UT and ORNL Garner Awards at Supercomputing Conference

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory garnered several prestigious awards and corporate distinctions in supercomputing at the world-s leading industry conference held this week in Seattle.

UT was named as one of Microsoft-s new Institutes of High Performance Computing and two UT/ORNL scientists were honored for their world-wide supercomputing achievements.

HPCwire magazine honored both UT Distinguished Professor Jack Dongarra and ORNL Associate Lab Director Thomas Zacharia for their contributions to the field of high-performance computing at Supercomputing 2005, held Nov. 12-18. The awards are given to those who best -communicate and help raise awareness of the importance of high performance computing.- HPCwire is the worldwide publication of record for all aspects of the industry.

“Through our partnership, UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are at the international forefront in computational science. We will work to build on that leadership position,” said David Milhorn, UT vice president for research. -We see this as a strong indication of the kind of traction being gained with the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge partnership.”

Both Zacharia and Dongarra play a key role in the UT/ORNL partnership and its Joint Institute for Computational Sciences (JICS). Dongarra, who holds a joint appointment as a UT distinguished professor and member of the ORNL distinguished research staff, received a Readers- Choice Award. Readers- Choice award winners are determined by a poll of a random sample of readers.

Zacharia, ORNL’s associate laboratory director for computing and computational sciences, received an Editors- Choice Award. The honor was granted by a panel of high-performance computing luminaries and contributing editors from industry.

“Advanced scientific computing has a critical role to play in advancing scientific discovery in the 21st century,” Zacharia said. -The award is a recognition of ORNL-s leadership in this important scientific discipline.-

UT/ORNL joint efforts in computational sciences will benefit from the laboratory-s leadership in the effort to build the world’s most powerful non-classified supercomputer, which will be housed at ORNL. The leadership class computing will enable breakthrough discoveries in biology, fusion energy, climate prediction, nanoscience and many other fields.

One of the premier UT/ORNL collaborations is the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences. The institute, which moved in May 2004 to a new $10 million, state-funded facility on the ORNL campus, represents a world-class center for research, education, and training in computational science and engineering.

Uniquely positioned to take full advantage of the enormous computing capacity at ORNL, JICS currently includes three joint research faculty positions. Both UT and ORNL have pledged new joint faculty positions to support JICS- research and educational programs.

Zacharia serves as interim co-director of JICS, along with Jesse Poore, UT Ericsson-Harlan D. Mills professor of software engineering and director of the UT/ORNL Science Alliance, a state-funded Center of Excellence.

Joint UT-ORNL faculty appointments at JICS include Robert Harrison, computational chemistry and Igor B. Jouline, computational biology and bioinformatics. Joint faculty in computational fields through the UT-ORNL Science Alliance are Dongarra and Poore as well as Charles L. Merkle, H.H. Arnold Chair in Computational Mechanics at UT Space Institute.

UT’s designation as one of 10 universities worldwide to be named a Microsoft Institute of High-Performance Computing is accompanied by an annual gift of $300,000, along with computer hardware and software. UT is joined in this award by a group of institutions that include Cornell University, University of Virginia, Tokyo Institute of Technology and University of Stuttgart (Germany), among others.

-We’re on the list because of our continued development of enabling technology that finds its way into the hands of the computational scientists around the world,- Dongarra said.

Microsoft-s gift offers UT scientists an important level of flexibility in the research they conduct using the donated funds and equipment. Dongarra noted that Microsoft-s interest in supercomputing also has practical applications for consumers.

-There’s a trickle-down effect that occurs with supercomputing,- said Dongarra, who directs UT-s Innovative Computing Lab. -The things we do at the high end eventually find their way into the commercial end, and ultimately into the home computing market.-

Contact: Jay Mayfield (865-974-9409)
Karen Collins (865-974-5186 or 865-212-6862)