If you were to open the world’s most powerful university-based computing center how would you do it? Virtually, of course.
The Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI) has opened. The “physical” celebration, held on the Rensselaer campus, began with a presidential colloquy involving five of the country’s foremost leaders in science, technology, and innovation. The “virtual” grand opening followed the colloquy via video link to the Rensselaer Technology Park, where the primary elements of the supercomputer are housed.
The CCNI system comprises massively parallel Blue Gene supercomputers, POWER-based Linux clusters, and AMD Opteron processor-based clusters, providing more than 100 teraflops of computing power.
This power enables Rensselaer to be at the forefront of America’s computer infrastructure.
America’s pre-eminence in information technology is one of the primary factors behind the nation’s leadership position in the world of science, said Rensselaer president, Shirley Ann Jackson.
Prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, she hosted a presidential colloquy that examined how the United States can best develop and tap its computational infrastructure to maintain its position as a global leader to explore radically new approaches to harness computational tools to advance discovery and innovation in the 21st century.
The colloquy, titled “The Future of Computationally Enabled Discovery and Innovation,” included the following participants: John Marburger III (Science Adviser to the President, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy), Arden Bement Jr. (Director, National Science Foundation), John Kelly III (Senior Vice President & Director of Research, IBM Corporation), and Charles Vest (President, National Academy of Engineering).
Rensselaer also hosted a two-day National Science Foundation symposium, which featured technical presentations by scientists and engineers addressing the complexity of the interactions of cyber and physical worlds. Bement delivered the capstone address.
CCNI photo by Daria Robbins ’03, Web Producer. Ribbon-cutting photo by RPI/Kris Qua.