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FY 1993 Blue Book: Grand Challenges 1993: High Performance Computing and Communications

Category: NITRD Supplements
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Pages: 80
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High performance computing and computer communications networks are becoming increasingly important to scientific advancement, economic competition, and national security. The technology is reaching the point of having a transforming effect on our society, industries, and education institutions. The goal of the Federal High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) Programs is to accelerate significantly the commercial availability and utilization of the next generation of high performance computers and networks in a manner consistent with the Strategic and Integrating Priorities shown in Figure 1.

The HPCC Program is the result of several years of effort on the part of senior government, industry, and academic scientists and managers to design a research agenda to extend U.S. leadership in high performance computing and networking technologies. The program is planned, funded, and managed with close cooperation among Federal agencies and laboratories, private industry, and academe to ensure that the fruits of this research program are brought into the educational and commercial marketplaces as rapidly as possible

There have been steady accomplishments over the past year. Several participating agencies have begun to fund HPCC research groups, centers and consortia on various grand challenge application problems. Major new scalable high performance systems have been announced and delivered. New software applications have been developed or ported to emerging high performance systems. Traffic on the operational network has doubled in the past year, as has the number of interconnected local and regional networks. In the past year, a large number of researchers, scholars, students, educators, scientists and engineers have been trained to use these emerging technologies.

Numerous organizations have recently undertaken studies that have provided valuable feedback on the structure and content of the program. Some of the organizations that supported studied include the National Academy of Sciences; EDUCOM and the Computing Research Association, each representing numerous universities; the Computer Systems Policy Project, representing leading U.S. computer companies; the Office of Technology Assessment; professional societies including Association for Computing Machinery, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, American Mathematical Society, and others; and the Federal Networking Advisory Committee.

For FY 1993 the HPCC Program proposes to invest $803 million in the four complementary and coordinated components shown in Figure 1. This investment represents a $148 million, or 23%, increase over the FY 1992 enacted level.

The HPCC Program is driven by the recognition that unprecedented computational power and its creative use are needed to investigate an understand a wide range of scientific and engineering "grand challenge" problems. These are fundamenta problems whose solution requires significant increases in computational capability and is critical to national needs. Progress towared solution of these problems is essential to fufilling many of the missions of the participating agencies. Examples of grand challenges addressed include: prediction of weather, climate, and global change; determination of molecular, atomic and nuclear structure; understanding turbulence, pollution dispersion, and combustion systems; understanding the structure of biological macromolecules; improving research and education communications; understanding the nature of new materials; and solving problems applicable to national security needs.

Other Presidential Initiatives including Global Change Research, Advanced Materials and Processing, Biotechnology, and Mathematics and Science Education depend on the capabilities that this initiative will produce. In addition, the generic technologies developed will make possible advances in many other areas of direct benefit to millions of Americans.

The HPCC Program nutures the educational process at all levels by improving academic research and teaching capabilities. Advanced computing and computer communications techonologies will accelerate the research process in all disciplines and enable educatiors to integrate new knowledge and methodologies directly into course curricula. Students at all levels will be drawn into learning and participating in a wide variety of research experiences in all components of the program.

The FY 1993 Program and this document were developed by the High Performance Computing and Communications and Information Techonology Subcomittee under the direction of the Committee on Physical, Mathematical, and Engineering Sciences (PMES) of the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET).