Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Technical Papers Deadline Approaching – Abstracts due April 3, 2015

The abstract submission for Technical Papers is mandatory and needs to be submitted by April 3, 2015, end of day AoE (Anywhere on Earth time zone).  No extensions will be given for abstract submissions.

To find out more about the submission and review processes, please visit  http://sc15.supercomputing.org/program/technical-papers/papers-review-and-submission.

Abstracts due: April 3, 2015
Full papers due: April 10, 2015
Email contact: papers@info.supercomputing.org
Web submissions: https://submissions.supercomputing.org/

Click here for more on Tech Papers

Thursday, March 26, 2015

SC's Jack Dongarra Talks Exascale and Beyond with VR World

Please note: Excerpt approved by VR World.  For the full article, click here.

Dr. Jack Dongarra of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee was the SC14 Technical Program Chair and is serving as the SC15 Test of Time Award Co-Chair.

Jack Dongarra, SC15 Test of Time Award Co-Chair
VR World: During your [recent] keynote you mentioned the ‘exascale challenge’. In your opinion, how do we get there from here? What has to happen?

Jack Dongarra: We can’t use today’s technology to build that exascale machine. It would cost too much money, and the power requirements would be way too much. It would take 30 Tianhe-2 clusters in order to get there. We have to have some way to reduce the power and keep the cost under control.

Today, all of our machines are over-provisioned for floating-point. They have an excess floating-point capability. The real issues are related to data movement. It’s related to bandwidth. For example, you have a chip. And this chip has increasing computing capability — you put more cores on it. Those cores need data, and the data has to come in from the sides. You’ve got area that’s increasing due to the computing capability but the perimeter is not increasing to compensate for it. The number of pins limits the data that can go in. That’s the crisis we have.

That has to change. One way it changes is by doing stacking. 3D stacking is a technology that we have at our disposal now. That will allow much more information flow in a way that makes a lot more sense in terms of increasing bandwidth. We have a mechanism for doing that, so we get increased bandwidth. That bandwidth is going to help reduce [power draw] as we don’t have to move data into the chip.

The other thing that’s going to happen is that photonics is going to take over. The data is going to move not over copper lines but over optical paths. The optical paths reduce the amount of power necessary. So that’s a way to enhance the data movement, and to reduce the power consumption of these processors. The chip gets much more affordable, and we can have a chance at turning that computing capability into realized performance — which is a key thing.

In the US, I think we’ll reach exascale in 2022. 2022 is the point where the money will be in place and it’s a question of money. We could build a machine today, but it it would be too expensive. The current thinking is it will be realizable around 2020, and the US is going to be able to deploy the machine in 2022. The money won’t be in place until then, but the technology will be ready ahead of time.

VRW: What’s your take on vendors’ 3D stacking efforts so far?

JD: It’s great. It has to happen. It’s gotta be that way. It’s a natural way to move. It’s going to be the key thing in terms of performance enhancement in the next few years, and being able to effectively employ that as a device. Things look very positive.

VRW: Over the last few years we’ve witnessed China becoming a rising CPU player, with its domestic Alpha and MIPS-based CPUs. Do you have a feeling that conventional CPU vendors have over complicated things for themselves?

JD: China has an indigenous processor which may or may not come out and be deployed in a high performance machine. There are some rumors that the next big machine would be based on the ShenWei CPU. I can understand the motivation for China wanting a processor, they don’t want to be dependent on Western technology for these things. There are some issues here. It’s not going to be on x86 architecture, so software will have to be re-written for this machine. Software is a big deal on these systems, but that can be overcome.

When China does deploy this wide scale, Intel will stand up and take notice. It will be a big thing, now China will be in a position to use their product and not Intel’s product. That becomes a big issue.

End of excerpt. For the full article, click here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

HPC Matters, because HPC Transforms - SC15 General Chair, Jackie Kern

Jackie Kern
From Jackie Kern:

Like many of you, HPC is more than just a vocation for me — there are many ways that I could make a living, but I choose to stay in HPC because only HPC allows me the chance to enable breakthroughs in such a broad range of fields. From new medicines to safer cars and clean water, HPC is making a difference every day.

Beginning in SC14 under the leadership of General Chair Trish Damkroger, the SC community began a multi-year effort to share the passion we feel for HPC with those outside the science and technical community. It is an effort to demonstrate the impact our community has on the world.

