The Computational Materials Science Initiative (CMSI) is a network-style organization made up of computational science researchers specializing in condensed matter physics, molecular science and materials science. CMSI was established through a grant for Field 2 “New Materials and Energy Creation” of the HPCI Strategic Program (SPIRE) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The Initiative is centered on three operating institutions ̶ the Institute for Solid State Physics (The University of Tokyo), the Institute for Molecular Science (National Institutes of Natural Sciences) and the Institute for Materials Research (Tohoku University) and includes 11 cooperating institutes and personnel from universities, research institutions and companies involved in the field of computational materials science. It is an open community devoted to studying new research topics relating to computational materials science as well as providing collaboration and assistance for existing events and activities.
The goal of CMSI is to use supercomputers, among which the K Computer boasts the world’s top performance, to create a new generation of materials science. Major research topics include determining the mechanism by which the functions of superconductors and molecules are manifested, developing next-generation technologies for energy generation and storage, producing breakthroughs that increase the speed of semiconductor devices, deducing the molecular control mechanisms of viruses and the like, and developing magnetic materials, structural materials and so on that offer equivalent performance without the need to use scarce elements. CMSI also provides computational resources for important new research topics that have been proposed, and support for further development.
The distinctive feature of CMSI activities is that one of their major objectives, in addition to state-of-the-art research and development, is the formation of a basic infrastructure for research and development that will lead to the next generation of computational materials science. For this purpose, CMSI holds seminars, symposiums, workshops, training sessions, collaboration with experimental researchers and company researchers, and other activities to build a network of people with an interest in computational materials science, especially young researchers. CMSI also provides support for organization-building and activities to promote the development and dissemination of computers and computer programs. In addition, CMSI promotes personnel training and education as well as public relations activities to promote the role of computational materials science in society and encourage understanding and interest.
The CMSI Newsletter “Torrent” was launched to provide a forum for interchange among students, teachers, researchers, companies and members of the general public, with a primary focus on covering the activities of young researchers. Its goal is to make people understand that the computational materials science is not a special esoteric field of science but one that is relevant to everyone. The Torrent staff will strive to make Torrent a medium that will create new encounters with a wide variety of people that will enhance and develop the discipline of computational materials science and its community.
From left: Tetsuo Mori (Director, Materials Science Division), Naoki Kawashima (Director, Condensed Matter Physics Division), Shinji Tsuneyuki (CMSI Representative Director), and Kazuo Takatsuka (Director, Molecular Science Division)