The National Scheme Foundation (NSF) announced yesterday that it will award about $70 million over the next five years to a consortium of Harvard and 11 other universities and institutions for a research-oriented Supercomputer center.
The Consortium for Scientific Computing center, to be located in Princeton, N.J., will provide academic researchers at the 11 member schools and the latitude for Advanced Study with ultra high-speed computing previously available only to the government.
The center will be overseen by a board of trustees from the 12 institutions and managed by a private company, and will receive further funding from companies such as AT&T and Exxon, said Richard G. Leahy, associate dean of the Faculty for research.
"There have been noticeable scientific breakthroughs by people who have been able to use these computers," said Allen R. Robinson, professor of geophysical fluid dynamics and a trustee in the new corporation.
Paul C. Martin '51, dean of the division of applied science, said Harvard's consortium was selected from among 22 other applications to the NSF based on the level of research going on in the participating institutions.
The NSF will also finance three other similar supercomputer centers in California, New York and Illinois.
John Connolly, chairman of the NSF's Center For Advanced Computing, said the government money going to universities was an outcome of the "recent realization that people in Universities are really not getting access to the kind of facilities they need to do research."
This research funding also reflects a national concerns that the U.S. may fall behind in worldwide technological and economic development. "Sometimes we fall asleep for a while," said Connolly, referring to what he called a lack of funding and concerns for spreading the latest technology to U.S. universities.