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Supercomputer donation to University of Zurich

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Zurich, Switzerland, 19 June 2003—After IBM Research - Zurich (ZRL) recently installed Switzerland's fastest computer at its site in Rüschlikon, it has now donated its previous supercomputer—a system of four towers with a total of 128 processors operating in parallel—to the Organic Chemistry Institute (OCI) of the University of Zurich. This donation will also support the planned collaboration between the OCI and the computational biochemistry effort at ZRL.

The IBM supercomputer now transferred to the University of Zurich will make it possible to study complex reaction processes using direct dynamic approaches, to analyze biologically relevant molecules and their dynamical environments such as that found in proteins and enzymes, and to understand complex properties involving excited state surfaces. These types of projects will be the directions that Kim Baldridge, a newly appointed professor coming from the Supercomputer Center in San Diego, USA, and Wanda Andreoni, manager of Computational Biochemistry and Materials Science at IBM's ZRL, will pursue in their collaboration. Kim Baldridge is also interested in molecular properties of compounds related to buckminsterfullerenes and other aromatic structure motifs. The intensity and diversity of these computational problems require a full complement of computer hardware technologies. "The IBM SP3 system provides an excellent platform for distributed computations involving our team's computational software," she says. "We also plan to incorporate efforts in the direction of Grid-based computing, enabling a network that will allow us to attack problems at a world-class level."

Computational methods have more impact when their results are placed in the context of studies directed toward new molecular design and synthesis. The coupling of molecular architectural principles, computer simulation and prediction as well as directed chemical synthesis create an engine for the rapid development of new chemical entities and materials. Jay Siegel, professor and co-director of the Organic Chemistry Institute (OCI), has collaborated closely with Kim Baldridge in San Diego and is specialized in the area of molecular design and synthesis. This field harmonizes well with the new directions at the OCI and its commitment to state-of-the-art research in the life sciences. John Robinson, head of the Institute, sees this as a major advance in chemical research at the University of Zurich. The collaboration with IBM is expected to be of mutual benefit to both partners in an area of rapidly growing importance.

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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