Thomas J. Watson Research Center

Research Division.

The center is on three sites, with the main laboratory in Yorktown Heights, New York, 38 miles north of New York City, a building in Hawthorne, New York, and offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The research center is named for both Thomas J. Watson Sr and Thomas J. Watson Jr, who led IBM as president and CEO respectively from 1915 (when it was known as CTR) to 1971.

The research is intended to improve hardware (physical sciences and semiconductors research), services (business modelling, consulting, and operations research), software (programming languages, security, speech recognition, data management, and collaboration tools), and systems (operating systems and server design), as well as to extend the mathematics and science that support the information technology industry.

The center was founded at Columbia University in 1945 as the Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory, on 116th Street in New York, expanding to 115th Street in 1953. The headquarters were moved to Yorktown Heights in 1957, with a new lab designed by architect Eero Saarinen completed in 1961, with the 115th Street site closing in 1970. IBM later donated the New York City buildings to Columbia University; they are now known as the Casa Hispanica and Watson Hall. The lab expanded to Hawthorne in 1984.

Notable staff has included the mathematicians Benoît Mandelbrot, Shmuel Winograd, Alan Hoffman, Don Coppersmith, Mike Shub, Gregory Chaitin, the inventor Robert Dennard, author Clifford A. Pickover, computer scientists Frances E. Allen, John Cocke, Stuart Feldman and Irene Greif, the 1990 Economics Nobel Prize winner, Harry Markowitz, and physicist Llewellyn Thomas.

Blue Gene

Blue Gene, the world's third fastest computer according to the Top500 list of 2006, is in the research center [http://www.top500.org/lists/2006/11] .

Buildings

Yorktown Heights

The Yorktown Heights building, situated on private land not generally accessible to the public, is a large crescent-shaped structure consisting of three levels by 40 aisles. The lowest level is partially underground in some areas toward the shorter side of the crescent, which also leads to the employee parking lots. A large overhang protrudes from the front entryway of the building, and faces the visitor parking lot (See Map of Yorktown Heights Center in the External Links section). The building houses a library, an auditorium and a cafeteria.

Hawthorne

The Hawthorne building is a leased facility located on Skyline Drive, which is part of an industrial park shared by several area businesses. (As with all IBM Research facilities, secured access is still required for the building.) The Hawthorne building (located at19 Skyline Drive) is easily recognizable by its mirrored facade and large blue pole. Located approximately 25 miles north of New York City, the Hawthorne site is smaller than its sister site at Yorktown Heights (with none of the wet lab space found in the Yorktown Heights facility). The primary focus at Hawthorne is software- and services-related research, whereas Yorktown Heights focuses on chemistry, mathematics, physics, silicon technology, and electrical engineering research, as well as some software and services. The building also contains a cafeteria, presentation center and library. The site, opened in 1984, was designed by Michael Harris Spector.

Cambridge

The Cambridge facility can be found at 1 Rogers Street, Cambridge, MA; it is located in one of IBM's Lotus Software development locations. Research at Cambridge comprises the Collaborative User Experience Group and the XML Standards/Technology Team.

ee also

*cite book
first = Jean Ford
last = Brennan
title = The IBM Watson Laboratory at Columbia University: A History
date = 1971
publisher = IBM
url = http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/brennan/index.html

*cite journal
title = The Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory: A Center for Scientific Research Using Calculating Machines
first = Eleanor
last = Krawitz
journal = Columbia Engineering Quarterly
date = November 1949
url = http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/krawitz/index.html

*cite book
title = Computer: Bit Slices from a Life
first = Dr. Herb
last = Grosch
date = 2003
url = http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/computer.html
500+ pages, including several chapters on IBM's Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia University in the 1940s and 50s. Also available in PDF.

External links

* [http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/eckert.html Wallace J. Eckert] Founder and Director of the Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia University
* [http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/watsonlab.html IBM Watson Laboratory at Columbia University]
* [http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/bureau.html The Thomas J. Watson Astronomical Computing Bureau (1937)]
* [http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/wl-gallery/index.html Watson Lab Gallery]
* [http://www.watson.ibm.com/index.shtml Thomas J. Watson Research Center]
* [http://www.watson.ibm.com/images/yorktown.gifMap of Yorktown Heights Center]
* [http://www.research.ibm.com IBM Research Division]


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