Department of Computer Engineering, University of Peradeniya has acquired a brand-new workstation with the intent of powering and fostering research and projects for faculty and students alike. The purchase was fully funded by Association of Computer Engineering Students alumni, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering alumni, and other well-wishers. Named Turing, the workstation will enable the execution of highly demanding workloads through its Intel Core i9-13900K CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti GPU.
The University of Peradeniya has housed the best high performance computing facilities in the country with the establishment of the NVIDIA Research Center and the funding from the government for many years. These resources have enabled education and research outcomes in the fields of GPU computing, artificial intelligence, computer vision and machine learning (specifically with resource hungry deep neural networks) in the past few years. In addition, University of Peradeniya researchers have already started to explore the next generation of AI/ML/CV/NLP techniques such as transformer architectures and large language models in order to replace classical neural networks. These newer techniques called for higher computational capabilities than was possible with previous facilities. However, difficulties with NVIDIA’s hardware grant program, recent economic issues, and import restrictions had created barriers for acquiring new hardware.
To address this, a couple of ACES alumni organized a fundraiser: funds were collected November thru December 2022; parts were purchased & shipped from the USA; and the workstation was assembled & tested by former and current students. We wish to thank all the donors who contributed to this effort; Prof. Roshan Ragel for guidance, Prof. Roshan Godaliyadda and Prof. Vijitha Herath for their endorsement; Dr. Samurdhi Karunarathne (E/13) & Mr. Gihan Jayathilake (E/14): for leading the fundraiser, Mr. Chaminda Bandara (E/13) for help with transportation; and Mr. Nuwan Jaliyagoda (E/15) and Mr. Akila Karunanayake (E/17) for assistance with the workstation setup.