Inside Rensselaer
Celebrate CCNI: NSF Symposium, Colloquy, and Ribbon-Cutting Sept. 5-7
* CCNI Sneak Preview Event
President Jackson discussed the CCNI with NYS Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (right) and IBM Senior Vice President & Director of Research John Kelly III ’78 (center) at a special sneak preview event in May.

The first week in September, the Institute will celebrate the official opening of the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI) with a two-day National Science Foundation symposium, a colloquy featuring national scientific and technological leaders, and virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new supercomputer at the CCNI, based in the Rensselaer Technology Park, recently was ranked seventh in the world, and it is the most powerful of any system based at a university, according to the 29th edition of the closely watched Top500 list.

Why is this incredible amount of computing power necessary? And how will machines like ours actually be used to spur innovation?

To help answer questions like these, on Sept. 5 and 6 Rensselaer will bring together top minds from across the nation and on campus to participate in the “NSF Symposium on Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation.” The symposium will feature technical presentations by luminaries in fields ranging from artificial intelligence to bioinformatics.

Academics from Princeton, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and Johns Hopkins Universities, as well as the University of Virginia and California at Berkeley, among others, will speak along with Rensselaer researchers at the three-day-long event. Members of the NSF, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), IBM Watson Research Center, and the Brookhaven National Laboratory, and other research organizations will also participate in the symposium.

On Sept. 7, a colloquy titled “The Future of Computationally Enabled Discovery and Innovation” will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Auditorium. The discussion will be led by President Shirley Ann Jackson. Panelists include Ardent L. Bement Jr., director of the National Science Foundation; Charles M. Vest, MIT president emeritus and president of the National Academy of Engineering; John H. Marburger III, Science Adviser to the President and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and John E. Kelly III ’78, IBM senior vice president and director of research.

The colloquy will be followed by a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony at 12:15 p.m., featuring NYS Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.

To register and to learn more about the colloquy, go to: To read more about the symposium and to register, go to

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 1, Number 2, August 2007
©2007 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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