NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery for 50 Years

Sharing Expertise


March 1, 2008


NERSC and the Swiss National  Computing Centre (CSCS) have signed a  memorandum of understanding for a staff  exchange program between the two centers. 

The agreement gives more formal structure to already existing ties between the  two centers. Berkeley Lab Associate  Director for Computing Sciences Horst Simon is a member of the CSCS advisory  board. Both centers also share a common technological focus, having selected  Cray XT supercomputers as their primary  systems after thorough reviews of various  systems. 

Last year, a group from CSCS visited  NERSC for a series of discussions about  systems and facilities. Howard Walter,  who oversees NERSC’s computational  systems, paid a return visit in January  this year, sharing NERSC’s expertise in  designing and building energy-efficient  computing facilities. 

“While many of us at NERSC are in  frequent contact with our colleagues at  other supercomputing centers in the U.S.,  we see this agreement as a means to  broaden our outreach and perspectives,”  said NERSC Director Kathy Yelick. “Our  informal discussions have already yielded valuable insights. With a more formalized  structure, we expect these exchanges to  be even more productive.” 

The two centers also play similar roles  in their national research communities:  CSCS is the largest supercomputing center in Switzerland and is managed by the  Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in  Zurich. NERSC is the DOE flagship facility for computational science, serving  3,000 users at national laboratories and  universities around the country.  

“Not only do our two centers share  organizational and operational similarities, but we both have the same primary  goal of advancing the scientific research  of our users,” said CSCS Chief Operation  Officer Dominik Ulmer. “We believe each  center has a lot of expertise to share and  we are looking forward to working together on new HPC technologies that will  allow us to further enhance the support  and services we offer our users.” 

Under the agreement, staff exchanges  will be arranged based on specific projects of mutual interest. Each center will  continue to pay the salary and expenses  of staff participating in the exchanges.

According to the agreement, which was  signed in late January, the goal is “sharing and furthering the scientific and technical know-how of both institutions.”


About NERSC and Berkeley Lab
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility that serves as the primary high performance computing center for scientific research sponsored by the Office of Science. Located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, NERSC serves almost 10,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities researching a wide range of problems in climate, fusion energy, materials science, physics, chemistry, computational biology, and other disciplines. Berkeley Lab is a DOE national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy. »Learn more about computing sciences at Berkeley Lab.