Grand Challenges Bring Beneficial Research
"Throughout its history, IBM has taken on "grand challenges" like instituting Social Security and helping the space program get off the ground. In the mid 1990s, there was Deep Blue, the computer that took on and eventually beat chess champion Gary Kasparov, as witnessed in 1998 by these IBM researchers. The project is said to have advanced clustered computing approaches. Next was Blue Gene, a project launched in 1999 to study the folding of proteins--crucial in studying certain diseases. The $100 million initiative advanced massively parallel processing (MPP) with high-speed messaging between nodes and fault tolerance, the ability to cope with failing nodes and components without bringing the entire computer down. These are hallmarks of the MPP environments of today.