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CRA Testimony on the High Performance Computing and Communications Act

given by Edward D. Lazowska, Chair, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington,
and Chair, Board of Directors, Computing Research Association

before the Subcommittee on Basic Research,
Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives

October 31, 1995

Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on the subject of the reauthorization of the High Performance Computing and Communications Act. My name is Ed Lazowska. I head the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. In addition, I serve on the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Association (CRA) and head its Government Affairs Committee. I am here in that capacity today, representing the nearly 200 industrial research laboratories and academic departments in computer science and computer engineering that are members of CRA and that perform most of the nation's cutting-edge research and graduate education in the critical fields of computer science and computer engineering.

I have two other affiliations that provide perspective that I will bring to bear on this testimony (although I am not here representing these organizations). First, I am a member of the six-person Technical Advisory Board for Microsoft Research. This position affords me a firsthand view of the interplay between this leading information technology company and the national research enterprise. Second, I am a co-author of the recent National Research Council report Evolving the High Performance Computing and Communications Initiative to Support the Nation's Information Infrastructure, which you have heard discussed already today by Dr. Ivan Sutherland.

I am pleased that the Subcommittee has decided to hold these hearings at this time. The Act is now about four years old and will expire in one more year. It is an appropriate time to ask what the program has achieved and where we should go from here. As a research society, CRA has closely followed the HPCC Act from its original inception and through its implementation as a program, and I am happy to have the opportunity to comment on both its past and its future.

I. Overview

Before commenting in detail on the HPCC Act, I would like to start my testimony with two general points.

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