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Mathematics and Computer Science Division

Our History

Advancing the state of the art in computing

Over 25 years ago, recognizing the role that parallel computers would play in scientific computing, MCS began exploring advanced computer architectures and the design of parallel programming tools to fully exploit the power of those systems.

With the establishment of the ALCF and the Laboratory Computing Resource Center, the MCS Division has focused principally on innovative algorithms, software, and tools that will enable researchers to fully exploit the most advanced computing systems for new science.

1982 – 1992

  • Established the Mathematics and Computer Science Division, previously part of the Applied Mathematics Division.
  • Established the Advanced Computing Research Facility, working with new computer manufacturers at the forefront of computer technology
  • Experimented with nine different innovative designs, most of which offered a startling 64 megabytes of memory
  • Explored new techniques to exploit parallelism in scientific research
  • Held summer institutes, established affiliates programs

1992 – 1997

  • Began experimental production” computing with an IBM Scalable POWERparallel System (SP)
  • Worked with IBM to evaluate various configurations and subsequent versions
  • Conducted early experiments demonstrating the ease of porting programs

1997 – 1999

  • Reorganized as one of the nation’s four high-end resource providers
  • Served as major resource for several Grand Challenge applications

1999 – 2007

  • Operated a 256-node Linux cluster called Chiba City, with a peak performance of 256 gigaflops
  • Established the Laboratory Computing Resource Center
  • Acquired a teraflop-class computing cluster, Jazz, with 350 compute nodes
  • Installed a 5.7-teraflop Blue Gene/L system
  • Served as prototype and proving ground for establishment of the ALCF