About Us

Advanced Research Computing (ARC) enables data-intensive and computational research at U-M through support of programmatic initiatives; multidisciplinary collaboration; instruction and consultation; and high performance computing resources and services.

Mission and History

ARC was officially established in 2008 (under the name Office of Research Cyberinfrastructure or ORCI), with a mission to catalyze the provisioning and use of leading edge cyberinfrastructure services to provide competitive advantage to the U-M academic community.

ARC was formed in response to a report to the Vice President for Research and the Vice Provost for Academic Information, produced by the Research Cyberinfrastructure Committee in December 2007. The committee, composed of senior faculty and IT leaders who were chosen based on their acknowledged national expertise and prominence in CI, university administration, and IT leadership, was chaired by professors Brian Athey and Sharon Glotzer. They suggested that in order for U-M to maintain research competitiveness, leadership in CI, and sustainability of existing CI efforts, it should form an Office of Research Cyberinfrastructure within the OVPR.

In May 2009, after a series of meetings with stakeholders, ARC issued report to the community, titled “High Performance Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure: An Interim Assessment of the Demand-Side at the University of Michigan.”

In 2013, ORCI was renamed Advanced Research Computing at U-M (ARC) to clarify its mission to provide high performance computing resources and support for the U-M research community. The Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE) was also created in 2013 under ARC to serve as the focal point on the U-M campus for innovative development and use of sophisticated models on high performance computers to support basic research, product development, and forecasting.

In 2015, U-M announced the Data Science Initiative, operating under the auspices of ARC. The initiative is investing $100 million in data science research, infrastructure and services across campus. The Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) is coordinating the research aspects of the initiative; Consulting for Statistics, Computing, and Analytics Research (CSCAR) is overseeing consulting, training and services; and Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services (ARC-TS) will manage new data science infrastructure.



Daniel E. Atkins founded ARC (then ORCI) in 2008 after serving as the first Director of the Office of Cyberinfrastructure Division at the National Science Foundation from 2006 to 2008. Atkins, professor emeritus in the School of Information and in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the College of Engineering, served as U-M’s Associate Vice President for Research Cyberinfrastructure until 2012.



Prof. Kenneth Powell, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Aerospace Engineering, served as interim Associate Vice President for Research Cyberinfrastructure and leader of ARC from 2012 through Aug. 2013.



Prof. Eric Michielssen, Louise Ganiard Johnson Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has been Associate Vice President for Advanced Research Computing since Aug. 2013.