The Montana Standard has an interesting perspective column on the recent news that the State of Montana will help fund a supercomuting center in Butte. The Rocky Mountain Supercomputing Center [humming John Denver song] has driven some skeptics due to previous failed economic development projects in the area. The state of Montana and IBM have dished out healthy servings of help in order to push the center into formal existence. According to the article, Montana has a special place in the heart of an IBM strategist.
Earl Dodd graduated from Twin Bridges High School and Montana Tech. He’s now a deep computing strategist for IBM Corp. in Texas and he’ll play a lead role, according to Jim Smitham, director of the Butte Local Development Corp. That’s reassuring. People with local roots are often behind our successful economic development efforts, such as ASiMI (now REC) and SeaCast.
The center is slated to open its doors in January of 2009. This is quite a date considering their first machine will land on the dock December 27th. They’re also currently seekign $380,000 from the Butte-Silver Bow to help cover operating costs until June of 09′, when the dollars from the state will kick in.
Done correctly, the center could prove to be a huge success for the State of Montana and the city of Butte. I would suggest the folks at RMSC should call upon external industry experts to assist with the initial setup, configuration and management of human and computational resources. I, for one, really want to see you succeed.
For more info on the news digs in Butte, read the full article here.