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President Clinton mentions NCSA

On the morning after delivering a State of the Union message that emphasized the importance of education, President Clinton spoke to a packed house at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall on the Urbana-Champaign campus. The President emphasized the important roles the University and NCSA have played in technology development. He twice mentioned the work of NCSA Director Larry Smarr, who is a member of...

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NSF supports DAST

NCSA received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide a distributed application support center for users developing new capabilities using NSF's very high performance Backbone Network Service (vBNS). NSF named NCSA as Distributed Applications Support Team (DAST) for the National Laboratory for Applied Networking Research (NLANR), a distributed laboratory with staff at all of NSF's supercomputer centers. As such, an NCSA...

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NCSA helps track Hale-Bopp

Thanks to a system from NCSA for rapidly processing radio wavelength images from the BIMA Array radio telescope, astronomers tracing the path of Comet Hale-Bopp proclaimed their 1997 observations of the comet as some of their most successful ever. The comet passed within about 125 million miles of Earth in March and April of that year. Astronomers from the nine universities that field tested the new...

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National Computational Science Alliance created

The National Science Foundation's Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure initiative funded two massive programs, one led by NCSA and the other by the San Diego Supercomputer Center. Their mandate: develope a national-scale computational environment for multidisciplinary, collaborative problem solving. In other words, they were in charge of building a prototype of what would become known as the grid. As Larry Smarr, who led the Alliance and...

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Smarr appointed to White House committee

Larry Smarr, then-NCSA director and a pioneer in the movement to dramatically increase the number of academic and industrial researchers using supercomputers, was appointed as a member of the White House Advisory Committee for High Performance Computing and Communications, Information Technology, and the Next Generation Internet. The advisory committee offered guidance to the Clinton administration on accelerating development and adoption of vital information technologies in...

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SGI/Cray Origin2000 comes online

NCSA's SGI/Cray Origin2000, the largest Origin server and the first 128-processor system, was delivered by Silicon Graphics in October 1996. The 128 processors initially were doubled to 256 processors before the end of 1997. The SGI/Cray Origin2000 system was a shared-memory system based on Silicon Graphics' S2MP architecture and was configured with 32 GB of memory. Users were able to easily move to the system from...

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Michael Norman

Norman team wins HPC Challenge at SC95

NCSA not only sponsored the High-Performance Computing Challenge at SC95, the annual supercomputing conference, a team led by those from the center won it in the "Best Integration of Heterogeneous Applications" category. The contest featured 10 groups of researchers seeking to outdo each other in the race for what was at the time the first teraflop-scale computation. Their simulation took advantage of the high-bandwidth, low-latency...

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NCSA transitions to microprocessor-based hardware

By the end of 1994 NCSA removed its traditional vector machines—the Cray Y-MP and CONVEX C3880—leaving machines based solely on microprocessor hardware. The center utilized microprocessor-based systems from three vendors: Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI), Convex Computer Corporation, and Thinking Machines Corporation. A 16-processor SGI POWER CHALLENGE machine was installed in November 1994, a CONVEX Exemplar 8-processor hypernode was installed in April 1994, and the Thinking...

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NASA selects HDF for EOS program

The idea was as simple as it was obvious: NASA wanted a single file format for the data that would stream in from the variety of instruments that would be part of the agency's Earth Observing Satellite program. It took three years to choose from among the 15 options that were presented to the agency by research groups and companies around the country. When NASA...

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Electronic Mosaic article submission in Science

There were in fact days when even technical powerhouses like the American Association for the Advancement of Science did things the old-fashioned way. Typed or word processed manuscripts shuttled among publisher, author and reviewers via the U.S. Postal Service. With the proliferation of email and networking, that had begun to change by August 1994 when Science magazine published its first article submitted electronically. "NCSA Mosaic and...

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