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High Performance Computing

USD operates two supercomputer systems, also known as High Performance Computing (HPC) clusters, supercomputing clusters, or simply clusters. Supercomputers solve computational problems that are too large or too time consuming to perform on traditional desktop computers.


Black and white image of Ernest Orlando Lawrence

The Lawrence Supercomputer was acquired through a combination of state and federal funding: a FY16 SD Board of Regents Research And Development Innovation award, and National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation award OAC-1626516

Lawrence is named after Nobel Laureate and USD Alumnus E. O. Lawrence. 

Lawrence runs the CentOS Linux operating system and is made up of over 2,000 CPU cores, including systems with 1.5TB of memory, GPU accelerators, and over 400TB of shared high-speed data storage accessible via a 56Gb FDR Infiniband network. Lawrence has an estimated performance of over 60TFLOPS.


The Legacy Supercomputer was acquired in 2006 through USD’s Institutional Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. It was expanded in 2009 and 2011 with additional NIH funding, and the last expansion in 2013 was funded by the college of Arts and Sciences. Legacy's user base has grown from a small cohort of bioinformatics faculty in 2006 to virtually all Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics disciplines with emerging use cases in the humanities.

Legacy is named after the 'Legacy' sculpture on USD's Vermillion campus.

Legacy runs the CentOS Linux operating system and is made up of 680 AMD Opteron CPU cores with 70TB of shared network storage.

Getting Access

Access is free to all non-commercial entities in South Dakota. Students must have a faculty sponsor or advisor. Access to non-SD entities is granted on a case-by-case basis.

To request access, submit the form found on the High Performance Computing service page  in Coyote One Stop.

Getting Help

  • General announcements are posted to USD's HPC mailing list. All users are automatically added to this mailing list.
  • System documentation is available in the Research Computing Wiki site

Gaussian Software

Lawrence includes the Gaussian09 and Gaussian16 versions of the Gaussian computational chemistry software package. Users interested in using Gaussian on Lawrence should contact USD Chemistry.

If you have other questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk

Academic Commons - I.D. Weeks Room 104
Submit requests online at

Toll Free:  877-225-0027
Phone: 605-658-6000