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The Superwoman of Supercomputing

As director of the San Diego Supercomputing Center, Francine Berman is on the cutting edge of several disciplines -- and loving it

Francine Berman is the reigning teraflop queen. As director of the San Diego Supercomputing Center (SDSC), she's the top executive in a 400-person organization housed at the University of California, San Diego, that programs and maintains a machine called DataStar. Built by IBM (IBM ), DataStar can whip through approximately 10 trillion calculations per second, ranking it among the 20 most powerful supercomputers in the world.

At present, Berman is the only woman on the planet in charge of a supercomputer facility. She's also considered among the best in cutting-edge software design to make supercomputers run more reliably and faster.