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High-performance computing event to host Watson

August 30, 2011

Watson, meet Saguaro.

Watson, of course, is IBM’s “DeepQA” computing system that recently competed against human contestants on Jeopardy!, while Saguaro is Arizona State University’s less-famous advanced computing system.

ASU’s Advanced Computing Center (A2C2), which manages Saguaro, and IBM’s high-performance computing team will sponsor a free event featuring research presentations from ASU and IBM from 1 to 5 p.m., Sept. 14, in the ASU Memorial Union Turquoise Ballroom, Tempe campus.

The event will start with introductions and presentations by researchers from ASU and TGen. At 2 p.m., the IBM team will talk about their work, and at 3:45, Watson will take the stage. The event concludes with informal poster presentations highlighting ASU’s community research interests, high-performance computing and A2C2’s services and facilities.

Watson, named in honor of IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson, is a highly advanced Question Answering computing system developed by a group of 25 IBM researcher scientists, with teams specializing in algorithms, strategy, systems, speech and annotations.

Watson has the capability to progressively learn and improve within a game category as the game progresses and only wagers when it can manage its risk in a competitive time and with a certain level of confidence in the DeepQA answer.

IBM is working with its researchers and university partners and clients to identify the many potential uses for Watson’s QA technology, according to IBM’s high-performance computing team. The technology used to create Watson can be adapted to solve problems and drive progress in a variety of fields, including healthcare, government, financial markets, transit and transportation, and call centers.

According to HPCT member Veronica Sanchez, IBM has the world’s largest IT research organization that employees more than 3,000 scientists and engineers in eight labs across six countries, with an annual R & D budget of more than $5.8 billion. IBM’s research commitment is to develop more powerful HPC computing systems and overcome obstacles to parallelism and other revolutionary approaches to supercomputing. IBM was awarded more than 5,800 patents in 2010, and has been the US patent leader for the last 18 years.

To R.S.V.P. for this event, go to

For general inquiries or questions, contact Marisa Brazil at (480) 727-0536 or