Council on Academic Computing

March 28, 2007

Meeting Summary

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

Ralph Roskies, Co-Scientific Director, of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, discussed the future of high-performance computing.  He focused upon petascale computing.  Increases in computing power will be achieved not through novel computing architecture, as once believed, but through additional processors.  The petascale machines will present several operational challenges, such as additional power requirements and load balancing issues.

The NSF will award $200 million to a consortium to build a high-performance computer with sustained, petascale capability.  The machine, which will be operational by 2011, will enable scientists to model phenomena that they have heretofore been unable to model adequately.  Other U.S. agencies, such as the Department of Energy, and other countries, such as Japan and the member states of the European Union, are sponsoring similar initiatives.


Members of the Council discussed several other issues:

  • the academic computing seminar series
  • multidisciplinary simulation and modeling project
  • multidisciplinary energy project
  • Center for Molecular and Materials Simulations