Computers are today used in many fields of natural science research. The three organizations that constitute the Joint Institute for Computational Fundamental Science (JICFuS) have made enormous contributions to advancing the computational fundamental sciences. The Center for Computational Sciences (CCS) of the University of Tsukuba developed the dedicated CP-PACS massively parallel computer system for particle physics research, through the collaborative effort of physicists and computer scientists at its precursor organization, the Center for Computational Physics. In addition to capturing the number one spot in the Top 500 supercomputers list, the CP-PACS system delivered breakthrough results such as the calculation of hadron masses. The High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) has been using supercomputers since the 1980s, and continues to provide research resources for researchers across Japan involved in fundamental research relating to particle physics, nuclear physics, and astrophysics. The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) provides computing resources to researchers across Japan in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics, through projects such as the dedicated GRAPE (GRAvity piPE) computer system for gravitational computation.

JICFuS brings together these three established organizations to achieve the following objectives:

Provide extensive and strong support to computational fundamental scientists

The three organizations and their partner organizations will collaboratively provide extensive strong support to researchers who are pursuing or about to pursue computational fundamental science research, providing this support at a higher level than is possible by each organization alone. The CCS at the University of Tsukuba has many computer scientists, in addition to physicists and other researchers in the fundamental sciences. Computer experts will advise researchers across Japan on topics such as using supercomputers more effectively and developing new algorithms that are necessary to attain research goals.

Provide a common place for computational fundamental scientists and computer scientists

We will incorporate feedback from computational fundamental scientists and others from the application side, with regard to supercomputer operation and other matters, for the integration of new computer systems and development of dedicated computer systems. This effort demands close collaboration between researchers on the application side, working together with computer scientists. JICFuS will serve as a place for both sides to interact and actively exchange ideas on a routine basis.

Creation of new fields of research

We will promote collaborative interdisciplinary research between computational fundamental scientists in different fields of specialization. This will grow out of the collaboration between computational fundamental scientists from different fields of specialization who use shared computational algorithms, and with the involvement of computer scientists. We will also aim to create new fields of research through integration of fields such as particle physics, nuclear physics and astrophysics, mediated by computer systems.