The first of two meetings of the 1980–1981 AFOSR-HTTM-Stanford Conference on Complex Turbulent Flows: Comparison of Computation and Experiment is described. The Conference is a cooperative research effort involving a major fraction of research workers in turbulent flow. It has three objectives: (i) establishment of trustworthy data sets that can be used as the basis for modeling complex turbulent flows and as standard trial cases for checking output of computations in such flows; (ii) the creation of a data library in standardized, machine-readable form on magnetic tape of the trustworthy cases; (iii) the comparison of current computational output from many groups with the standard trial cases. The meeting on data held at Stanford University, Sept. 3–5, 1980, is described in this paper, including: a short history of the problem, difficulties in turbulence research and recordation of adequate data sets, organization and special procedures in the conference, the trial cases established for the 1981 meeting on computation, a number of other specific results from the meeting, and conclusions. It is concluded that the 1980 meeting was successful not only in meeting goals (i) and (ii) but also in clarifying many other issues that have been troubling the research community and clarifying needs for future researches. The Proceedings from the 1980 meeting will be published in spring, 1981 and may be ordered from the first author.

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