Skip to main content

Upcoming Seminar by NCSA Founder Larry Smarr

A photo of Larry Smarr overlaid on an abstract tech inspired background.

High-Performance Computing (HPC) luminary and NCSA founding director Larry Smarr will be returning to the Center to give a talk titled “From NCSA to the National Research Platform” on May 9 at 12 p.m. in the NCSA auditorium on the first floor. Smarr is returning to campus this spring to receive an honorary P.h.D. in Computer Science during the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign commencement ceremonies. While he’s here, he’ll be presenting at NCSA about his journey from the Center to the National Research Platform (NRP).

NRP currently supports over 4,000 users on 135 campuses, accessing 1,300 GPUs, 24,000 CPU cores, and over 10,000 TB of data storage – the largest distributed compute and storage platform supported by NSF today. In the seminar, Smarr will trace the technological roots of the NRP back to NCSA, the Alliance and I-Wire over 25 years ago. These early NCSA experiences led to Smarr’s last 22 years of NSF cyberinfrastructure grants, which built the OptIPuter and then the Pacific Research Platform, which has now evolved into the NRP. Applications in Machine Learning, as well as diverse applications from neutrino observatories to wildfire prediction, are currently empowered by the NRP.

Smarr was instrumental in the development of NCSA and many of its partner supercomputing centers across the nation. He also had a hand in guiding the centers toward a nationwide ecosystem of cyberinfrastructure that eventually led to the creation of ACCESS and its antecedents XSEDE and TeraGrid. His work spans disciplines such as medicine, astrophysics and computer science, and he’s championed the interdisciplinary approach to research that NCSA strives for. All are welcome to attend the seminar in person or virtually. More information can be found here: From NCSA to the National Research Platform presented by Dr. Larry Smarr.


The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign provides supercomputing, expertise and advanced digital resources for the nation’s science enterprise. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students and collaborators from around the globe use innovative resources to address research challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been assisting many of the world’s industry giants for over 35 years by bringing industry, researchers and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

Back to top