New Report Offers Guidance to NSF on HPC Priorities

Posted on May 4, 2016

The National Academies for Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued a report today that offers guidance to the National Science Foundation on national high performance computing policy.

Commissioned by the NSF, the report covers priorities within cyberinfrastructure, software modernization, and blended simulation-big data computation capability.

“We are very pleased with the National Academy’s report and are enthusiastic about its helpful observations and recommendations,” said Irene Qualters, NSF Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Division Director. “The report has had a wide range of thoughtful community input and review from leaders in our field. Its timing and content give substance and urgency to NSF’s role and plans in the National Strategic Computing Initiative.”

Related: Download our white paper on Writing a Successful NSF Grant Proposal for HPC

The report’s seven recommendations are:


  • NSF should sustain and seek to grow its investments in advanced computing—to include hardware and services, software and algorithms, and expertise—to ensure that the nation’s researchers can continue to work at frontiers of science and engineering.
  • As it supports the full range of science requirements for advanced computing in the 2017-2020 timeframe, NSF should pay particular attention to providing support for the revolution in data- driven science along with simulation. It should ensure that it can provide unique capabilities to support large-scale simulations and/or data analytics that would otherwise be unavailable to researchers and continue to monitor the cost-effectiveness of commercial cloud services.
  • To inform decisions about capabilities planned for 2020 and beyond, NSF should collect community requirements and construct and publish roadmaps to allow NSF to set priorities better and make more strategic decisions about advanced computing.
  • NSF should adopt approaches that allow investments in advanced computing hardware acquisition, computing services, data services, expertise, algorithms, and software to be considered in an integrated manner.
  • NSF should support the development and maintenance of expertise, scientific software, and software tools that are needed to make efficient use of its advanced computing resources.
  • NSF should also invest modestly to explore next-generation hardware and software technologies to explore new ideas for delivering capabilities that can be used effectively for scientific research, tested, and transitioned into production where successful. Not all communities will be ready to adopt radically new technologies quickly, and NSF should provision advanced computing resources accordingly.”
  • NSF should manage advanced computing investments in a more predictable and sustainable way.


Read the full National Academy report.

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