Cornell University Center for Advanced Computing

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The Cornell University Center for Advanced Computing (CAC), housed at Frank H.T. Rhodes Hall on the campus of Cornell University, is one of five original centers in the National Science Foundation's Supercomputer Centers Program. It was formerly called the Cornell Theory Center.


The CTC was established in 1985 under the direction of Cornell Physics professor Kenneth G. Wilson. In 1984, the National Science Foundation began work on establishing five new supercomputer centers, including the CTC, to provide high-speed computing resources for research within the United States. In 1985, a team from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications began the development of NSFNet, a TCP/IP-based computer network that could connect to the ARPANET, at the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This high-speed network, unrestricted to academic users, became a backbone to which regional networks would be connected. Initially a 56-kbit/s network, traffic on the network grew exponentially; the links were upgraded to 1.5-Mbit/s T1s in 1988 and to 45 Mbit/s in 1991. The NSFNet was a major milestone in the development of the Internet and its rapid growth coincided with the development of the World Wide Web.[1][2] In the mid 1990s, in addition to support from the National Science Foundation, the CTC received funding from the Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Institutes of Health, New York State, IBM Corporation, and other members of the center's Corporate Research Institute.[3]


CAC and its predecessor CTC have achieved a number of firsts, including deploying the first Dell supercomputer and the first IBM Scalable POWERparallel System SP2 supercomputer; installing the first parallel version of MATLAB (MultiMATLAB) designed with the MATLAB product; and running the first parallel job scheduler for Windows.[4]

A new Computing and Information Science building called Gates Hall is now under construction on the Cornell campus. It was funded in part by a $25 million gift from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is expected to open in 2015.


  1. ^ "The Internet - The Launch of NSFNET". National Science Foundation. Retrieved 2006-01-05. 
  2. ^ "A Brief History of NSF and the Internet". National Science Foundation. Retrieved 2006-01-05. 
  3. ^ Cornell Theory Center, from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing
  4. ^ "History". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 

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