Robert Marcus Named Director of Colorado Grid Computing Initiative to Benefit Industry, Education, Government and Public

Robert Marcus, longtime industry technology leader, has been named interim director of the Colorado Grid Computing Initiative, or COGrid, a statewide computing framework with the ultimate goal of providing high-performance grid computing capabilities to all areas and residents of the state.

COGrid is creating a model of the grid computing infrastructure for the future by forging a public/private partnership to integrate high-performance computers from around Colorado into a general application grid computing system that will have a wide-ranging impact on all levels of education, research and government.

"We are pleased to have Dr. Marcus directing COGrid, and we are confident that his vast experience and expertise will lead the initiative to great success," said Anthony Frank, vice president for research and information technology at Colorado State. "Under Robert’s leadership, we feel COGrid will make great strides in enhancing Colorado’s K-12 and higher education systems, improving Colorado’s public and private research capabilities, expanding the state’s ability to govern and increasing Colorado’s ability to attract and retain businesses focused on high technology."

Marcus currently serves as a senior research engineer at the renowned SRI International, an independent, nonprofit research institute that conducts client-supported research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses and nonprofit foundations.

"I am pleased to take over the leadership of the COGrid, one of the first Grid testbeds for the full range of innovative next-generation applications," said Marcus. "My predecessor, Dr. Ralph Castain, has done an outstanding job working with faculty at Colorado State University to initiate the development of a prototype system, and I look forward to extending COGrid across the state. The Grid Initiative is actively seeking to collaborate with many partners from the business, system vendor, application software supplier, Grid middleware, government, education and end-user communities."

Marcus has previously served as chief technology officer for Rogue Wave Software, director of technology transformation and deployment at General Motors, as well as in business development and technology leadership positions at American Management Systems, Boeing Computer Services and Hewlett-Packard. He also served as associate professor of computer science and mathematics at the City University of New York from 1973-1984.

Marcus’ experience has been focused on the pragmatic use of advanced software technology in enterprise applications. In 2002, he wrote the book, "Great Global Grid: Emerging Technology Strategies," that focused on the future convergence of advanced Internet software technologies such as Web services, portals, wireless, peer-to-peer, EAI, distributed resource managers and grids into a Global Grid framework.

The COGrid concept seeks to integrate a wide range of Colorado’s independent computing resources into a general application network capable of supporting a correspondingly broad group of users. COGrid is an entirely new concept: most current U.S. grid systems have been constructed for specific scientific purposes, such as high-energy physics or earthquake engineering, and are not available to the public. In contrast, COGrid will be available to a wide range of users, enterprises and applications, with the goal of eventually becoming accessible to all Coloradoans.

The COGrid computing initiative was conceived by a joint group of Colorado State University faculty, industry and government representatives. Its activity has been supported by the university’s Information Science and Technology Center, or ISTeC ( COGrid was designed to address several major objectives:

– enhancing Colorado’s scientific research and educational capabilities;

– supporting the state’s high-tech industry;

– enabling intensive enterprise computing for all companies; and

– improving the state’s ability to govern through the use of advanced computing capabilities.

COGrid will enhance Colorado’s ability to attract and retain high-tech industry, especially in new areas such as bioinformatics and genomic design, by offering inexpensive access to a high-performance computing grid and hands-on experience in the design and use of grid systems. Many enterprises will be able to use the shared computing resources for applications such as data mining, simulation and statistical analysis.

Beneficial scientific and engineering applications provided by COGrid are numerous, spanning fields from physics to veterinary science. Through COGrid, Colorado scientists will have access to high-performance computing resources across the state, giving them a competitive edge in obtaining future research grants. COGrid will enhance Colorado’s entire educational system by providing access to high-performance computing for academic institutions across the state, including universities and K-12 schools.

COGrid will improve the state’s ability to govern through the development and use of advanced modeling capabilities that are enabled by access to grid computing resources. Many government applications, such as transportation planning, environment modeling, statistical analysis, homeland security and crisis response simulations, require massive computing resources for short time periods. The COGrid will economically provide shared resources for all of these applications.

For more information about the Colorado Grid Computing Initiative, go to or contact Robert Marcus at or