Thursday, July 27, 2017

TECHNOLOGY: Three reasons why Trump is backing exascale computing.

On the one hand, I'm having a bit of trouble comprehending the need for a computer capable of one quintillion floating point operations per second (an exaflop); on the other hand, from my life in defense-oriented R&D, I can understand the need to maintain a significant lead in basic science research.

I just hope funding this research doesn't impact 'blue-sky' research - think of the once-vaunted Bell Labs, where where William Shockley discovered the transistor effect in semiconductors and Claude Shannon 'invented' the field of information theory. While both were funded, at least in part, by defense-related grants, neither had any immediate or direct military application. Yet our current world of cell phones and computers wouldn't exist without them.

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