Chapter 13
Industrial Letters
of Testimony to
the U.S. National
Science Foundation
Merle Giles
e following excerpts are taken from the archives at the National Center
for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. ey are letters submitted by NCSA industrial partners
to the Task Force on the Future of the NSF Supercomputer Centers Program.
e NSF-supported Supercomputer Centers played a major role in U.S.
13.1 Introduction 195
13.2 Eli Lilly and Company 196
13.3 AT&T 198
13.4 Caterpillar Inc. 199
13.5 Dow Chemical Company 199
13.6 Eastman Kodak Company 200
13.7 FMC Corporation 200
13.8 Morgan Guarantee Trust Company of New York 201
13.9 Motorola 201
13.10 Phillips Petroleum Company 202
13.11 Tribune Interactive Network Services 203
Endnotes 203
196 Industrial Applications of High-Performance Computing
advancement of science and engineering research, and the Task Force Report
was prepared as the Centers Program approached its ten-year anniversary.
ese letters represent a rare compendium of industrial value that
comes from supercomputing.
Do note the comments that state value in
terms other than economic.
All content is in the form of quotes from the named authors, answering
the following questions:
1. Does the existence of the Centers benet your organization either
as a resource for technical help and development, or by providing
access to very high-end computational resources? If so, how?
2. Are there any quantitative measures?
NSF committee members were
1. Edward Hayes (Chairman), e Ohio State University
2. Arden Bement Jr., Purdue University
3. John Hennessy, Stanford University
4. John Ingram, Schlumberger, Austin, Texas
5. Peter Kollman, University of California, San Francisco
6. Mary Vernon, University of Wisconsin
7. Andrew White Jr., Los Alamos National Laboratory
8. William Wulf, University of Virginia
9. Nathaniel Pitts, Paul Young and Robert Voigt, NSF
R.F. Abdulla, PhD, Director, Information Services (Scientic),
Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
We are currently partners at the NCSA at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign and are in the nal stages of negotiation for our
eighth consecutive year of membership. In general we have gained at Lilly
through this partnership in the following areas:
High Performance Computing Applications in Drug Discovery
e dissemination of decision support algorithms
Industrial Letters of Testimony 197
Computational uid dynamics and manufacturing plant modeling
Scientic visualization and Virtual Environments
e institutionalization of structure-based drug design
e institutionalization of molecular bioinformatics
e creation of an expert systems group within the HPCC discipline
in Scientic Information Systems
e attempt to “quantify” the impact above, via outdated economic
precepts and tools, does both the analysis as well as the disciplines
represented above a disservice. I would state that the documented evidence
suggests that the technologies represented above have added unique value
to thisand other companies. Much of the added value remains in our
proprietary domains but a search of the literature will easily identify the
added value we, at Lilly, have chosen to share.
It is my opinion that the paradigm of high-performance computing
has changed since the creation of the NSF Supercomputing Centers
in 1986. e drive to produce faster chips … has met with both cost
and physics limits. Recent evidence … has suggested the dawn of a
new” paradigm in … parallel computing. e literature indicates,
however, that in Europe, widely conceded as a theater with second tier
chip design capability when compared to Japan and American (sic),
this “new” high-performance computing paradigm was conceived of
necessity in the 1980s. I refer, ofcourse, to parallel computing in all
its manifestations ranging from tightly coupled printed circuit boards
and domain decomposition algorithms running across those boards,
to the more sophisticated machines being built in the United States of
various congurations.
Technically, these systems will be capable of
running a few optimized algorithms at teraop speeds before the end
of the decade. Algorithm development is lagging seriously, and will
continue to be a seriously limited factor in our capability to optimally
utilize these systems.
If the preceding paragraph encapsulates a problem, it also denes
a solution which could be invoked to solve the problem. e solution is
one which we continue to follow in America, the successful model of the
tripartite collaboration between the National Government, the Universities
and the Industrial Corporations represented by the NSF Centers. It is
evident that the mechanism for this to occur in the United States exists

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