Scientists looking for ways to improve chemotherapy narrowed millions of drug interactions down to three compounds with the help of a supercomputer at Southern Methodist University.
Meanwhile, a community psychologist in the university’s education school uses it to analyze academic results to identify what programs are having an impact in Dallas ISD students.
Being a data-driven university is key to SMU providing blockbuster research that leads to discoveries and designs impacting the Dallas community and the world at large, SMU president Gerald Turner said Monday.
“Information technology and data science are critical to the future of any 21st-century business and to the future of Dallas,” Turner said. “Data drives our economy.”
Turner spoke to area leaders about the progress SMU has made over its first 100 years. As he talked about what’s next for the university, he said SMU’s major commitment is to grow data-related initiatives in every discipline at the school that will help focus projects and produce more dynamic research.
In the past five years, SMU has invested about $85 million in data curriculum and in a supercomputer now known as ManeFrame II.
A high-speed supercomputer helps researchers study complex issues by processing massive amounts of data. SMU’s computer has tackled issues ranging from cyber security to cancer.
For example, researchers were able to narrow down drug compounds to find out which can overcome resistance to chemotherapy. They then used a Minecraft-like game to simulate treatment to further identify what works.
Turner said SMU’s supercomputing power is among the top 20 of the nation’s universities.
The university already offers 13 graduate degrees related to data science and plans to be one of the first in the nation to offer a bachelor’s when it does so next fall.