I am just back from Taiwan, where we held the second CITRIS-Asia Research Symposium at the National Taiwan University in Taipei. I'm pleased to report that our Pan-Pacific relationships continue to flourish and grow, and that the application of innovative technologies to the service of society is a mission that resonates as well with the scientific community in Asia as it does here.
The power of technology to bridge gaps and bring people together is clearly reflected in the story below about Noor, a project that bridges centuries as well as continents. Visiting Fellow Steve Beck and his colleagues on Noor are working to expose the mathematical and geometrical principles underlying the famous mosaic tile patterns that grace mosques and palaces throughout the Islamic world. The work reflects the power of technology and art, thoughtfully applied, to bridge important cultural gaps by revealing shared values of truth and beauty.
Also in this issue of the newsletter, we take a look at the dawn of a new age in supercomputing—the coming of the massively parallel petascale computers. Making these machines available to a full range of California's top researchers will open up new worlds in the fields of medicine, climate research, earthquake prediction, and energy production and conservation. CITRIS researchers James Demmel and Kathy Yelick are playing key roles in developing the architecture, systems software, and algorithms that will give our scientists full access to the power of these new machines. The work of Demmel and Yelick represents not only the future of high-end scientific computing, but also the way forward for smaller parallel computers, including the newest generations of PCs and hand-held devices. It is in the academic scientific computing arena that engineers like Demmel and Yelick have the know-how to negotiate the challenges of parallel processing on a large scale. Partnerships between such researchers and the private computer makers that need their expertise will be an important and exciting source of innovation here at CITRIS.
Professor Shankar Sastry
Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society