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Supercomputer Center to Get $14 Million Boost

The world’s largest, most comprehensive computer network that makes it possible for scientists and researchers to share vital resources is about to get even bigger, thanks to a $150 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

The San Diego Supercomputer Center, a research unit of UC San Diego, will receive more than $14 million from the grant pool as a major contributor to the network known as the Extensible Terascale Facility, or TeraGrid. The $14 million coming to UCSD will go to cover operation, management and user support costs.

In addition to being a high-tech marvel in itself, TeraGrid can be a tool for future high-tech and biotech innovators, according to Arden Bement Jr., director of the National Science Foundation.

“TeraGrid unites the science and engineering community so that larger, more complex scientific questions can be answered,” Bement said. “Solving these larger challenges will in turn motivate the development of the next generation of cyber infrastructure. This is a win-win situation consistent with the NSF’s mission to keep science and engineering at the frontier.”

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TeraGrid started four years ago, thanks in part to a $53 million grant the National Science Foundation gave to the San Diego Supercomputer Center in August 2001.

At the time of its inception, the center was only one of four TeraGrid contributors. Today, there are eight: Argonne National Laboratory/University of Chicago; Indiana University; National Center for Computing Applications; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center; Purdue University; Texas Advanced Computing Center; and of course, the San Diego Supercomputer Center.

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Helping Out HR:

Human resource departments looking for a faster way to do business may want to give software developer Hawthorne Benefit Technologies Inc. a call.

Located off Interstate 5 near Old Town, the company, more commonly known as BeneTrac, announced Aug. 16 that it has made several time-saving enhancements to its interactive benefits management software. New features include the ability to obtain employee agreements on new company policies, the ability to electronically communicate company announcements, a simplified open enrollment tracking process and the ability to use interactive reports online.

One other new feature is Enrollment Cleanup, which tells an HR manager when incomplete information is on file.

“We took on an initiative in the first two quarters of 2005 to deliver time-saving features that go beyond merely solving the riddle of providing paperless enrollment,” said Brian Daley, the vice president of technology for BeneTrac. “Our goal is to deliver efficiencies that other online enrollment systems cannot match. These features are the latest results of this initiative.”

All new features are being made available to current BeneTrac clients immediately at no additional cost. To learn more, go to www.benetrac.com.

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New In Town:

There’s a new face at Rancho Bernardo-based Cymer, Inc., a worldwide supplier of deep ultraviolet light sources used in semiconductor manufacturing.

The company announced Aug. 19 that Edward J. Brown is replacing Pascal Didier as Cymer’s president and chief operating officer. Didier, who held the post since May 2000 and is stepping down for health reasons, will stay on with the company as a strategy adviser.

Brown, 48, who starts work Sept. 6, comes to Cymer from Santa Clara-based Applied Materials, where he has held a number of positions since 1984. Most recently, Brown served as group vice president for global operations at Applied Materials, where he was responsible for a $1.7 billion product business unit serving more than 16,000 Applied Materials tools installed globally.

While Brown will be responsible for planning and directing all day-to-day operations in his new role with Cymer, Didier, 47, will be responsible for advising Cymer’s chief executive officer, Bob Akins, on strategic direction and long-term planning activities.

Cymer trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol CYMI. The stock closed Aug. 22 at $33.68, up 41 cents from the Aug. 19 closing.


Send high-tech news to Jessica Long via jlong@sdbj.com. She can also be reached at (858) 277-6359.

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