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High-Performance Computing: Driving Research in Nanotechnology, Climate Change, and Biology

Scientists Host Computational Comeback Forum

February 24, 2004

Washington, D.C.—Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) and its university members announced today that they will host a forum on high-performance computing on March 10th at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. This forum has been organized in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and with participation from the United States Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation, and other federal agencies.

The forum, titled “High-Performance Computing: A Science Driven Economy,” will provide an opportunity for Congressional and scientific leaders to learn why high-performance computing needs to be a national priority. Specifically, the forum will focus on the need for a “computational comeback”- the need to apply considerable talents and computing resources to explore and transform the resulting knowledge from nanotechnology and advanced materials, biology, and global climate research into economically useful outcomes.

“Research is the precursor to discovery,” said Charlie Liotta, Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies at Georgia Tech, and Chair of the ORAU Board of Directors. “University research and research conducted at the national laboratories are the intellectual drivers for economic development. High-end computing and the associated network infrastructure represent critical vehicles necessary to bring together the intellectual capital and facilities from geographically separated institutions in order to carry out the cutting-edge research that will fuel economic development. A national investment in high-end computing and networking is absolutely essential in achieving this vision.”

John Marburger, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Dr. Ray Orbach, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science are among the major forum presenters.

“We have assembled a preeminent group of distinguished scientists, academicians, and government officials to address high-performance computing as a catalyst for research and economic development. The forum will highlight the need and the benefits of a national initiative in high-end computing as well as how partnerships among government, academia, and industry can achieve success,” said Ron Townsend, President and CEO of ORAU.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and Congressman Zach Wamp will help kick off the important event. Wamp and Alexander are members of the Congressional delegation representing the Tennessee Valley Corridor and are leading spokesmen in Washington for similar high-tech initiatives. The Tennessee Valley Corridor, home to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is a major national center for technology and innovation.

Other presenters at the forum include:

  • Wayne Clough, President of Georgia Tech
  • Karen Holbrook, President of The Ohio State University
  • Peter Freeman, Associate Director of the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • Warren Washington, Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Chair of the National Science Board
  • Jeff Wadsworth, Director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Deborah Wince-Smith, President of the Council on Competitiveness
  • Dr. Bill Madia, Executive Vice President of Battelle Memorial Institute
  • Uzi Landman, Regents’ Professor of Physics at Georgia Tech
  • Dr. John Wooley, Associate Vice Chancellor of Research at the University of California San Diego.

For a complete list of speakers and the full agenda go to

The High-Performance Computing Forum will be held on March 10th, at the Library of Congress, Members’ Room in Washington D.C. The forum will begin at 8:00 a.m.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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