Aug. 26: Supercomputing and its scientific applications

By Joanna Steward, College of Arts & Sciences

Ungaro 80PULLMAN, Wash. – Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray Inc. and a Washington State University alumnus, will deliver the first Institute for Shock Physics’ Creighton Distinguished Lecture at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, in the WSU CUB junior ballroom. A 3:30 p.m. reception will precede the free, public lecture.

“Fusion of Supercomputing, Scientific Applications, and Big Data” will offer insight into high performance computing developments and how the powerful combination of supercomputers and modern “big data” sets are radically changing scientific research in the 21st century.

Headquartered in Seattle, Cray,, has been developing the world’s most advanced supercomputers for more than 40 years. In the beginning, top-end machines like the renowned Cray-1 could perform several hundred million floating point operations per second to undertake weather forecasting, nuclear explosion simulations and other specialized applications.

Today, top supercomputers are speeding past the 1 quadrillion operations per second mark and are used in all areas of science and technology.

Modern high performance computing technology enables scientists and engineers to meet existing and future simulation and analytics challenges and achieve remarkable breakthroughs by accelerating performance, improving efficiency and extending the capabilities of their most demanding applications.

Ungaro was appointed president and CEO of Cray in 2005 and quickly began reshaping the iconic supercomputer manufacturing company.

He was named “CEO of the Year” by Seattle Business Monthly magazine in 2006 and one of Corporate Leader Magazine’s top “40 under 40” in 2008. In 2013, Bloomberg named him No. 4 on their list of “Top Tech Turnaround Artists” for generating a shareholder return of more than 360 percent during his tenure.

Prior to joining Cray in 2003, Ungaro led global sales of IBM server and storage products for high performance computing, sciences, digital media and business intelligence markets. He earned a B.A. in business administration at WSU.

The Creighton Distinguished Lecture is sponsored by the Institute for Shock Physics’ John and Janet Creighton Distinguished Professorship and hosted by the Institute for Shock Physics,, and the College of Arts and Sciences,



Yogendra Gupta, WSU shock physics, 509-335-7217,