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Because it aligned with the two victorious lead institutions in the National Science Foundation's recent Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) competition, the CRPC expects to share in federal government funding that will help develop the nation's computational infrastructure.

The winning centers are the National Computational Science Alliance (NCSA), headquartered at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), headquartered at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The CRPC and other institutions expect to share in approximately $340 million dollars in total PACI funding over five years.

"PACI partners will lead in developing the computing and communications applications that will exploit the Next Generation Internet," says CRPC Director Ken Kennedy. "As a major PACI partner, the CRPC is squarely in the forefront of this emerging revolution in information technology."

The CRPC plans to expand its award-winning efforts to increase participation by women and minorities in the computational sciences through collaborations with both lead institutions. "This is a superb opportunity for the CRPC to replicate its highly successful education programs nationwide," says Richard Tapia, CRPC Director of Education and Human Resources. Successful CRPC educational programs will be scaled up, replicated in other regions, and cross-linked, providing a social and geographical continuum of support for women and minorities in the computational sciences and engineering.

The CRPC will also build tools leading to an integrated problem-solving environment, enabling NPACI and NCSA application developers to solve Grand Challenge problems. The same tools will be useful for other scientists and engineers to solve design problems with increased accuracy and speed.

In addition, the Houston Area Computational Science Consortium (HACSC), formed last year by the CRPC, Rice University, the University of Houston, and Baylor College of Medicine, will serve as an NCSA regional center. Regional partners have advanced and mid-level computing resources that help distribute the latest computational technology to sites throughout the U.S. HACSC will serve as a gateway to the resources of the vBNS, an NSF-funded high-speed network connected to supercomputer centers and major research universities. (See Winter 1997 Parallel Computing Research, page 6.)

For more information about the PACI awards and the partnerships, see http://www.crpc.rice.edu/CRPC/WhatsNew/pressRelease-NPACI.html .

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