by Kostas Glinos, European Commission, DG Information Society and Media
Head of GEANT and e- Infrastructure Unit
Scientific computing is today becoming the 'third pillar' of scientific inquiry, alongside the more traditional theory and experimentation pillars. At the same time, tough policy choices in the grand challenge areas of our time like energy, the environment, climate and health, will need to be increasingly grounded in Science in order to be effective and justifiable. The availability of high capability systems and simulation software therefore becomes a condition for both competitive Science and sound policy-making. The ongoing evolution towards an integrated European HPC (high performance computing) and computational science infrastructure from scattered national investments now offers Europe the possibility to take a leading position in scientific computing.
Introduction to the Special Themeby Ulrich Trottenberg and Han La Poutré
Many phenomena and processes in nature, science, technology and economy are today modeled mathematically, and these models are used for control, prediction and optimization. Virtual models substitute real systems and simulation replaces costly, long lasting and dangerous experiments. Today problems can be treated on computers that seemed utopian to be solved twenty years ago.