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Call for Input: Updating the US Strategic Computing Objectives

June 28, 2019


By: Frank Indiviglio, NOAA and Barry Schneider, NIST
Members of the Fast Track Action Committee on Strategic Computing

Computing plays critical roles in all aspects of American life, from vacationers automatically tagging photographs with edge-based machine learning, to corporate supply chains being secured by advanced ledger technologies, to computing technologies deepening our understanding of science and engineering. The United States has sustained a high-level of investment in specialized, high performance computing systems, enabling us to maintain our scientific and economic leadership on the international stage.

Since 2015, government agencies, under the auspices of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), have been working to maximize the benefits of high-performance computing (HPC) for scientific discovery, economic competitiveness and national security. However, the technological and scientific landscape of HPC continues to evolve rapidly. As deployed exascale computing systems become reality, it is time to revisit the goals and approaches needed to sustain and enhance U.S. leadership in strategic computing.

To address this the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science and Technology Council's Subcommittee on Networking and Information Technology Research and Development have formed a Fast Track Action Committee on Strategic Computing (FTAC) to develop recommendations to advance leadership in strategic computing for the Nation. The output of the FTAC's efforts will inform government research activities through and beyond the exascale era of computing.

Community input is critical to the FTAC efforts, so we need your thoughts on updating the objectives for strategic computing, including those defined within the NSCI. To gather community input, a Request for Information (RFI) was issued in the Federal Register with comments accepted through August 23, 2019, 11:59pm (ET).

The RFI can be found at the following url: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/06/18/2019-12866/request-for-information-on-update-to-strategic-computing-objectives

Since the launch of the NSCI there have been significant advances towards breaking the exascale barrier. The FTAC looks to build on these successes and guide strategic computing beyond exascale to meet future national scientific and technological challenges. This includes working with the community, through, for example, public-private partnerships, to address the most relevant topics in the emerging computing landscape such as new and potentially disruptive architectures, network-centric computing, cybersecurity, access to and curation of data, and software sustainability, which continue to present challenges and opportunities in advancing scientific computing. The FTAC must also address challenges in developing and sustaining a workforce to support the computational needs of the national innovation base and sustain the United States as a world leader in high-performance computing.

We are very excited about the continued rapid growth in strategic computing and look forward to receiving your input on the RFI by August 23, 2019, 11:59pm (ET).