th-strongest in the world—and its name is Caliburn. Rutgers celebrated the launch of the $10 million powerhouse today, Dec. 15, before an auditorium of researchers, business types and students, to hopes of it being used to help cure diseases, learn about the world and provide a boost to New Jersey companies.

Sign Up for E-News

“All these technologies are very, very new,” said Manish Parashar, founding director of the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute and the man whose vision led to the birth of Caliburn. “They haven’t been used before at this scale.”

After a months-long installation process, the supercomputer went live this summer. Since then, student researchers have used it to display scientific models that are too complex to be imagined, university officials said. Others have used Caliburn as a compass on the path to solving mind-boggling diseases like Parkinson’s.

Ronald Ransome, a physics professor and dean of mathematical and physical sciences, said theoretical physicists can now test hypotheses and experiment in a new realm. Astronomers are simulating galaxies through Caliburn, trying to understand how galaxies, solar systems and even the universe form.

“It’s not something that you can solve with just pen and paper,” Ransome said.

What insiders call “big data”—the sweeping collection of information—can also be used to give businesses a competitive edge. That applies to nearly every industry, from clothing manufacturing to biomedical supplies, Peggy Brennan-Tonetta, RU’s associate vice president of economic development said.

The university intends to strike partnerships with private businesses, which will then use the supercomputer to ultimately make money, she said.

“For industry within the state, this is a game-changer,” she added.

And then consider this: Powerful computers have aided in the development of MRIs, CT scans and robotic surgery, David Foran, chief informatics officer at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, said.

Simply having Caliburn—whose name means “Excalibur,” for King Arthur’s sword, in Olde English—has attracted new talent to the cancer center, Foran said.

“I see Caliburn as being the vehicle that will probably take us to the next set of advances,” he said.

The supercomputer, which was paid for with state money, is also open to other New Jersey universities.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - July 19, 2018

TRENTON - Once the state budget is adopted June 30, you'd think the governor gets a break from scrutiny. Unless you are former Gov. Chris Christie, sitting in that beach chair. Or, now, Gov. Phil Murphy, getting wacked for having the players on his Sky Blue FC pro women's soccer team living in alleged squalor. Living in houses with plastic bags for windows, sleeping in bunk ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 18, 2018

STATEWIDE - One business in Pleasantville has flooded 32 different times since the early 1990s, and rebuilt each time with taxpayer money. A single-family home in North Wildwood has been flooded and rebuilt 23 times, again, on your dime. reports that New Jersey is filled with 3,330 properties that have routinely flooded since the 1970s, some as many as 20 or more times, yet ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 17, 2018

CAPE MAY - Call it a slow news day, nationwide, as the story of a lost dog somehow hit all the news wires. The pug named "Bean" escaped its owner's rental house over the weekend and wandered around backyards before police scooped it up on New Jersey Avenue. Cape May cops, likely not overrun with rampant crime from the bed-and-breakfast set, had plenty of time to post the ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 16, 2018

STATEWIDE - No one really wants to talk about it. But every time you turn on a household faucet for tap water, its likely messing with a centuries-old system that's possibly leaching lead. And, because of so many World War I-era systems, some parts of the state have an over-abundance of water, while others easily face drought. Of course, upgrading our water ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 12, 2018

WAYNE - Honey! Cancel our Aug. 9th anniversary dinner! I've got other plans! That's the night you can join this bozo and scores of others at "Lace," a Wayne "gentleman's club" where America's favorite tramp - Stormy Daniels - will strip live and in person. Stop at the bank, trade in your wad of 20s for stacks of singles.

The Jaffe Briefing - July 11, 2018

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - There's a Democratic primary in New York between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and "Sex in the City" star Cynthia Nixon. And why do we care? Because our governor is not blindly throwing his support behind Cuomo in the race, reports New Jersey Globe. "We're not getting involved in that," Murphy said, when asked who he supports, admitting he ...

Rutgers Prof to Climb Alps for Climate Change Study on Glaciers

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Lauren Neitzke Adamo has long enjoyed hiking along trails and through forests and over rock formations largely to see the natural surroundings.

“I’ve been a huge science nerd all my life,” said Adamo, who has a doctorate degree and is co-director of the Rutgers University Geology museum in New Brunswick.

Next month Adamo will head to the Swiss Alps ...

RU ready for RU Brewfest?

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - There's a lot of promotions planned this fall, as part of the Rutgers football season.

Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12, with seven home games. There's matchups against Big Ten East opponents Michigan and Penn State, and a first-time cross divisional meeting with Northwestern.

If football is not your thing, there's plenty else ...

New Brunswick Man Charged in Sex Assault of Ex-Girlfriend

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A city man was arrested today and charged with sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend and assaulting a bystander who tried to intervene, Rutgers University police said.

Frank Ferraro, 26, was arrested and charged with sexual assault and aggravated assault, university police said.

They said the victim was attacked about 5:27 p.m. Tuesday, July 3,  at the ...

Prosecutor: FBI Agent Took Improper Photos of Woman in Dressing Room

July 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK,NJ  - An FBI agent was arrested and charged with illegally photographing a 22-year-old woman in a dressing room, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said today.

The agent, Danuel Brown, 30, of Piscataway, was arrested was Thursday and charged with a single count of fourth-degree invasion of privacy for allegedly using his cell phone to take pictures of the woman while ...


To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

The Somerset Patriots And 9-1-1 On FOX Are Looking For Hero First Responders

July 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Patriots and 9-1-1 On FOX are asking for Hero First Responder nominations from the community.

Nominate a first responder to be recognized on the field during the pre-game ceremony and throw out a ceremonial first pitch at the Saturday, August 4th Somerset Patriots game against the New Britain Bees at TD Bank Ballpark. Three first responders will be chosen ...

Make the Call, Save a Life

July 12, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - There is much focus on preventative opioid abuse education. Rightfully so. However, the goal in addressing the opioid epidemic is saving lives. Even if that means just saving one life. While people are becoming increasingly aware of resources relating to rehabilitative services, support groups for friends and family of addicts, and training parents for signs of opioid and ...