What is a supercomputer for, anyway?

By Staff
10/20/2011 - 12:00am
ShaderDr. Bryan Shader (photo by Marijke Unger)

Dr. Bryan Shader, University of Wyoming’s Special Assistant to the VP of Research and Economic Development, gave a talk about supercomputing at the Laramie County Public Library entitled "What is a supercomputer for, anyway?" With an audience of nearly 50 in attendance, Dr. Shader explained the importance of supercomputers for society, and on a more local scale, the benefits of having the NWSC in Wyoming, addressing questions like:

  • What is the NWSC?
  • What good is a supercomputer?
  • Who will use the NWSC?
  • How it will be used to study some of today's grand challenges for Wyoming, the U.S. and the world?
  • How will it impact Wyoming's future?
  • What does the NWSC mean for Wyoming education?

Dr. Shader illustrated the role of supercomputers in generating models that help us understand how our world works, and demonstrated their usefulness for research in topics like wind forecasting for energy generation and the flow of materials through porous geological formations, which could be used for storing waste carbon dioxide, for example. He also emphasized the importance of having supercomputing resources like the NWSC's in terms of educating and inspiring the next generation of scientists and computing professionals in Wyoming. The presentation wrapped up with a lively Q&A session.