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James Myers to Lead the Nano Computational Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

By Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

August 31, 2010



James Myers has been selected by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to lead the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI) at Rensselaer. Myers currently serves as associate director for cyber-environments at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. 

Myers will join Rensselaer as director of CCNI and clinical professor in computer science on Nov. 1.  Located at Rensselaer's Technology Park in North Greenbush, N.Y., CCNI is a $100 million collaboration between Rensselaer, IBM and New York State. The center houses one of the world's most powerful university-based supercomputers and is considered one of the top supercomputer centers internationally. The center was formally opened in 2007.

Work at the CCNI is designed both to help continue the impressive advances in shrinking device dimensions seen by electronics manufacturers, and to extend this model to a wide array of industries that could benefit from nanotechnology, according to the partners. The CCNI systems consist of massively parallel IBM Blue Gene supercomputers, Power-based Linux clusters, and AMD Opteron processor-based clusters, providing more than 100 teraflops of computing power.

"Today's information technologies drive new discovery and scientific breakthroughs. Jim Myers brings a wealth of experience and strategic vision in these technologies to CCNI and Rensselaer," says Rensselaer Vice President for Research Fran Berman. "We are excited that Jim will be joining us and we look forward to his leadership of CCNI."

"Jim Myers' strong grounding in a variety of scientific areas and his broad experience in developing data and computationally intensive infrastructure to support leading edge research in high-performance computing environments makes him an ideal candidate to lead the CCNI," says John Kolb, Rensselaer's vice president for information services and technology and chief information officer.

Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, New York State CIO and director of the Office for Technology says, "The research and development that takes place on the high-powered supercomputer enables New York State government to harness the technologies of the digital age to solve complex problems in public safety, cyber security, education, transportation, health or human services to name just a few. . . . Our joint investment with CCNI, NYSTAR [New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation] and IBM is a perfect example of the kind of collaboration that will keep New York at the forefront of the new and innovative digital economy. I look forward to working with Jim Myers and CCNI to continue our advancing our partnership."

"Dr. Jim Myers' expertise in optimizing the use of High Performance Computing platforms as well as his world class researcher status makes him a key asset in the high performance computing initiative in New York. One of the main goals of this collaboration between IBM, RPI and NYS is to provide businesses, both large and small, the access and technical assistance to facilitate complex research which will allow them to enhance and grow their global competitiveness," says Edward Reinfurt, executive director of NYSTAR.

Myers has over 15 years of broad experience designing, developing, and operating cyber-infrastructure for scientific communities spanning academia, government, and industry.

Prior to his current role, Myers led the development of scientific "collaboratories" for research and education at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, serving as chief scientist for the Computational Science and Mathematics Division.

Open-source software developed by Myers and his colleagues—under U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and Office of Naval Research funding—includes collaborative portals, workflow tools, scientific content management middleware, remote instrument control software, an electronic laboratory notebook, real-time collaboration tools, and data translation and metadata extraction tools that collectively have been used by thousands of researchers and educators.

His current development and deployment efforts include the creation of digital watershed technology that provides Web 2.0 interfaces to integrated geospatial and time series information from models and sensors, the Dark Energy Survey telescope's petascale data processing system, the Mid-America Earthquake Center's MAEViz hazard risk management environment, and National Archives and Records Administration-supported data parsing technologies being integrated into the SHAMAN digital preservation environment.

Myers is also active in cyber-infrastructure design and standardization efforts related to content management, semantic services, and provenance.

Myers received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley; and his bachelor's degree in physics from Cornell University.

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