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Horst Simon Named ALD for Computing Sciences

February 23, 2004

Horst D. Simon, an internationally recognized expert in high performance computing, has been named associate laboratory director for Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab. 

“I’m extremely pleased to have Horst assume this responsibility,” Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank said in announcing the appointment. “This is a critical time for the Laboratory’s computing sciences programs, and I greatly value Dr. Simon’s leadership. I look forward to working closely with him in these important assignments.” 

Simon joined LBNL in early 1996 as director of the newly formed National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Division and was one of the key architects in establishing NERSC at its new location in Berkeley. The NERSC Center, established in 1974, is DOE’s flagship facility for unclassified supercomputing. Simon is also the founding director of Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division, which conducts applied research and development in computer science, computational science, and applied mathematics. 

As the associate laboratory director for Computing Sciences, Simon will have overall responsibility for three LBNL divisions – the NERSC Center, Computational Research, and Information Technologies and Services. He will continue to serve as division director for both the NERSC Division and for the Computational Research Division.

 At the Feb. 23 all-hands meeting where the appointment was announced, Simon thanked Director Shank for his “vision and leadership” in working to expand the contributions of computational science to LBNL research projects. Simon also thanked for Associate Lab Director Bill McCurdy for his mentorship in the ways of DOE and the national labs.

Noting that his already-crunched schedule was likely to become even more crowded, Simon encouraged employees to seek him out whenever they had ideas or issues to discuss. “I really look at this position as being one where you don’t work for me, but one in which I work for you,” he said.

In making the announcement, LBNL Director Shank noted that Simon “is widely respected for his contributions to science.” Simon earned his Ph. D. in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, and continues his research in the  development and application of high performance linear algebra algorithms. His recursive spectral bisection algorithm is regarded as a breakthrough in parallel algorithms for unstructured computations, and his algorithm research efforts were honored with the 1988 Gordon Bell Prize for parallel processing research.

Simon is also widely known for his work in assessing the performance of supercomputers. He was member of the NASA team that developed the NAS Parallel Benchmarks, a widely used standard for evaluating the performance of massively parallel systems. He is also one of four editors of the twice-yearly “TOP500” list of the world’s most powerful computing systems.

From 1994 to 1996, Simon was with the Advanced Systems Division of Silicon Graphics, Inc. From 1989 to 1994, he worked for Computer Sciences Corporation as manager of a research department supporting the NAS (Numerical Aerodynamic Simulation) Systems Division at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. Before that Simon was the manager of the Computational Mathematics Group of Boeing Computer Services, where he worked from 1983-89.


About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.