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NNSA administrator on the next generation of computational scientists

In mid-June National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Thomas D’Agostino delivered a speech at the 2010 Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship conference. In keeping with the setting, D’Agostino focused on the importance of trained humans as the centerpiece of a vibrant computational policy and essential component in achieving the NSSA mission.

You can read his full remarks online, but I’ve pulled a few items I thought were especially interesting

NNSA logoTake, for example, the Nuclear Posture Review released publicly this past April. While it obviously defines the role of nuclear weapons for our future national security, it also recognizes and explicitly mentions a key theme I have been promoting for a number of years: the importance of recruiting and retaining the “human capital” needed in the NNSA for the nuclear security mission. In order to succeed in our mission, we must have the best and brightest minds working to tackle the toughest challenges. Without question, our highly specialized work force is our greatest asset. This Nuclear Posture Review has helped generate renewed interest in nuclear security by elevating these issues to the very top of our national security agenda.

…Already, the supercomputing capabilities born of our nation’s investment in nuclear security are providing the tools to tackle global challenges like climate change, the spread of pandemic diseases, and even hurricane modeling. As we move to the next generation of supercomputers, we will see even more opportunities for the kind of cutting edge science and research that can engage people like you and your colleagues. Creating computational simulations to provide solutions – in effect, creating a new discipline of predictive sciences – is a technical base we need and is a direction that many of you in this room will help pioneer.

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