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December 5, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Six-month-old Neurope Lab in Archamps, France, aspecialist in applied research into the use of computer-assisted human communications and learning, has proposed that the European Community’s Esprit programme should fund its development of a flight simulator for business education. Called SuperSedes, Neurope’s proposed system aims to use supercomputer techniques and visualisation to create a realistic environment for students of business management. Pilots don’t learn to fly by talking to other pilots – they get in a simulator and see what it’s like, says Grant Thomas, senior consultant at Neurope. Yet when you look at business education, students are sent to business schools where they’re taught by people who’ve never been in business. Thomas suggests that if a model of the company could be ported to a massively parallel computer system under an interactive tool, the steering wheel of the business could then be placed safely in a student’s hands while they experience the crises and the decision-making, it would be valuable not only for training but for second-guessing within the company. Thomas acknowledges that SuperSedes poses a challenge in programming massively parallel supercomputers and in managing huge bandwidths to deliver that amount of information. It requires whole new languages for programming, he notes. The project proposal, on which Neurope expects an Community response by the year end, is a reply to the Rubbia report on supercomputing in Europe. That report urges the development of a supercomputing industry by creating high-performance computing centres and by developing supercomputer-based applications to help advanced science and education. Neurope Lab, the brainchild of a group of computer industry executives in the Geneva area, has been chosen already as prime and subcontractor for two projects under the Commission’s Delta (Distributing Education through Technological Advancement) Jitol Just-in-Time Open Learning programme.

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