Computer simulations are playing an increasingly important role in the frontiers of materials research and in the advancement of technology today. Computational Materials Science (CMS) is now regarded as a distinct multidisciplinary branch of science whose relevance and importance come from (a) the desire to have a microscopic understanding of complex materials and phenomena, (b) the need to design novel materials with desired combination of physical, chemical and metallurgical properties, and (c) the emergence of possibilities to describe the basic interatomic interactions in materials via appropriate quantum mechanical and statistical mechanical tools. With the unprecedented growth of computer power (in terms of speed, memory etc.), and simultaneously developments of efficient and smart algorithms and codes, it is now possible to do large scale simulation of real materials with increasing complexity. A synergy amongst a wide variety of disciplines such as Physics, Chemistry, Metallurgy, Geology, Biology, Computer Science and Information Technology is gradually coming to a reality, because of the advancements in Computer Simulations. The predictive power of simulation can not only narrow down the task of the experimentalists, but also can open up possibilities for designing new materials. The days are not far when new tailor-made materials will be "Created in Computer" before actual experiments.
The ongoing revolution in Information Technology (IT) adds strong support to the Computational Materials Science (CMS) as well. Among these are progress in supercomputing power, exploiting the Internet facility and information superhighway, and utilizing the novel and innovative simulation-cum- visualization tools being developed around the world. We have seen successful attempts to crystallize different European, American and South American networks on simulations of various complex atomistic processes in materials. It is strongly felt that an Asian Consortium on Computational Materials Science (ACCMS) should be formed, There are countries rich in human resources while others are rich in technology. Combining these two would lead to a quantum change in productivity and understanding. In order to utilize the enormous human resources and expertise available in this region. it is felt quite appropriate that the computational materials science community in Asia launch a similar Network which would allow researchers of the member countries to work together and promote scientific cooperation and understanding in this region.
We have experienced several attempts all over the world where human, technological, and computational resources have been pooled together to give collective thrust to specific areas of research. In the area of computational research, this is even more feasible. For example, the Psi-k Network on ab initio simulation of materials, formed amongst the European Nations, has turned out to be one of the most successful Networks. Similarly the recent attempt to create a "virtual institute" of experts from 35 laboratories scattered throughout Sao Paulo has metamorphosed a major genome research project in Brazil. This shows that emerging nations can participate as equals in cutting edge research. A similar Pan American Consortium of Theorists (PACT) is currently being proposed for strengthening the scientific collaboration between North and South American countries. The present ACCMS proposal is an effort to bring together the computational materials science community of various Asian countries.
In this new millennium, efforts would be intensified to benefit the society through high technology. It is with this perception that the thrust areas under `Millennium Projects', have been identified by various governments as (1) Energy (2) Environment (3) Space, (4) DNA, (5) Brain and (6) IT. Since materials are omnipresent and constitute an essential ingredient for all these technological developments, it is widely perceived that simulations will contribute enormously in creating better understanding at different length scales --- atomic, molecular, nano and bulk, and in shaping the future technologies.