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DOE Announces University Supercomputer Partnerships

August 15, 1997

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that, for the first time, its computing resources will be made available to academic researchers. The California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and the University of Utah were selected as DOE's Academic Strategic Alliances Program (ASAP) Centers of Excellence.

The program will team the universities with three national laboratories - Sandia, Livermore and Los Alamos - to develop advanced computer modeling and simulations to certify the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons in support of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, as well as broader national goals.

DOE operates the world's fastest computer at Sandia National Laboratories. It is building computers at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories that will be three times faster than the Sandia computer. DOE sought assistance from the universities to develop skills and techniques for using this computing power to maintain the nation's nuclear stockpile.

The Academic Strategic Alliances Program will fund $250 million of research at the five universities over a decade. According to DOE, the participating universities will "focus on one or more national-scale multi-disciplinary applications in non-classified areas in which computer modeling and simulation would advance not only the state of knowledge in that area, but also prove useful to the nuclear stockpile stewardship effort.