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Mission Statement


"Man is most free when his tools are proportionate to his needs."

[Soetsu Yanagi - The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty, 1972]



Like many other areas of life today, current scientific research is characterized by an increasing trend toward digitalization; that is, the collection, storage, processing and distribution of data, information and knowledge by means of computer systems.

For tasks which are related to the organization and management of research, or to collaboration and the publication of results, this trend holds true in general for all fields of science.

There are, however, areas in modern research, like high energy physics, computational biology, astrophysics, climate research and others, where scientific progress is directly dependent on the availability of advanced and powerful supercomputers.

At the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), where numerical experiments conducted on advanced computer systems form   - alongside theory - the basis of research, this is indeed the case.

At PIK the information technology (IT) infrastructure, that is the entirety of computers, storage media, data networks, system and application software, may be seen as a unique and important scientific instrument.

Scientists use this instrument to create and further develop mathematical models, covering various aspect of the earth system, society as well as the interactions between both. These models need to be translated into algorithms and in turn into program code in order to use them for experimentation.

It is the task of the IT Infrastructure & Services Group to design, develop and maintain this important resource. The objective of the group is to provide an comprehensive computing environment for all scientists of the institute which shall be balanced, flexible, resilient, secure and easy to use.

Karsten Kramer

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