June 17, 2009


SUBJECT:    San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC)

After more than eight years as director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), Dr. Francine Berman will be leaving SDSC to take the position of Vice President of Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. This prestigious appointment recognizes Dr. Berman's exemplary career achievements at both UC San Diego and nationally. I am grateful to Dr. Berman for her outstanding leadership and vision. Under her leadership SDSC has become a more integral part of the UCSD campus and a key asset to the UC system. On behalf of the campus, I wish Dr. Berman continued success in her new position. UCSD will soon begin a national search for a new director.

I am pleased to appoint Dr. Michael Norman, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Chief Scientific Officer at SDSC, as Interim Director of SDSC, effective July 1, 2009. In his role as Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Norman has provided outstanding technical leadership since 2008 and has assisted SDSC in establishing collaborations across our campus and the UC system. Assisting Dr. Norman in his interim role will be Dr. Richard Moore, SDSC's Deputy Director; Dr. Philip Papadopoulos, SDSC's Division Director for UC Systems; Dallas Thornton, SDSC's Division Director for Cyberinfrastructure Services; and Lyle Kafader, SDSC's Division Director for Business Services and Human Resources. I am confident that SDSC will continue on its positive trajectory, and will be in excellent hands during the search for a permanent director. I thank these individuals for their sustained contributions to SDSC and our campus.

During the past year, a campus Design Team co-chaired by Drs. Norman and Papadopoulos developed a visionary blueprint for research cyberinfrastructure on our campus that builds on a strong foundation provided by SDSC. A link on the ORA website,, provides access to the report. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Design Team and all who contributed to the report. Feedback on the report is invited and can be sent to me at The Office of Research Affairs will coordinate campus-wide discussion of the report, including possible implementation strategies.

Arthur B. Ellis
Vice Chancellor for Research