Arizona State University & CR8DL | Orchestrating Cloud-Supported Workspaces For A Computational Biochemistry Course At Large Scale

In an innovative partnership, Arizona State University (ASU) and cr8dl.ai joined forces to revolutionize the educational landscape for biochemistry students. This collaboration introduced a Jupyter notebook-based interface to datacenter resources for a semester-long, computationally intensive biochemistry course project.

Streamlining Access To Advanced Computing Resources

Faced with the challenge of making high-performance computing (HPC) accessible, the project provided ASU undergraduate biochemistry students, who had limited HPC experience, a gateway to vast computational capabilities. Through CR8DL’s cloud environment, students accessed essential computing resources, such as CPUs, RAM, and cutting-edge GPU technologies, without needing to understand complex computer system architectures.

Utilizing AlphaFold For Protein Structure Prediction

The course’s centerpiece, a semester-long project leveraging the AlphaFold software for protein structure prediction, illustrated the power of this collaboration. Students engaged in the iterative process of generating protein structures and validating their accuracy using quantitative pLDDT scores. This hands-on experience not only deepened their understanding of biochemistry but also introduced them to the computational techniques transforming the field.

Accelerating Innovation With Parafold

The introduction of Parafold, an enhancement developed during the project, exemplified the ongoing improvement of the computational workflow. By parallelizing computations, Parafold significantly accelerated the protein prediction process, enabling students to achieve results faster and more efficiently.

Evolving Towards An Inclusive Computational Future & Accelerating Discovery

As CR8DL sought to further enhance the user experience in complex coursework, it remained focused on lowering barriers to entry and fostering an environment where iterative experimentation was encouraged. The success of the ASU and CR8DL initiative not only demonstrated the potential of cloud-supported workspaces in educational settings but also set a precedent for democratizing access to supercomputing resources. This initiative empowered students and researchers alike to accelerate discovery and innovation in their fields, signaling a significant shift towards a more inclusive computational future.

For an in-depth exploration of the project’s achievements and methodologies, we invite you to read the full research paper here.