Big Red 200 kicks off the Bicentennial

IU dedicated its new supercomputer as part of 'A Day of Commemoration: IU's 200th Anniversary' on January 20, 2020

Photos by Alex Kumar | Indiana University

The morning of IU's actual 200th birthday—January 20, 2020—dawned crisp and cold, with temperatures hovering around 19 degrees F.

That icy air didn't stop more than 400 friends and colleagues from attending the first event of that momentous day: the 10am dedication of Big Red 200, IU's artificial intelligence supercomputer—the fastest supercomputer in the state. It's almost 300 times faster than the original Big Red supercomputer from 15 years ago. 

Michael McRobbie speaks at the CIB in front of the Crystal wall display

Welcome to the Bicentennial. IU President McRobbie delivered opening remarks about the state of Indiana's fastest supercomputer, Big Red 200. 

IU President Michael A. McRobbie presided over the standing-room-only event, with additional remarks by Bradley C. Wheeler, IU vice president for IT and chief information officer, vice president for communications and marketing; Charles A. Morreale, senior vice president, field operations, Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company; and Kay Connelly, associate dean for research, professor of informatics, IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.

Matt Link stands in the audience at the Big Red 200 dedication.

Stand-up guy. Matt Link, IU associate vice president for research technologies, waves to the crowd after President McRobbie recognizes his work bringing Big Red 200 to fruition. 

The new supercomputer is the latest major milestone in IU's leadership in pushing the boundaries of computing to advance world-class research.

Kay Connelly speaks at the Big Red 200 dedication.

Some love from Luddy. Kay Connelly, a professor and associate dean in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, was a featured speaker during the ceremony. 

The audience at the CIB clap

Put your hands together. Cray's Charles Morreale, left, and IU's Brad Wheeler, right, join the crowd in celebrating Big Red 200.

"Big Red 200’s impressive AI capabilities will allow IU researchers to understand phenomena in the natural world that simply cannot be understood otherwise—and to make breakthrough discoveries in a wide range of research areas, including the early detection of breast cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's," McRobbie said during the ceremony.

To learn more about how Big Red 200 will accelerate research breakthroughs in a variety of fields, watch this short video:


IU President Michael McRobbie and Matt Link discuss the wiring in the Big Red 200 supercomputer

Let's take a look inside. Matt Link, IU associate vice president for research technologies, left, shows off Big Red 200's inner workings to IU President McRobbie and First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie.   

IU President Michael McRobbie and his wife pose in front of the Big Red 200 supercomputer

A good photo opp. The McRobbies pose with the new system, whose panels display the names of more than 300 academic disciplines that will benefit from its enormous computational capacity.