[ANNOUNCER] The University of Tennessee has entered the ranks of the nation's elite in using supercomputing to solve the most significant scientific questions facing humanity. The National Science Foundation has awarded 65-million dollars to U-T to build and operate one of the world's most powerful supercomputers…and lead a nation-wide partnership to put it to use. Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen praised the joint success of U-T and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in achieving this award. He said it brings tremendous opportunities to the state.
[BREDESEN] I think high speed computing is going to be such a factor in so many areas of research in the years ahead that getting our marker down and having these absolutely premier and world-class best-in-the-world facilities here in East Tennessee is going to produce an untold number of opportunities in the years ahead.
[ANNOUNCER] The N-S-F award is the largest research grant U-T has ever received. U-S Senator Lamar Alexander said the grant means a higher standard of living for Tennesseans.
[ALEXANDER] What this will do in the future for us is increase the brainpower concentration along the Oak Ridge corridor, giving us a greater capacity to attract more smart people who create jobs for us that will raise our standard of living, and that will make our country more competitive as we compete with India and China and Europe and other parts of the world who would like to have a high standard of living for themselves.
[ANNOUNCER] The award establishes the National Institute for Computational Sciences. U-S Representative Zach Wamp said this success in high-speed computing breeds success in other areas of scientific research.
[WAMP] I'm real excited that this puts the University of Tennessee on the point for this breakthrough area of scientific research known as supercomputing, because when you are first in supercomputing, you end up first in a lot of other areas.
[ANNOUNCER] The new supercomputer system will be capable of one petaflop, which is a thousand trillion calculations per second. U-T President John Petersen said this computing power positions Tennessee to lead the nation, not only in computing research, but in economic development.
[PETERSEN] If Tennessee can become the first petascale state in the union, I think it's going to be enormously significant for the companies that are here and the companies that'll choose to come here.
[ANNOUNCER] Researchers will use the new supercomputer to simulate the evolution of galaxies, predict long-term climate change, visualize Earth's molten core and design new materials that can help improve the lives of people in Tennessee, across the U-S and around the world. The supercomputer will be housed at the National Institute for Computational Sciences in Oak Ridge. Charles Primm reporting.