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Q & A: History of supercomputers at the University of Illinois

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
When did the supercomputer come here to the University of Illinois?
- Anonymous

Well, of course the definition of what constitutes a supercomputer keeps on changing, with the increasing technology. Supercomputers made just 15 or so years ago are less speedy at calculating things than commodity computers you can buy today. But nonetheless, the University of Illinois has had and continues to have, in its laboratories, some of the most powerful computers at any given time.

The first supercomputer was the ILLIAC (ILLInois Automated Computer), whose construction started in 1949. The computer was operation in 1952. You can read more about it at

Since then, many different supercomputers have been at the University of Illinois. More important than supercomputers, though, are the people who work on them and make them useful. In 1985, the National Science Foundataion established the Center for Supercomputing Research, and also the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. You can read a timeline at


(published on 10/22/2007)

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