To support our courses we have an extensive set of facilities.

Specialist facilities

For machine learning, data science and artificial intelligence

The department has the following resources for demanding machine learning experiments.

Orca pool

A new 200 machine lab is set up as a pool of computers (called the “orca” pool). This is a good facility for machine learning experiments because each machine has a Nvidia Quadro P4000 Graphics Card, and each card has 8GB memory, i.e. 200 GPUs available.

These machines can be controlled remotely. You can submit machine learning jobs to the pool of 200 machines, and jobs will be queued and run on the first available machine. You can submit multiple jobs, potentially running multiple models in parallel on different machines. You can also run jobs overnight. For example, you could submit multiple jobs in the evening and login in the morning to see the results. The results get saved into your own university managed home drive.

Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 cards

For research the department has servers with Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 cards, we have eight of these cards in total. They are fast and their memory is high at 24GB, which enables training large models, e.g. those using the transformer architecture.

Nvidia Tesla K40m

The department also has two Nvidia Tesla K40m. These are older, but their memory is still good at 12GB. This facility is also available to students who need to run large jobs.

For edge and cloud computing, networking and distributed systems and security

We have an OpenNebula server which provides our own "cloud" environment in which students can safely explore security software, like configuring firewalls or performing penetration testing using metasploit, as well as experiment with different network setups to learn about the intricacies of computer networking.

Remote connection

All the Linux labs can be accessed remotely using a web browser which will allow students access to a full desktop remotely (i.e. from home or their student accommodation) with all the application as if they were in the lab, or alternatively a direct ssh can be used.

A similar facility is also offered for Windows-based lab machines and students can use the VM Horizon client to access Windows PCs from home or their student accommodation.

Free software

The majority of the software that we use as part of our degree is open-source (Eclipse, Java, Python, Linux) and hence free for you to download and use.

We also provide a range of other commercial software for which we have a site licence and which students can download and use while they are studying for their degree, e.g. Office365 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc), SPSS, Matlab (note this list is not exhaustive and subject to change).