Supercomputing Grid Established with Department of Energy Funds
A total of $6.5 million was appropriated by Congress from the U.S.
Department of Energy to create a high-performance computer grid,
the Northwest Indiana Computational Grid.
The grid will create a high-technology
infrastructure connecting Notre Dame with Purdue’s West Lafayette
and Calumet campuses. It will also connect the institutions with
U.S. government research facilities, such as Argonne National Laboratory.
to Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., who worked with U.S.
Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., to champion the project, the grid will offer a supercomputer network
that operates at speeds much faster than that available elsewhere in the country. “This
investment in technology,” he says, “is important for many reasons,
including the innovative research it will foster in enhancing the national security
of the United States.”
Visclosky, who is the ranking democrat on the House
Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, believes the infrastructure created
by the grid is key to Indiana’s
economy in the 21st century. “We must have the high-technology infrastructure
in place to attract the jobs of the future.”
The collective power of the
grid provides researchers at both universities with the tools to perform sophisticated
modeling and simulation for chemical, biological, and radiological dispersion
during a terrorist attack. It will also help authorities predict the spread of
a toxic substance, by determining the threat to the public and developing additional
life-saving steps. Other applications include transportation and environmental
studies for use in city planning, health-care management, biocomputing and the
study of protein structures for synthesis of pharmaceuticals, and research in
advanced carbon materials. In short, the grid will encourage and assist researchers
as they address some of society’s most complex problems.
The grid will also
be a tool for economic development as it supports the state’s plans to
create more high-tech, high-wage, and high-skill jobs.