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CRPC Joins National Research Alliance to Build Technology Grid

CRPC sites and affiliated sites across the country are participating in a national alliance that links more than 50 research partners in a collaboration to build the advanced computational infrastructure of the future. Announced October 1, the National Computational Science Alliance is led by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and involves researchers from CRPC sites at Argonne National Laboratory, Rice University, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Texas, and affiliated sites at Boston University, Indiana University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Maryland.

The partnership was made possible last spring, when the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced its funding of the Alliance as part of its Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI). A second PACI program is the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), headed by the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego. (See "CRPC Partners with National Supercomputing Competition Winners," Spring 1997 Parallel Computing Research, page 1.)

During the next five years, the NSF will provide the Alliance with up to $170 million to support its efforts to prototype a national computational infrastructure called the National Technology Grid. The Grid will enable the science and engineering community to take advantage of rapidly improving high-performance computing and communications technologies and will make those developments available to broad sectors of society.

"This is an unprecedented effort in which the whole truly is greater than the sum of the parts," said Larry Smarr, director of the NCSA and the Alliance. "Each of the partners in this Alliance brings expertise, resources, and a commitment of time and energy to our efforts. In essence, we are establishing a virtual community that shares its knowledge and pools its resources to create the computational and information infrastructure of the 21st century that will support the next generation of scientific and engineering research."

CRPC Director Ken Kennedy (Rice University) is a member of the Alliance Executive Committee. Other CRPC researchers on the committee are Dan Reed (University of Illinois) and Rick Stevens (Argonne National Laboratory).

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