Obama honors Blue Gene with National Medal Of Technology And Innovation

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Yesterday IBM announced that President Obama would recognize its Blue Gene line of supercomputers with the National Medal Of Technology And Innovation in a ceremony at the white house on Oct 7

Cray logoPresident Obama will personally bestow the award at a special White House ceremony on October 7.  IBM, which earned the National Medal of Technology and Innovation on eight other occasions, is the only company recognized with the award this year.

Wow. This is incredibly good news for the HPC community. The US Patent and Trademark Office describes the medal as “the highest honor for technological achievement bestowed by the President of the United States on America’s leading innovators.”

The Medal is awarded annually to individuals, teams (up to four individuals), companies or divisions of companies for their outstanding contributions to the Nation’s economic, environmental and social well-being through the development and commercialization of technological products, processes and concepts; technological innovation; and development of the Nation’s technological manpower.

The purpose of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation is to recognize those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness, standard of living, and quality of life through technological innovation, and to recognize those who have made substantial contributions to strengthening the Nation’s technological workforce.

Some of the previous recipients have included Ralph Baer (video game console), Bob Metcalfe (Ethernet), Doug Engelbart (computer mouse and hypertext), Vint Cert and Bob Kahn (Internet Protocol), Bill Gates (early vision of universal computing at home and in the office), Grace Hopper (computer languages), Gordon Moore (large scale integrated memory in microprocessors), and Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (personal computer).

According to the Wikipedia, nomination goes thusly

Each year the Technology Administration under the U.S. Department of Commerce calls for the nomination of new candidates for the National Medal of Technology [via the Federal Register — ed].

…All nominations are referred to the National Medal of Technology Evaluation Committee which issues recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. All nominees selected as finalists through the merit review process will be subject to an FBI security check. Information collected through the security check may be considered in the final selection of winners. The Secretary of Commerce is then able to advise the President of the United States as to which candidates ought to receive the National Medal of Technology. The new National Medal of Technology laureates are then announced by the U.S. President once the final selections have been made.

Who else was nominated?

  • Dr. Forrest M. Bird for his pioneering work in the field of respiratory and cardiopulmonary care including the revolutionary BABYBird.
  • Dr. Esther S. Takeuchi for the development of the silver vanadium oxide battery technology which powers the majority of today’s implantable cardiac defibrillators and innovations related to other enabling medical battery technologies that power implantable pacemakers, implantable neurostimulators and left ventricular assist devices.
  • Dr. John E. Warnock and Dr. Charles M Geschke for their pioneering contributions that spurred the desktop publishing revolution and for changing the way people create and engage with information and entertainment across multiple mediums including print, Web and video.

Thanks to reader Sharan for the tip.