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U Physicist Leads Supercomputing Group

November 19, 2002 — Julio C. Facelli, director of the University of Utah Center for High Performance Computing, has been elected as the 2003 chair of a nationwide nonprofit organization of supercomputing centers at research universities and facilities.

Facelli’s election was announced Tuesday in Baltimore during a meeting of the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (CASC). The announcement came after e-mail balloting by CASC members, who were in Baltimore for Supercomputing2002, billed as the world’s largest conference on high-performance computing.

CASC was formed in 1989 and, according to the group’s web site, “represents the high-performance computing and communications infrastructure. CASC members are committed to using this technology to increase national competitiveness, improve workforce training, advance economic development and enhance education.”

Facelli, 49, a physicist who received his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is an adjunct professor of physics and chemistry at the University of Utah. He first joined the university in 1984 and has held a variety of positions. Since 1995, he has directed the university’s Center for High Performance Computing (CHPC).

The CHPC manages and operates several high-performance computers used by university scientists, and helps find, write or improve software they need to do their research. The center has about two dozen full-time staff members plus a dozen part-time employees, many of whom are students.

The CHPC is among 33 computing centers belonging to the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation. Many other member centers are at universities, but a number are at other research facilities such as the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

“Working individually and together, coalition members complement traditional methods of laboratory and theoretical investigation by using high-performance computers to simulate natural phenomena, handle and analyze data, process signals and create images – all at performance levels not available from smaller computers,” says CASC’s web site.

The University of Utah Center for High Performance Computing:

Background on Julio Facelli:

The Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation: