Beverly Clayton

Executive Director, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
PHOTO: Beverly Clayton at the podium in Mellon Auditorium

Twenty years! impossible! It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating our first anniversary with the Open House of our recently completed office space, and Grace Hopper delivered the keynote speech.

So, how did all this get started? In the early 80’s, supercomputers were being used by some corporations - for example oil industries, automotive and nuclear energy. Government agencies were also using them. However, University faculty researchers in the United States were not able to have access to high performance computers for their work. Many were going to Europe to do their research. Congress allocated money for the National Science Foundation to fund high performance computing centers in 1985.

I have heard many stories about how the Pittsburgh Center was established. When the NSF solicitation came out, Mike Levine of CMU was approached by faculty at another university and asked if he would like to join their proposal. Mike spoke to his colleague and co-researcher Ralph Roskies and they discussed this contact. After some discussion, Mike reportedly said “WE should do this” to which Ralph said “what makes you think we can do it?” and Mike replied “don’t you think if they can do it, we can too?”

I am pleased to introduce the “can-do” man, Mike Levine, Co-founder and Scientific Director of PSC, Professor of Physics and Vice Provost of Scientific Computing at Carnegie Mellon University.

[remarks by Michael Levine]