Mark A. Nordenberg

Chancellor, the University of Pittsburgh
[remarks by Ralph Roskies]

Thanks, Ralph, and good afternoon, everyone. It is great to be with you for this very special birthday party! And it is a particular privilege to be here with Dr. Kathie Olsen, the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the National Science Foundation and with Governor Rendell and other representatives of the Commonwealth, including Dan Frankel, the distinguished legislative representative of this district and a Pitt trustee.

There are those who consider President Cohon and me to be Pittsburgh’s premiere partners. In fact, a Pittsburgh Magazine cover once was dedicated to advancing that very proposition. Let me begin by publicly stating that partnering with Jerry is easy. He is such a good guy that it always is fun to do things with him, and he is so smart that, as long as I do what I am told, good things almost always happen. But I am sure Jerry would agree when I say that our own partnering also has benefitted from an inspiring model and that this region’s premiere partnership is the one we have gathered to salute today — the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

The PSC is a partnership that was created and has been sustained by some very special people. Michael Levine, Ralph Roskies, Jim Kasdorf and Beverly Clayton are its most visible leaders, but they have built an extraordinarily impressive team. It is a partnership that leverages the complimentary strengths of three very special institutions — Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Westinghouse. It is a partnership that has received consistent, and critical, assistance from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and it is a partnership that has been blessed by the generous and well targeted support of the federal government, most particularly the National Science Foundation.

The product of all this partnering is a Center that is our country’s finest when it comes to truly high-end supercomputing - which means that its many users have come to think of Pittsburgh as the national capital of high-end supercomputing. But the benefits of our Center’s capabilities certainly are not confined to the borders of its home town. Instead, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center supports pioneering researchers from all over the country - people whose work has an impact all over the world. The Center also has been an engine of economic development not only in Pittsburgh but in other parts of Pennsylvania.

Today, then, I want to acknowledge the contributions of everyone - including those from Pitt and Carnegie Mellon — who has helped fuel the progress of this impressive center. And I would like to single out Westinghouse for being such a loyal and committed partner, particularly through a long period of dramatic organizational change. Thank you, Dr.Candris, and I hope you will pass along my thanks to your CEO and our distinguished alum, Steve Tritch.

Mainly, though, I want to thank the Commonwealth for its consistent commitments to the Center and the National Science Foundation for providing the much higher levels of support that have enabled the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to become a unique national asset. It is wonderful to have you with us, Governor Rendell, and we are deeply grateful for the Commonwealth’s continuing support. And I really do need to extend not just deep thanks but a warm welcome “back home” to Dr. Kathie Olsen.

It is a privilege to be in such distinguished company. It is wonderful to be part of such a special celebration. And I hope that before the afternoon is over some kind person in the crowd will volunteer to “wheel me back” for the 40th anniversary party - because as the record of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center so clearly reflects, we really are “in it” for the long haul. And since yesterday is the best predictor of tomorrow, and there has been such a rich history of high achievement at the PSC over the course of the past two decades, we all know that there also will be much to celebrate in the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center’s second twenty years.