Inside the NWSC opening

Dignitaries christen NCAR's new computing hub

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.

CAR President Tom Bogdan (at left), Governor Matt Mead of Wyoming, National Science Foundation Director Dr. Subra Suresh, and University of Wyoming Vice President of Research & Economic Development Dr. Bill Gern cut the official ribbon to launch operations at the new facility.
Cutting the official ribbon to launch NWSC operations are (left to right) UCAR president Tom Bogdan (at left), Wyoming governor Matt Mead, NSF director Subra Suresh, and University of Wyoming vice president of research and economic development Bill Gern. Watch the ribbon cutting at the YouTube clip below and see more photos at the slideshow of the morning's events. (Photos by Carlye Calvin.)

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).

Remarks from the opening

“The great power of this partnership is its diversity. It cuts across all sectors. . . It is a model of what can happen when people coalesce around a great idea and have the passion to make it happen.”

—UCAR president Tom Bogdan
view remarks on YouTube

"Wyoming is proud to be part of the collaboration that has brought one of the world’s fastest computers to the state." 

—Wyoming governor Matt Mead
view remarks

"It's been a phenomenal weekend for the National Science Foundation."

—NSF director Subra Suresh, referring to the NWSC opening as well as the launch of the research vessel Sikuliaq on Saturday,
October 13
view remarks

"Bringing the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center into reality was the result of overlapping groups of people working diligently together."

—University of Wyoming vice president of research and economic development Bill Gern
view remarks

"This is truly a public-private sector success story."

—NCAR director Roger Wakimoto
view remarks

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.

Find out more

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.

Photo of life-sized decorated boot outside NWSC
This custom-decorated Big Boot stationed outside the NWSC entrance is one of more than a dozen scattered around town in a public art project launched in 2005 as "These Boots are Made for Talking."