In September of 2018, a group of CI students, working on their senior capstone project under my supervision, started to build a machine capable of massive parallel computing. We christened the machine “The Beast.” We undertook to build the machine following the specification of the So Cal High Technology Task Force (HTTF) digital forensics lab in Ventura County.
The Beast was built with five EVGA GeForce GTX 1080Ti, capable of massive computational parallelism, a MSI Z370-A-Pro motherboard, a i5-8400 CPU, as well as a Hydra II 8 GPU 6U Server Mining Rig Case, and power supplied capable of maintaining four big fans; cooling The Beast was an important part of the project.
The students who participated in the project were, in alphabetical order, Noelle Abe, Benjamin Alcazar, Matthew Atcheson, Joshua Buckley, Joshua Carter, John Miller, Scott Slocum, Ryan Torres and Devon Trammell (the team leader). On May 2nd, after working on the project during both terms of 2018/19, and having overcome many technical difficulties, the team presented The Beast at the Computer Science Advisory Board Meeting and the Computer Science Capstone Showcase; following these presentation, The Beast was handed over to the SoCal HTTF digital forensics lab. As you can see from the first picture above, The Beast has settled in its new home, a cooling room at the HTTF lab.
One thought on “The Beast project”
Working on The Beast was an amazing experience. It was great to make something real that would be put to a meaningful purpose. A thing we built is going to be used to do some real good, and that’s not something a lot of people are able to say about school projects. It definitely made it easier to apply ourselves to something that actually matters.
In the time spent working on this, the whole team got exposed to solving real problems from the platform of our formal instruction. We also got the opportunity to experience presenting a real product to real people in industry instead of staying entirely within theory-tale land.
Being exposed to solving real problems and interacting with the business side of things was a fantastic and meaningful experience that has completely changed the tone of what I take away from my experiences here at CI and bring to whatever comes next.