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Originally appeared in Monday, March 8, 2003 Oak Ridger
URL: http://www.oakridger.com/stories/030804/sta_20040308009.shtml

ORAU hosts national computing forum in Washington, D.C.

By: Paul Parson, Oak Ridger Staff

The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. will be the site of a forum on high-performance computing hosted by Oak Ridge Associated Universities and its university members. "We have assembled a preeminent group of distinguished scientists, academicians, and government officials to address high-performance computing as a catalyst for research and economic development," said Ron Townsend, ORAU's president and chief executive officer.

Officials said the forum provides an opportunity for congressional and scientific leaders to learn why high-performance computing needs to be a national priority.

"The forum will highlight the need and the benefits of a national initiative in high-end computing as well as how partnerships among government, academia and industry can achieve success," Townsend said.

John Marburger, President Bush's science adviser, and Ray Orbach, director of the Department of Energy's Office of Science, are among the major presenters in Wednesday's forum. U.S. Sen Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-3rd District, will also attend to help kick off the important event.

As far as Tennessee is concerned, Gov. Phil Bredesen understands the importance of high-performance computing. He recently co-sponsored a resolution supporting Oak Ridge National Laboratory's goal to boost its technological capabilities.

The resolution was adopted during a recent meeting of Southern governors in Washington, D.C. and carries the support of close to a dozen governors. With the resolution, the Southern Governors' Association sent a message to Congress and the executive branch to provide financial support for high-performance computing initiatives.

ORNL aims to house the world's fastest supercomputer.

Speaking of ORNL, the computing forum was organized in partnership with the research facility and with participation from DOE, the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies. Jeff Wadsworth, ORNL's current director, and Bill Madia, who previously managed the lab, are expected to participate in the forum.

ORAU - a consortium of 88 colleges and universities - manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the Department of Energy. ORISE is a multi-program federal facility that provides operational capabilities and conducts research, education and training in the areas of science and technology, national security, environmental safety and health, and environmental management.

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