Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                         CONTACT:
June 11, 1993                                     Michael Schneider
                                                  Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Wins
Computerworld Smithsonian Award for Science

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center won the 1993 Computerworld Smithsonian Award for science. The award, given for uses of information technology that benefit society, recognizes the center's efforts to bring high-performance computing to bear on research that improves the quality of human life. In particular, the award cites the center's involvement in important biomedical research on interactions between proteins and DNA.

The center's two scientific directors, Michael Levine, physics professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and Ralph Roskies, physics professor at the University of Pittsburgh, accepted the award at a June 7 ceremony in Washington, D.C. "This is a tribute to the foresight of the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health," said Roskies, "who realized that high-performance computing would raise science to new heights, and that supercomputing centers would catalyze fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations." "The results of this research could not have been obtained," said Levine, "except through the techniques of computational science and the use of powerful supercomputers."

The award also recognizes the center's role in fostering an intellectual environment conducive to getting computational research off the ground, said Roskies and Levine. It was through Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center seminars and educational programs that Rosenberg teamed up with other scientists -- computational chemist Peter Kollman of the University of California, San Francisco and physicist Robert Swendsen of Carnegie Mellon University -- a collaboration that was vital in overcoming the problems encountered in this kind of research.

As a winner of the award, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center will be included in a permanent exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, "The Information Age: People, Information and Technology." More than 850 computer industry leaders attended the June 7 black-tie awards dinner at the National Building Museum emceed by CNN talk-show host Larry King.

This is the second year in a row that the Computerworld Smithsonian award for science went to a Pittsburgh organization. Westinghouse Electric Corporation won the 1992 award for their work establishing university-based supercomputing centers, in particular the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. James Kasdorf, director of supercomputing for Westinghouse, joined Levine and Roskies in accepting this year's award. The Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program originated in 1989 to recognize the positive impact that information technology has on human life. The annual award is given in 10 categories, which in addition to science include finance, government, medicine, arts and transportation.

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, a joint project of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with Westinghouse Electric Corporation, was established in 1986 by a grant from the National Science Foundation with support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Its purpose is to develop and make available state-of-the-art high-performance computing for scientific researchers nationwide. To date, more than 5,200 scientists and engineers at more than 400 universities and research centers in 49 states have used the center's facilities, and this work has resulted in more than 1,300 published papers in professional science and engineering journals.

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Related article, with graphics and animation, from Projects in Scientific Computing, PSC research report.

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