Background
As computing technologies ebb and flow, the balance between collaborative research computing infrastructure activities and decentralized individual PI activity at MIT has varied.

At times MIT has housed centrally run computer facilities serving a large number of faculty and principal investigator groups. At other times the landscape has been entirely decentralized.
Rationale
With the completion of three linked facilities for housing research computing MIT is recognizing the central role of at scale computation for all manner of research. However, predicting the technology future in computing has always been hard and computing is full of famous pronouncements that later prove to have missed the mark , such as Thomas Watson's quote as IBM chairman that "computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."

Broadly, the research computing project at MIT focusses on ensuring research computing needs are being addressed effectively and sustainably, as technology continues to evolve. Current activities address
• providing quality spaces with efficient power, cooling and network access.
• economies and efficiencies of scale that can be realized through collaborative infrastructure efforts.

The research computing project aims ensure that MIT provides infrastructure that can sustain world leading research computing initiatives across all areas and disciplines.

The project is sponsored by the Vice President of Research. It leads activities that boost the Institutes ability to stay at the forefront of research computing practices.

A faculty led Committee on Research Computing provides guidance and feedback to the project.
Both the Committee on Research Computing and the Research Computing Project exist to channel the needs of the entire MIT research community and identify strategic endeavors, cost effective, that can exploit continually evolving computing landscapes. The Committee on Research Computing mission is to act as a governing council that takes a broad view and channels the needs of the full research community. The Research Computing Project acts to realize goals and leads strategic activities to further research computing capabilities and capacity.