individual and small-group proposals should be considered the norm. However, this hierarchical structure, while it evolved largely to meet the needs of researchers, does come with problems of its own. As computational power increases, issues of professional systems administration and user support personnel for computing clusters become increasingly important. The diversity of facilities can make the system hard to navigate for researchers seeking resources. This latter challenge is particularly common for computational junior faculty members starting careers in computational CMMP.


The need for sophisticated tools (experimental, computational, and theoretical) to probe the structure and properties of materials over a wide range of length scales is essential for continued progress in CMMP research. The new-generation facilities (light and neutron sources, magnetic-field facilities, and electron microscopes), which offer higher fluxes and energies, provide significant advantages with regard to resolution, sensitivity, and data acquisition. Two additional challenges will continue to be important in the future: the simultaneous measurement of structure and dynamics over various time and length scales and dimensions, and the simultaneous measurement of structure and dynamics while the system is perturbed independently by an external field (magnetic, stress, electric, and so on).

The synthesis, structure, and properties of materials are all intimately connected, so researchers will increasingly need to be intimately familiar with this entire spectrum of activities. Lessons learned from one class of materials will increasingly be used to understand the behavior of seemingly different classes of materials. For the first time in history, the complexity of CMMP is such that new advances in the field will depend on strong support for large-scale facilities, mid-scale facilities, interdisciplinary research centers, and individual investigators who actually carry out the research. Students will have to understand computational methods, together with the full spectrum of experimental endeavors (synthesis, fabrication, and measurement) to become successful researchers.

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