About Research Computing

Research Computing helps to enable and accelerate compute, data, and spatial research at the University of Minnesota. As a unit of the Research and Innovation Office, Research Computing is the administrative organization that oversees the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, U-Spatial, and the Data Science Initiative. Research Computing seeks to coordinate its member units to increase the visibility of their respective services, effectively collaborate and partner with all UMN campuses and national computing and IT providers, and provide a seamless user experience to the University’s research and scholarly communities. 

Research Computing covers a broad range of research needs from advanced computing and data storage hardware, to dedicated expertise, software, training, and seed grants. See below for more information on how Research Computing can help to advance your research goals. 


Research Computing is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) at the University of Minnesota that brings together the diverse portfolio of research computing and data resources available at the University. Research Computing houses two collaborative units that provide research computing expertise, resources, training, and services across the University and beyond. The units contained under the Research Computing umbrella are the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute and U-Spatial.

Both units are critical infrastructure that provide resources for compute- and data-intensive research to the University research community. These resources cover a broad range of research needs, from consultation and collaboration with domain experts, to hardware and software resources, to education and training in a computational methods and technologies.

Minnesota Supercomputing Institute

The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) provides advanced research computing infrastructure and expertise to the University's research and scholarly community and the State of Minnesota in order to advance and accelerate research and foster innovation and discoveries through advanced computing technologies, scientific computing and informatics, application development, and services.


U-Spatial serves and drives a fast-growing need for expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and spatial computing across the University. Spatiality is a ‘Rosetta Stone’ for transdisciplinary teams. U-Spatial collaborates closely with large research centers and programs, and purposely seeks to serve researchers working in the so-called “long tail” of the scientific enterprise. These are often smaller projects that cannot support full-time spatial research staff.

Data Science Initiative

The University of Minnesota is a powerhouse in cutting edge Data Science research with many high-quality Data Science activities already existing throughout the system campuses. The U of MN Data Science Initiatives primary focus is university-wide communication, coordination, integration, and amplification of those activities. This includes both near-term coordination of existing efforts to maximize efficiency and far-term collaboration to initiate new research and education topics.