Of course the National Science Foundation gets the credit for realizing in 1985 that the nation’s scientists needed high performance computing access. For the few in the audience who may not be familiar with it, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 1,700 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes nearly 10,000 new funding awards. The programs that PSC has received major funding under over the last 20 years include the Supercomputer Centers program, the Terascale initiative and most recently the TeraGrid. The TeraGrid project currently consists of a partnership of 9 organizations for the operation, user support and enhancement of a nationwide, integrated facility providing world’s largest, most comprehensive distributed cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research, including leading edge computing, data resources and tools and other high-end experimental facilities.
This latest program is supported within a new organization, the Office of Cyberinfrastructure. This office reports to the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the NSF, Kathie Olsen. Dr. Olsen is a graduate of Chatham College here in Pittsburgh, majoring in both biology and psychology and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of California, Irvine. She has won numerous awards while working as a research scientist, an NSF program officer and on detail to Congress, as the Chief Scientist at NASA and in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. We are honored to have Kathie with us today to provide remarks from the NSF prospective.