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NSF to provide funds for DEC supercomputer

By Lisa Doh

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has granted $70 million to the Consortium for Scientific Computing. MIT is a member of that consortium.

The funds will enable the consortium to establish a supercomputer center in Princeton, NJ, according to Erich Bloch, director of NSF.

The group hopes to install a Class 6 Supercomputer by 1987. The supercomputer, powered by 8000 Digital Equipment Corporation VAX minicomputers, will be the fastest available computer when it is completed.

The supercomputer can execute a job which would require a regular computer one month to complete in less than 30 minutes, according to Professor James D. Bruce '60, director of MIT Information Systems.

Bloch said the computer's speed will give investigators the opportunity to investigate new areas of research and to do so at a pace never before thought possible.

Bruce and Robert A. Brown, professor of chemical engineering, are coordinating the project at MIT.

The funds will aid the development of modern computing, Bruce said. The supercomputer center will function as major contributor in advancing technology and research, he continued.

Each of the twelve members of the consortium will have access to the supercomputer.

The consortium includes MIT, the University of Colorado, New York University, the University of Rochester, Brown University, the Institute of Advanced Studies, Rutgers University, the University of Arizona, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Pennsylvania State University.

NSF has also awarded funds to three other university groups for establishing their own supercomputer centers. They have designated Urbana, IL, San Diego, CA and Ithaca, NY, to be the centers of their networks.