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SC|05 Presents Special Video on Impact of Supercomputing to Society
Video to premiere before Tuesday keynote by Microsoft's Bill Gates

Seattle, WA — November 9, 2005 — SC|05, the premier international conference on high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis, will make public a special video that explores the vital influence of supercomputing in solving the grand challenges of social and commercial problems affecting the quality of life for people throughout the world.

This informative video kicks off SC|05's opening session on Tuesday, November 15, 8:30 a.m., at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. A grant from ACM and IEEE Computer Society, cosponsors of the SC|05 conference, allows supercomputing centers, research labs and higher education to freely use the video as one of their key educational pieces for years to come.

"Many people outside of high performance computing, networking, and storage do not realize the long process that is necessary from initial concept and prototype to when an application impacts our lives down the road," said Bill Kramer, SC|05 General Chair. "Supercomputers play a critical role in jumpstarting many major applications that we have come to rely upon."

The video will explore the influence of supercomputing technology and research applications that ultimately arrive to the general consumer market as low-cost technologies.

"As a key component of information technology, supercomputing offers advances in natural disaster forecasting, transportation, environmental monitoring, and health and medicine," said David Patterson, ACM President. "We want this video to be used by educational and research institutions to broaden awareness and understanding of the essential role of supercomputing for computer science professionals, public policy officials and the public that benefits from these exciting advances."

The video tracks how the components of supercomputing — hardware, software, and algorithms — combine to produce world-altering discoveries. Extensive financial, labor, and time investment from government and industry produce supercomputing applications that "trickle-down" to commercial products and services. These applications result in major improvements in the production of automobiles, airplanes, pharmaceuticals, financial markets, and even animated movies.

Examples of initial supercomputing investments resulting in industrial and other major innovations include:

  • Flow analysis programs in the 1970s were created at national laboratories; by the early 1990s, these programs were being used for cell phone plastic molds
  • Vibration analysis (NASTRAN) was developed for government projects and is now available to all mechanical engineering firms to design airplane wings, auto bodies, and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge
  • A Cray-2 was loaned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to do the first analysis of X-ray defraction crystallography data of the AIDS Virus
  • By the early 70's, graphics-based finite element analysis software, such as LS-DYNA, was limited to expensive mainframe computers generally owned by the aeronautics, automotive, defense, and nuclear industries. Now, FEA is used for safer and cleaner cars (crash analysis), lighter milk cartons, and running shoe materials
Supercomputing algorithms have resulted in human genome mapping that detects birth defects and Alzheimer's disease. Even the design of sharper and longer-lasting disposable razor blades was achieved by using computational algorithms. With the aid of computer infrastructure models, researchers are able to accurately predict the effects of the recent hurricanes and plan for future natural disasters.

This video demonstrates how supercomputers have closed a gap between scientific theory and its application. Computer science professionals and their use of supercomputers have changed our world for the better.

About SC|05
SC|05, sponsored by ACM and IEEE Computer Society, is the premier international conference on high performance computing, networking and storage, will showcase how high performance computing, networking, storage and analytics lead to advances in research, education and commerce. The conference includes technical and education programs, workshops, tutorials, an exhibit area, demonstrations and hands-on learning. Visit us at http://SC|