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CRA Letter to Members of the Subcommittees
on Energy and Water Appropriations
on Proposed Budget Cuts for DOE Computing Programs

July 24, 2000

The Honorable Pete DomeniciThe Honorable Ron Packard
Subcommittee on Energy and WaterSubcommittee on Energy and Water
Committee on AppropriationsCommittee on Appropriations
United States SenateU.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Chairmen:

I am writing to urge you to restore funding cuts made in the university research components of the Department of Energy's Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) when the FY 2001 Energy and Water appropriations bill (H.R. 4733) is considered in conference. As it stands now the bill would cut $20 million from critical funding for university-based research that drives rapid advances in computational technologies and facilitates their application to DOE's nuclear stockpile stewardship mission.

The Collaborations with University Partnerships, Alliances, Institutes and Fellowships component of ASCI supports research at thirteen academic centers of excellence through the Academic Strategic Alliances Program and at three DOE-supported Computer Science Institutes. This funding enables contributions from faculty at many universities, including Caltech, Northwestern, Ohio State, Rice, Stanford, and Texas A&M Universities, and the Universities of California, Chicago, Illinois, Minnesota, and Utah.

Additionally, university research associated with the Visual Interactive Environment for Weapon Simulation program helps support the development of visualization and other data analysis tools and techniques that are needed to extract information and insight from the large volumes of data generated by nuclear simulations. As these tools must be continually evolved to keep up with advances in hardware and software as the ASCI program progresses, investment in fundamental university-based research in these areas is crucial.

The unclassified basic research in multidisciplinary computational simulation of complex systems performed through these programs underpins the long-term success of ASCI and DOE's nuclear stockpile stewardship mission. Moreover, they support critical human resources activities that train the next generation of experts in high-end computing. It would be shortsighted to abandon this key mechanism through which DOE can leverage other national initiatives and multi-agency efforts, and to attract the foremost researchers in key disciplines to benefit the stewardship program.

To this end, please make every effort to fully fund the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative, including its university-based activities. DOE is one of this Nation's leaders in the advancement of scientific computing, a status that must be maintained if the agency is to meet mission-critical objectives in science, security, and energy. Thank you for your attention to our concerns about these DOE research programs. The Computing Research Association would be pleased to assist you in this matter and respond to any questions you might have.


Edward Lazowska
CRA Board Chair

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Document last modified on Wednesday, 04-Apr-2012 06:51:14 PDT.