History

Established in 1967, with a strong commitment to become a major player in the Brazilian scientific and technological development, Unicamp is a major university in Latin America and top-ranked among Brazilian higher education and research institutions. It plays a leading role in promoting technological innovation in Brazil and distinguishes itself in its pioneering activities as an incubator of many science- based industries. The broader field of computational engineering and sciences is one in which Unicamp has made remarkable contributions to Brazil’s scientific and technological advancement. Examples include the consolidation of internationally known research groups in computational physics and chemistry, computational engineering and materials science, computational biology, computational geophysics, and computer science. Unicamp has also spun off a number of bioinformatics and computing based companies. Despite the success of these endeavors, the distinct computational research groups at Unicamp have acted mostly individually and isolated from each other, with limited partnerships on sporadic occasions. A difficulty shared by all groups for which substantial high-performance, data-intensive, and massive computation are required, is the lack of specific expertise on establishing adequate infrastructure and support (hardware, software, and human resources) to carry out computation tasks in an optimal way. As a consequence, researchers are flooded with all kinds of managing problems, such as equipment duplication, or hardware and software redundancy, to mention a few. Moreover, researchers primarily devoted to their areas of expertise are not able to cope with and take advantage of advances in the dramatically changingenvironment of computation. This scenario is not particular to Unicamp. Currently, no University or research center in Brazil possesses a unified venue in which scientists and engineers can share expertise and work closely together to solve the broad range of problems we face today at the forefront of science and technology. To meet the challenges of achieving substantially higher levels of computing for the purposes of research, industry applications, innovation and dissemination, we seek to establish a multidisciplinary center, which, in addition to carrying out specific projects that demand high-performance and massive computation, also concentrates strong capability in human resources (computation professionals, technicians and researchers), so as to provide qualified advice and support to initiatives in large computational science projects for both academia and industry.

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