Preventing Future Droughts

SJSU-IBM Acceleration: Preventing Future Drought


Professor Sen Chiao, Chair of the SJSU Center for Applied Atmospheric Research and Education (CAARE), wants to solve California’s water usage problems and help prevent future droughts. His system incorporates analysis of satellite data, weather data, drought conditions, and water usage reports to provide real-time water analyses, forecast key indicators, and guide water management and consumption decisions. There was just one problem -- power. Such a comprehensive modeling system requires computing resources SJSU just didn’t have. That is, until SJSU joined forces with IBM. 


Dr. Chiao’s project now leverages the Quantum and High-Performance Computing resources of IBM. He and his team of SJSU graduate students are on their way collecting data and helping solve one of our state’s biggest problems. With an approved special request, CAARE has developed a system that incorporates HPC on IBM Cloud with a storage requirement of 7.5TB of data and 9,000 CPU hours. By doing this on the SJSU/IBM Cloud Dr. Chiao saved about $20,000 dollars in storage and computing costs. What’s more, his simulation has sped up seven-fold. 


CAARE is a cooperative partnership with SJSU working as lead institution alongside researchers at University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC). With a special agreement with NASA, CAARE provides opportunities for underrepresented minorities in atmospheric-related disciplines, including meteorology, climate, physics, hydrology, public health, and engineering, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. And, because Dr. Chiao was granted full access rights, CAARE can grant server access to graduate students and colleagues without extra steps or challenging limitations. 


This is just one powerful example of how SJSU and IBM are working together to solve today’s problems while giving hands-on experience to tomorrow’s leaders.