FIGURE 9.2 Number of Ph.D.’s in scientific computing and number hired by government laboratories.

The Need for Planning and Coordination

Given the long lead time that is needed to create an ecosystem, it seems obvious that planning for technological progress would be advisable. Given that there are commonalities in supercomputing systems used for many different purposes, it is equally obvious that coordination among government agencies, as well as within government agencies, would be a good thing. Not surprisingly, many previous studies have noted the benefits of planning and coordination and have made recommendations along those lines. There has also been legislation for that purpose. For instance, Finding 5 of the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 stated as follows: “Several Federal agencies have ongoing high performance computing programs, but improved long-term interagency coordination, cooperation, and planning would enhance the effectiveness of these programs.”18 Among its provisions, the Act directed the President to “imple-

18  

The House-Senate compromise version of S. 272, the High-Performance Computing Act, passed the House on November 20, 1991, the Senate on November 22, 1991, and was signed by the President on December 9, 1991.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement