Dr. Smarr has long been a pioneer in the creation of a
national information infrastructure to support academic research, governmental functions,
and industrial competitiveness. In 1983 he initiated the first proposal to the National
Science Foundation (NSF) recommending development of a national supercomputer center. This
resulted in the creation of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1985, where he serves as its
Director. Since then, NCSA has been a pioneer in coupling the leading edge of
supercomputing with personal computer software, virtual reality, and telecommunications.
The development of NCSA Mosaic has transformed the Internet to the Web and led to strong
commercial interest in electronic commerce.
In October, 1997, Dr. Smarr also became the Director of the National
Computational Science Alliance, comprised of over fifty university, government labs, and
corporations linked with NCSA in a national-scale virtual enterprise to prototype the
information infrastructure of the 21st Century. Dr. Smarr is a tireless speaker
championing the notion of the revolutionary nature of the Information Age. His views on
the Internet, supercomputers, and computational science have been quoted widely in
publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, Fortune,
Business Week, and Science.
Dr. Smarr, age 48, earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from
the University of Missouri, a master's at Stanford University, and a doctorate from the
University of Texas at Austin (all are in Physics). He then conducted postdoctoral
research at Princeton, Yale, and Cambridge universities. For the three years before he
joined the University of Illinois faculty in 1979, Smarr was a Junior Fellow in the
Harvard University Society of Fellows. An internationally recognized astrophysicist, Dr.
Smarr has conducted observational, theoretical, and computational based research,
resulting in the publication of over seventy scientific papers.
Smarr is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a
Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In 1990 he received the Franklin Institute's Delmer S. Fahrney Medal for Leadership in
Science or Technology. He has co-authored with William Kaufmann III, the book,
Supercomputing and the Transformation of Science.