Jared L. Cohon’s Remarks
We are here today to celebrate the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center’s newest, most advanced computing system, “Big Ben,” and to express our appreciation to the National Science Foundation, the federal agency that provided the funding for this world-class technology.
I understand that Big Ben will help our nation’s scientists and engineers address some of the most complex problems in computational science. Although computational science is a discipline in itself, it is also the means of advancing research in many other fields — high-energy physics, nanotechnology, the social sciences, and a wide range of biomedical applications.
The President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) recent report on computational science noted that “Computational science is now indispensable to the solution of complex problems in every sector, from traditional science and engineering domains to such key areas as national security, public health, and economic innovation. Computational science is critical to scientific leadership, economic competitiveness and national security.”
But the report goes on to say that only a small fraction of the potential of computational science is being realized - and calls on the federal government to work in closer partnership with academia and industry, across disciplines and organizational structures, to realize computational science’s full potential and ensure that the US remains at the forefront of scientific discovery.
As a university with a tradition of interdisciplinary research and a proven ability to work collaboratively with other university and industry partners, we at Carnegie Mellon recognize and support this call.
The partnership we are celebrating today - with the National Science Foundation, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and the Westinghouse Company — is a model for the kind of multi-disciplinary collaboration called for by the President’s IT Advisory Committee.
Big Ben will be a major resource for very large-scale, demanding research projects that can be undertaken on the NSF’s TeraGrid - the world’s largest cyberstructure for open scientific research.
And the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center will continue to identify new partners, attract new and exciting research projects and provide a pool of skilled computing and networking staff for its users.
We hope that the National Science Foundation will continue to provide the support and guidance that enabled the PSC to push the envelope in scientific computing.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank the PSC staff with us today - their commitment to the users has been critical to the success of so much of the research done on the supercomputers over the years. I am sure they will continue to provide the same level of dedicated and expert service to the users of “Big Ben.”
© Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.