Supercomputer Surge

The age of supercomputers has arrived, but not with a small price tag. Single institutions can rarely afford to purchase and operate their own supercomputers. I was surprised that your article, “Supercomputers Snapped Up By State Campuses” (The Scientist, March 6, 1989), overlooked the efforts that Ohio has made in providing supercomputing to a vast number of universities and industries.

In 1985, the need for high-end computing was plaguing researchers at Ohio universities, none of which could singularly afford a supercomputer. The researchers’ frustration led to making a proposal to get an NSF supercomputer center in Ohio. Though the proposal was rejected, the group wasn’t. They lobbied the Ohio legislature in a unique effort to have Ohio fund its own center for its own researchers.

Academic and corporate support for the idea of a supercomputing center was rallied easily. The cooperative effort paid off in 1987...

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