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Originally appeared in Friday, June 18, 2004 Oak Ridger

ORNL chief to attend meeting on making nation No. 1 in supercomputing

By: Paul Parson, Oak Ridger Staff

Jeff Wadsworth, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is scheduled to participate next week in a Senate subcommittee hearing that will examine how the United States can recapture the lead in high-speed computing.

It's a goal that Wadsworth hopes to accomplish, given that the Department of Energy recently chose ORNL to build the world's fastest supercomputer.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., will chair the subcommittee hearing when it meets Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

Alexander has been very vocal on the issue, saying that computing is one of the critical science fields in which the United States needs to be a world leader.

During a recent visit to Japan, the senator was briefed on that country's 40-teraflop Earth Simulator - the current fastest supercomputer. A teraflop is a measure of a computer's speed, and it equals about a trillion calculations per second.

Raymond Orbach, director of DOE's Office of Science, is also scheduled to participate in the hearing along with officials from IBM, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ford Motor Co. and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

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