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He received both his BA and MS at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri and received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975, did research at Princeton University, Yale, and Harvard, and then joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1979. He is presently a Professor of Computer Science and Information Technologies at the University of California, San Diego.
While at Illinois Smarr wrote an ambitious proposal to address the future needs of scientific research. Seven other University of Illinois professors joined as co-Principal Investigators, and many others provided descriptions of what could be accomplished if the proposal were accepted. Formally titled A Center for Scientific and Engineering Supercomputing but known as the Black Proposal (after the color of its cover), it was submitted to the National Science Foundation in 1983. A scant 10 pages long, it was the first unsolicited proposal accepted and approved by the NSF, and resulted in the charter of four supercomputer centers (Cornell, Illinois, Princeton, and San Diego), with a fifth (Pittsburgh) added later. In 1985 Smarr became the first director of the Illinois center, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
Smarr continued to promote the benefits of technological innovation to scientific research, such as his advocacy of a high-speed network linking the national centers, which became the NSFnet, one of the significant predecessors of today's Internet. When the NSF revised its funding of supercomputer centers in 1997, Smarr became director of the National Computational Science Alliance, linking dozens of universities and research labs with NCSA to prototype the concept of grid computing.
In 2000, Smarr moved to California and proposed the creation of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), linking departments and researchers at UCSD and UC Irvine. Smarr currently serves as Institute Director of Calit2.
As part of the work of Calit2, he is Principal Investigator on the NSF OptIPuter LambdaGrid project, an "optical backplane for planetary scale distributed computing" and the CAMERA Project, a high-performance computing resource for genomic research.
As of 2012, Larry Smarr is engaged in a computer-aided study of his own body.
Smarr has received numerous honors and awards, including:
- Member of the National Academy of Engineering
- Fellow of the American Physical Society
- Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Franklin Institute's Delmer S. Fahrney Medal for Leadership in Science or Technology (1990)
In 2005, Smarr was awarded the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology in Telluride, Colorado.
- Recognized as a member of the San Diego Science Festival's Nifty Fifty, a collection of the most influential scientists in the San Diego area.
A few of Smarr's publications are:
- William J. Kaufmann III, Larry L. Smarr. Supercomputing and the Transformation of Science, Scientific American Library, W. H. Freeman and Company, 1993. ISBN 0-7167-5038-4.
- "Grids in Context" in The Grid: A Blueprint for the New Computing Infrastructure, 2nd Edition, Ian Foster and Carl Kesselman, eds., Morgan Kaufmann, 2003.
- Members of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee. Information Technology Research: Investing in Our Future, a Report to the President of the United States, 1999.
- "Extraterrestrial Computing: Exploring the Universe with a Supercomputer". Chapter 8 of Very large Scale Computation in the 21st Century, Jill P. Mesirov, ed., Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), 1991.
- Charlie Catlett, Larry Smarr. "Metacomputing", Communications of the ACM, vol. 35, no. 6, June 1992.
- Larry Smarr. "How Supercomputers are Transforming Science," Encyclopædia Britannica Yearbook, 1991.
- Smarr, Larry; et. al. (1983), A Center for Scientific and Engineering Supercomputing
- Optiputer: People
- CAMERA: People
- "Personalized Life Extension Conference 2010 - Program". Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
- The Measured Man
- "San Diego Science Festival Nifty Fifty". San Diego Science Festival. Retrieved 2009-02-18.[dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Larry Smarr|
- Smarr's personal home page
- OptIPuter home page
- CAMERA Project home page
- Internet Pioneers: Dr. Larry Smarr - How the Internet Happened