Texas Advanced Computing Center Adds National and Local Experts to its Board of Visitors

June 22, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) today announced the appointment of two new members to its Board of Visitors.

Joining the board are Dr. Sidney Karin, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California at San Diego and founding director of both the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure, and Patrick Starley, chief executive officer of Buffington Capital Holdings, a leading real estate investment firm based in Austin.

The Board of Visitors includes accomplished leaders in science, technology and business, and helps guide the evolution of TACC's vision and strategy. Board members support the center by identifying and recommending new opportunities in advanced computational research and development; contributing experience and guidance that enhances TACC's overall growth; and reviewing the existing activities of the center and providing constructive suggestions for enhancing impact and effectiveness.

TACC, which is part of The University of Texas at Austin, marked its 10th anniversary on June 1. Since its inception, the center has grown tremendously in capabilities, staffing, awards and impact to become one of the leading advanced computing centers in the nation. TACC's success in deploying comprehensive, world-class technologies for the open science research community has fueled this growth, while the center's research and development programs have enhanced TACC’s ability to enable high-impact computational research.

"TACC is one of the nation's leading academic high performance computing centers. As such it helps assure our nation's future security and economic prosperity,” said Karin. “I am pleased to be able to play a small supporting role for TACC."

Karin is a member of the Science and Technology Committee of the Board of Governors for both the Los Alamos and Livermore National Laboratories. He is also a member of the Policy Committee of the National Energy Research Computer Center at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

"As one of the founding fathers of academic supercomputing, Sid brings a tremendous wealth of experience and wisdom about developing technologies that enable scientists to advance our knowledge about life, weather and climate, energy production and many other fields,” said TACC Director Jay Boisseau.

Patrick Starley brings a different set of skills and expertise to the Board of Visitors. As co-founder of Buffington Capital Holdings, Starley has been directly responsible for the sourcing, structuring, financing and operations of Buffington’s real estate investment portfolio. Under Starley’s supervision, Buffington Capital Holdings has grown to one of the largest private real estate investment firms in Central Texas.

“Patrick, a highly successful businessman and developer, brings expertise in generating capital for major infrastructure projects that will be essential to TACC's future computing capabilities … and he bleeds burnt orange,” said Boisseau.

The TACC Board of Visitors was formed in August 2009 and has 10 members, each appointed to a two-year term with the option of reappointment at the end of each term.

The other Board of Visitor members are:

  • Charlie Catlett, senior computer scientist, Argonne National Laboratory.
  • Peter Flawn, chair, The Leonidas T. Barrow Chair Emeritus in Mineral Resources, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin.
  • Elaine Kant, chief executive officer, SciComp Inc.
  • Pike Powers, attorney at law and civic entrepreneur, Duff & Phelps.
  • Mark Seager, chief technology officer for the HPC Ecosystem at Intel.
  • Peter R. Taylor, director of the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative, University of Melbourne.
  • Patricia J. Teller, computer science professor, The University of Texas at El Paso.
  • John N. Weinstein, chair, Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dan Reed, corporate vice president for the Extreme Computing Group, Microsoft Research, leaves the board after two years of valuable service.

The group meets twice a year: once at the annual supercomputing conference in November and once in Austin. The next Board of Visitors meeting will convene Friday, June 24, giving the new members an opportunity to learn about, and provide feedback on, the center’s activities and opportunities.
 
“Patrick and Sid’s guidance will be invaluable to the center as we seek to not only sustain, but extend TACC's leadership in supercomputing, and enable researchers in Texas and across the country to make discoveries that change the world," said Boisseau.

For more information, contact: Faith Singer-Villalobos, Texas Advanced Computing Center, 512 232 5771.