Expo/Computation/The Metacomputer


There's a different kind of computing in the making. It will change the ways in which scientists do their research, workers and managers go about their businesses, physicians treat their patients, even the ways in which students learn.

It's called


..and, as the term implies, it transcends everyday notions
of what computing is all about.

Naturally, metacomputing depends on having a


What is a Metacomputer?

The metacomputer is, simply put, a collection of computers held together by state-of-the-art technology and "balanced" so that, to the individual user, it looks and acts like a single computer. The constituent parts of the resulting "metacomputer" could be housed locally, or distributed between buildings, even continents.

A Short History of the Metacomputer

NCSA Director, Larry Smarr, coined the term "metacomputing" around 1987 to describe his concept of a connected, coherent computing environment. It wasn't very long before computational scientists began to demonstrate its potential to accelerate research in many fields of science and engineering.

Metacomputing Tomorrow

The metacomputer of tomorrow will not only transform how scientists and engineers perform research, but could also change the way you work and live. Whether logging in from your laboratory or office PC, or via a wireless laptop, you'll tap into the computational might of several or many computers, possibly hundreds or thousands of miles away--just as easily as you reached this exhibit.


A short selection of sources for further reading about computational technologies.

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Copyright 1995, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

NCSA. Last modified 11/4/95