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NMSU professor receives Manasse award to fund artificial intelligence project

New Mexico State University computer science professor Enrico Pontelli has received the College of Arts and Sciences' Manasse award to support his endeavor to make solving artificial intelligence problems more affordable.


Headshot of Enrico Pontelli
Enrico Pontelli, a computer science professor and department head at New Mexico State University, has received the College of Arts and Sciences' Manasse Scholar award to fund his artificial intelligence research project. (Submitted photo)

The S.P. Manasse and Margaret Manasse Endowed Fund Scholar award is a two-year, $10 thousand award presented to faculty members who are actively engaged in scholarship, exhibit outstanding teaching and research and have excelled in their discipline.

"This award represents an eminent scholar, and you can't find a more eminent scholar on this campus than Enrico Pontelli," said College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean Ken Van Winkle.

Pontelli's research project, "Exploiting the Unexploited: Artificial Intelligence on a $300 supercomputer," will address the use of inexpensive graphics cards found in most PCs.

"I intend to explore how one can use very cheap computing hardware as inexpensive supercomputers, and use them to solve complicated problems from artificial intelligence very quickly," said Pontelli, the computer science department head.

Pontelli will use the funds for frequent travel to Italy where he will collaborate with his research group. The award will also be used for equipment purchases as well as support for his graduate students.

"The award came as a total surprise," Pontelli said. "The college has so many strong researchers, thus the competition for this award is surely strong. I'm very happy to have received it, and excited about having the opportunity to dedicate time to this new research endeavor."

For more information about the The S.P. Manasse and Margaret Manasse Endowed Fund Scholar award visit http://artsci.nmsu.edu/manasse-scholar.