So, How Do Supercomputers Get Named?

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hopper-ka-e1414706298987Over at LBNL, Katie Antypas writes that the process of naming some of the world’s fastest supercomputers is not what you might expect.

Whenever we deploy a new supercomputer at NERSC (the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center), we give that system a name, which is how we refer to the system and also how users remotely log in. At NERSC we’ve always named our supercomputers after famous scientists. Providing high-end supercomputing systems and services to our broad scientific user base is our highest priority, and naming our systems after esteemed scientists reflects our priorities. The process for naming systems has varied over the years. Currently, we solicit names from NERSC staff members. Then the procurement team for a particular supercomputer takes a deeper look and narrows down the selection. Finally, the list of names is sent to the NERSC Division Director for a final decision.

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