A peek into progress
I can still remember when the first commercially used computers were covered on the evening news. Complex and cutting-edge, the room-sized punch card system was reportedly going to change the world with amazing speed and accuracy. Who would have believed that 30 years later virtually everyone would have a computer? And could anyone have imagined that they would come in handheld sizes?
The reality is that computers have changed the world. Because of what they enable, scientists have discovered and invented more in the last two decades than in the previous 100 years combined. With data compounding faster than humans can gather and understand, advancements in computation are more than a convenience. They are a necessity.
PNNL is an undisputable contributor in the evolution of computational science, and in fact is leading the charge to develop many next-generation hardware and software tools. This issue of Breakthroughs presents an inside look at the Lab's approach to computation as a strategic asset-a partner in delivering research and a tool for shaping the future. It begs the question: where will it all be in another 30 years? – LT
Writers for this edition: Sue Chin, Jonni Dron, Lee Prince, Rosalind Schrempf, Virginia Sliman, Anna Tensmyer and Lisa Teske
Graphic Design: Tyler Borders, Chris DeGraaf, Nathan Johnson, Shannon Neely, Mike Perkins and Justin Yonk.