Larry Smarr became founding director in 2000 of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a University of California San Diego/UC Irvine partnership. He holds the Harry E. Gruber professorship in the Jacobs School’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UCSD. For the previous 15 years as founding director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the National Computational Science Alliance, Smarr helped drive major developments in the planetary information infrastructure: the Internet, the Web, scientific visualization, virtual reality, and global telepresence.
During his career, he has also pursued basic research in a wide variety of fields, first in general relativity, then computational and observational astronomy, now in the computer science and electrical engineering of large-scale optical networks. For six years Smarr has been Principal Investigator on the NSF OptIPuter LambdaGrid project and is currently PI of the Moore Foundation CAMERA marine microbial metagenomics project, and Co-PI on the NSF GreenLight energy efficient cyberinfrastructure project. 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.
Smarr was a member of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee for President Clinton and served until 2005 on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health and the NASA Advisory Council. He was a member of the California Governor’s Task Force on Broadband in 2007. 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 was presented with the ESRI Lifetime Achievement Award and received the IEEE Computer Society Tsutomu Kanai Award for distributed computing systems achievements.