UF becomes first U.S. university to acquire cutting-edge NVIDIA DGX A100 system, advancing its artificial intelligence initiative

Moving forward on its sweeping vision to transform the future of education through artificial intelligence (AI), the University of Florida is collaborating with technology company NVIDIA to acquire the world’s most advanced AI system to boost the performance of UF’s powerful supercomputer.

UF today announced it will be the country’s first higher education institution to acquire the new NVIDIA DGX™ A100 — the world’s most advanced AI system.

The new systems are scheduled to arrive at UF at the end of May and mark a significant step in the university’s bold initiative to become a national leader in the application of AI, an expansive plan that will elevate UF in research, teaching, and economic development. The initiative includes a commitment from UF to hire 100 faculty members specifically focused on AI, in addition to the 500 new faculty hired across disciplines -- many of whom will integrate AI into their teaching and research.​ UF is also embarking on a unique plan to infuse AI across academic majors, creating a next generation AI-enabled workforce and democratizing a technology that has the potential to solve some of the globe's most formidable challenges. 

“Artificial intelligence is poised to transform the way we all work with information, helping us address challenges and make discoveries that once seemed unattainable,” UF President Kent Fuchs said. “By immersing this powerful technology in the curriculum across UF, we are positioning Florida as a global leader in a technological revolution that -- similar to the smartphone -- will transform the way we live, work and interact with the world around us.”

“AI is transforming every industry, and the NVIDIA DGX A100 will help the University of Florida bring AI training, inference and data science into every field of study,” said Charlie Boyle, vice president and general manager of DGX systems, NVIDIA. “As the world’s most advanced AI system, DGX A100 will position the University of Florida to teach tomorrow’s leaders to harness the powers of AI as they take on our greatest challenges.”

The DGX A100 , which consolidates the performance and capabilities of an entire data center, supporting training, inference and analytics workloads on a single system for the first time, is an important building block in UF’s technological AI infrastructure. With the advanced workload of DGX A100, data that might previously have taken years for researchers to compile and analyze can be processed in minutes. Applicable across disciplines, UF’s commitment to the future of AI will raise the university’s national profile and position it as a global leader in addressing some of society’s most pressing challenges and opportunities, such as rising seas, aging populations, data security, climate change, personalized medicine, urban transportation and food insecurity.

“Artificial intelligence is already changing the way fields such as medicine, engineering, agriculture, business and pharmacy operate, and this trend will only accelerate as AI becomes ubiquitous,” said Joe Glover, UF provost. “At UF, we see an opening to position ourselves as a global leader and to help lead the nation to develop an advanced workforce trained and capable in AI." 

The initiative has generated enthusiasm across the university. In April, 590 faculty and researchers from across UF participated in an AI Retreat, which included planning for how powerful AI technology will be integrated across academic curricula, offer new opportunities for workforce partnerships, and raise UF's national research profile.

Brittany Wise May 14, 2020