A-Z Index | Directory | Careers

Seymour Cray’s Second Cousin Pays a Visit to NERSC, LBNL

October 17, 2016

Brian Bryce

NERSC's Brian Friesen (back to camera) describes the architecture of Cori, a Cray XC supercomputer, to Bryce Hoflund, a second cousin to Seymour Cray. Berkeley Lab photo by Marilyn Chung.

When Bryce Hoflund was preparing to attend a conference in Berkeley on food policy, she decided to see if she could also visit Berkeley Lab and, particularly, NERSC. In addition to being an associate professor of public policy at the University of Nebraska, Hoflund is also a relative of supercomputer pioneer Seymour Cray. Her grandfather and Cray were cousins.

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, Hoflund spent a couple of hours at the lab, touring NERSC and Wang Hall with Brian Friesen, Richard Gerber and Jon Bashor. During the visit, she mentioned how her father had earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at UC Berkeley and used a Control Data Corp. (CDC) 7600 computer at the lab to run his programs.

Hoflund said she would accompany her mother when she came to the lab to submit requests for time on the 7600 and also came up the hill occasionally with her father when he brought his deck of punch cards to submit a job. Her other family connection in the story is that Seymour Cray was an early employee of CDC, helping to design the 6600 and 7600 computers, before he left to launch Cray Research.

Hoflund wrapped up her visit with a stop at the Advanced Light Source where she said some of the materials research reminded her of the work her father did.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

High performance computing plays a critical role in scientific discovery, and researchers increasingly rely on advances in computer science, mathematics, computational science, data science, and large-scale computing and networking to increase our understanding of ourselves, our planet, and our universe. Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences Area researches, develops, and deploys new foundations, tools, and technologies to meet these needs and to advance research across a broad range of scientific disciplines.

Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 13 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’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 energy.gov/science.