Wed, Jan 16, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Former IBM engineer to lead national computing center

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

National Applied Research Laboratories President Wang Yeong-her, center, and scientists Liu Shiau-jing, left, and Genie Chin attend a news conference on Nov. 7 to jointly promote a popular science exhibit held that month at Taipei’s Huashan 1914 Creative Park.

Photo courtesy of the National Applied Research Laboratories

The National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL) has recruited a former IBM Corp engineer to lead its National Center for High-Performance Computing as part of plans to boost development of artificial intelligence and information security technologies, NARL president Wang Yeong-her (王永和) said yesterday.

Wang made the remarks at an annual media event in Taipei attended by the agency’s officials.

Center director-general Shieh Ce-kuen said he is to conclude his term at the end of this month and return to National Cheng Kung University, and Wang said Shepherd Shi (史曉斌) would succeed him next month.

The NARL is also to sign a memorandum of understanding later this year with the Australian National Fabrication Facility, and host Israeli experts on information security and space technology during their visits to Taiwan, Wang said.

Asked if the NARL would follow the Industrial Technology Research Institute’s move to block cellphones and computers made by Huawei Technologies Co (華為) from connecting to its internal network, Wang said it has already set up firewalls and has not purchased key instruments developed by China.

While the NARL has not banned employees from using Chinese cellphones in the workplace, Wang reminded employees of the security risks they pose.

The center has been monitoring and combating cyberattacks on academic networks, Shieh said, adding that it has observed an increase in the spread of fake news.

However, it is hard to track Chinese hackers, as they often make detours, he added.

While banning products made in China is almost impossible, the government should at least avoid using Chinese equipment in public utility systems, such as those for electricity, fuel, railway and water supplies, Shieh said.

The NARL last year completed a reshuffle, closing its Taiwan Typhoon and Flood Research Institute and establishing the Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute by merging two agencies — the chip implementation center and nano device laboratory.

The semiconductor institute has started operations, with its inauguration scheduled for the end of this month, Wang said, adding that other research centers are also in the works.

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