Three overall scientific goals will drive research within MAC:
- advancing the frontier of computing,
- creating synergies by trans-disciplinary research, and
- advancing the frontier of each scientific domain in MAC.
The first goal is to ensure the sustained usability of the whole spectrum of architectures, esp. high-end systems, for those applications that will determine progress in science and engineering tomorrow. Hence, MAC will identify and address the key roadblocks for an effective use – i.e. utmost insight in scientific terms and utmost reduction of time to solution in economic terms – of today’s and future computing systems with respect to CSE applications. Second, MAC’s concerted approach shall allow for the exploitation of various synergies, both between research areas and fields of application. Third, of course, starting from the research expertise of MAC’s members, we also expect fundamental improvements at the core of Advanced Computing and CSE, both within each research area and within each field of application.
MAC’s main structural goals are
- to strengthen TUM’s position as a world-class player in CSE and Advanced Computing,
- to establish and consolidate the Garching campus as the core of a leading centre for Advanced Computing and HPC, providing and combining top-level machinery and excellence in methodology as well as in scientific and industrial applications, and
- to contribute to improve Germany’s international standing in the field. MAC’s first structural goal is closely related to TUM.
Actually, besides many related collaborative research projects, most of TUM’s recent or ongoing structural measures (covering all departments involved) foster Advanced Computing. The second structural goal reflects the outstanding research campus Garching (which has recently gained further attractiveness via TUM’s new Institute for Advanced Study IAS and the completed subway connection, e.g.) as MAC’s core with its unequalled list of computing-related institutions: TUM’s departments of mathematics, informatics, mechanical engineering, physics, and chemistry; the Leibniz Computing Centre (LRZ), the latest arrival on campus (2006), operating, among others, one of three German federal supercomputers; Max Planck Society’s computing centre (RZG) operating HPC facilities and providing application support for Max Planck institutes nation-wide; four MPI of physics, all very active in CSE and all generating a huge demand for computing technology. As a first step towards an intensified collaboration, the “Munich Computational Sciences Centre” was founded in 2005 by TUM, LMU, BAdW/LRZ, and MPG/RZG. More have to follow, and MAC’s concept promises to be the appropriate frame to do and coordinate these successfully. Especially against the background of CSE’s and Advanced Computing’s importance, the observation that Germany risks to fall behind is alarming. It is, hence, MAC’s third strategic objective to realise a consortium which sustainably ensures a leading role of Germany in this scientifically and economically crucial field.