Building the Jetson Cluster

Looking to the STARS with the Jestons

Meet the Jetsons

Students building Jetsons Cluster
Students building Jetsons Cluster

This summer, our students working with the Research and Data Science Team designed and built a cluster supercomputer. The cluster is composed of 16 NVIDIA® Jetson Nano™ Developer Kits, which are small, powerful computers that fit in the palm of their hand. The cluster can be used for projects ranging from training and running AI/ML models for image classification, object detection, segmentation, and speech processing applications to running molecular dynamics simulations of drug-protein interactions.

Conner Ozenne, a junior Computer Science major and one of the students working on the project commented,The Jetson cluster has been a great opportunity for me to apply what I’ve learned from my computer science classes at SMU. It has also helped further my understanding of some foundational CS principles like networks and parallel computing.”

This fall, they will be completing the cluster, which they have named the Hyer Performance Cluster, for testing and experimentation. If you are interested in learning more, please get in touch with Dr. Eric Godat at

STARS Available for Technology Projects

SMU STAR ProgramFor over 20 years, the SMU Student Technology Assistant in Residence (STAR) Program has assisted numerous faculty and departments on hundreds of short-term instructional technology projects. With more faculty taking advantage of the Canvas Learning Management System, this lends the perfect opportunity to evaluate the materials and methods you have been using for years. Suppose you need help developing digital course-related materials. In that case, the STARS can help, whether it is converting class notes or handouts to PDF files, creating graphics, charts, maps, or animations for a course, or even shooting videos to explain a concept.

If you have an idea for a STAR Project or want to learn more, reach out to Dr. Jennifer Culver at

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Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle is an Adobe Creative Educator and the Senior IT Communications Specialist & Trainer for the Office of Information Technology (OIT). For over 25 years, he has helped the SMU community use technology and implement digital and web media through multiple roles with the Digital Commons, SMU STAR Program, and now OIT. Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family in his free time.