Larry Smarr is the founding Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a University of California, San Diego/UC Irvine partnership created in 2000. He holds the Harry E. Gruber professorship in the Jacobs School’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UCSD. At Calit2, Smarr has continued to drive major developments in planetary information infrastructure begun during his previous 15 years as founding Director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the National Computational Science Alliance, including contributions to the Internet, the Web, scientific visualization, virtual reality, collaboratories, global telepresence abd Green IT. His views have been quoted in Science, Nature, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, Wired, Fortune, Business Week, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, and the Australian Broadcasting Company. He gives frequent keynote addresses at professional conferences and to popular audiences.
Smarr served as PI on the NSF OptIPuter project for the past seven years and the Moore Foundation's CAMERA microbial metagenomics project, and he is co-PI on the NSF GreenLight Project. Smarr was a member of President Clinton's Information Technology Advisory Committee and served until 2005 on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health and the NASA Advisory Council. He served on Governor Schwarzenegger's California Broadband Taskforce in 2007.
Smarr received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975 and conducted observational, theoretical, and computational-based astrophysical sciences research for the next 20 years. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1990 he received the Franklin Institute's Delmer S. Fahrney Gold Medal for Leadership in Science or Technology. In 2006 he received two Lifetime Achievement awards: the IEEE Computer Society Tsutomu Kanai Award in distributed computing systems and the ESRI Award.