Bill Kramer is the deputy director of the National Science Foundation’s Blue Waters supercomputer project at the University of Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing Applications. In that role, the veteran of 20 supercomputer implementations has been part of an administrative team that expects to take the world of computing another leap forward with its one-petascale machine, Blue Waters. Ahead of Monday’s “Petascale Day” at the university, Kramer and discussed the real-world challenges of implementing huge data systems, the ground-breaking medical and astronomical research Blue Waters could produce, and the ripple effect the supercomputer will have on parallel processing and bandwidth constraints. Bring me up to speed on where Blue Waters stands and where it’ll be over the next few months.

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