The university (of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) contracted with Cray to build the National Science Foundation-funded supercomputer Blue Waters after IBM backed out in August 2012. Blue Waters will be capable of sustained performance of one quadrillion calculations per second and peak performance of more than eleven quadrillion calculations per second. The system also boasts the largest online storage system in the world with more than 25 petabytes of usable space. The university whimsically celebrated January 12, 1997 as the “birthday” of HAL 9000, the fictional supercomputer from the novel and film 2001: A Space Odyssey; in both works, HAL credits “Urbana, Illinois” as his place of operational origin. [More at Wikipedia]