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October 23, 2012 | The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) in Cheyenne, Wyoming, debuted with a flourish on Monday, October 15, in a grand opening event that brought together officials and dignitaries from the institutions that collaborated to make the NWSC a reality. Speakers at the ceremony included NCAR director Roger Wakimoto (emcee for the event), Wyoming governor Matt Mead, NSF director Subra Suresh, UCAR president Tom Bogdan, and University of Wyoming vice president of research and economic development Bill Gern, each of whom addressed an invited group of the NWSC's supporters and partners.
Despite Cheyenne's reputation for rough High Plains weather, the visitors encountered a bright, sunny morning. In fact, said Roger, "the weather has cooperated for every single major event we've had."
Approximately 300 visitors toured the NWSC on its opening day. Three of NCAR's education staff, along with NWSC's Aaron Andersen and Gary New, offered guided facility tours for members of the press and visitors throughout the day. The interactive exhibits in the visitor center are now open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, except holidays.
Following the official unveiling of the fully operational Yellowstone supercomputer, Cheyenne LEADS chief executive officer Randy Bruns presented the NWSC with a custom-decorated, eight-foot-tall boot positioned outside the front door (see photo below).
By donating this sculpture, local supporters welcomed the NWSC into a group of community organizations that includes the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Development Authority, the Cheyenne Artist Guild, Laramie County Library, and Laramie County Community College. The NWSC's sculpture is painted with images of weather phenomena, computer model visualizations, the NSF research aircraft operated by NCAR, and solar events that produce space weather.
Get a glimpse of the proceedings and people from the NWSC event at the slideshow created by UCAR photographer Carlye Calvin. A news release provides more details about the grand opening, and AtmosNews now features a set of related stories on big data.
Portions of this article originally appeared on the CISL website in a report by Marijke Unger.