SC15 continues to focus on telling that story through our HPC Matters campaign. Throughout the year you’ll see new videos, inspiring stories, and links to examples of how HPC matters. As General Chair, I’m using this year to amplify that message with a discussion sparked by my own tagline, “HPC Transforms.” This emphasis supports the HPC Matters effort, but demonstrates specifically how HPC transforms ideas, products and people. 

As we are kicking preparations into high gear for this November, I wanted to take a minute to share the vision and goals we have set for this year’s conference:

SC15 Vision:
Provide the attendees the best possible experience from the best tech program and exhibits but also the most productive networking opportunities.  Create an environment where attendees can gain a renewed vigor for the industry and hopefully build the relationships they need to take science and computing to the next level. 

SC15 Goals:
  • Engage the under-represented communities so that they become an integral part of the community of HPC. 
  • Encourage young people to focus in STEM fields so that we can continue the trend of advancing science. 
  • Provide a quality technical program that engages the community in new ways. 
  • Enhance the user experience by offering them a way to easily find and get to what they need. This will be done through various methods of communicating and sharing information. 
  • Bring awareness of the value of this field to the general population, as well as funding sources to continue investing in advancement. 
In her day job, Jackie Kern is the Director of Information Technology at Facilities and Services at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She manages a team that provides application development, infrastructure, web services, and user support for her department of more than 1,200 employees.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

SC15 Housing is Open - Reserve Your Austin Hotel Now

Many of the hotels are within walking distance of the convention center.
Hotel reservations on the SC15 hotel reservation site are now open through October. Reserve now for the best selection of rooms and hotels before they're sold out (and they will sell out)! As always, we’ve tried to locate most SC15 hotel rooms within walking distance of the convention center, and conference busing will be provided to any that are farther away.

Important Dates and Deadlines
  • March 2, 2015 – Hotel reservation system opens
  • September 20, 2015 – Last day for submitting occupancy lists for exhibitor room blocks
  • October 16, 2015 – Last day for making hotel reservations
  • October 16, 2015 – Last day for canceling hotel reservations with no penalty
  • October 17 through November 4, 2015 – Late requests will be accommodated if possible
  • 72 hours (3 days) prior to scheduled arrival – Last chance to cancel without also paying charges for first night
For more info on SC15 housing, click here!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Now Accepting Nominations for Seymour Cray, Sidney Fernbach and Ken Kennedy Awards

Each year, SC showcases not only the best and brightest stars of high performance computing, but also its rising stars and those who have made a lasting impression. The Seymour Cray, Sidney Fernbach, and Ken Kennedy Awards honor the memory of three greats in high performance computing. Nominations for each award are due by July 1, 2015.

IEEE Computer Society Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award
Seymour Cray

A crystal memento, illuminated certificate, and $10,000 honorarium are awarded to recognize innovative contributions to high performance computing systems that best exemplify the creative spirit demonstrated by Seymour Cray.

Brief Bio:
Seymour Roger Cray (September 28, 1925 – October 5, 1996) was a U.S. electrical engineer and supercomputer architect who designed a series of computers that were the fastest in the world for decades, and founded the company Cray Research which would build many of these machines. Called "the father of supercomputing," Cray has been credited with creating the supercomputer industry through his efforts.

Joel Birnbaum, then CTO of HP, said of him: "It seems impossible to exaggerate the effect he had on the industry; many of the things that high performance computers now do routinely were at the farthest edge of credibility when Seymour envisioned them." 

IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award
Sidney Fernbach
A certificate and $2,000 are awarded for outstanding contributions in the application of high performance computers using innovative approaches.

Brief Bio:
Sidney Fernbach born and raised in Philadelphia, attended Temple University where he received both a B.S. and an M.A in physics. He received the Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1952. After receiving his Ph.D., he began his long and productive career as a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where he became head of the Computation Division in 1955. Between 1958 and 1968, Fernbach was also head of the Theoretical Division at Livermore. From 1975, until his retirement in 1979, he was Deputy Associate Director for Scientific Support at the Laboratory. He then became an independent consultant and maintained a long term consultant relationship with Control Data Corporation.

He is internationally recognized as one of the most influential scientists affecting the design of high performance computers during the period that the modern electronic computer grew from embryo to adolescence. From the first supercomputer systems, such as the Univac I and the IBM 704, to supercomputers a million times faster, Sid Fernbach played a pivotal role.
Ken Kennedy
ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award

A certificate and $5,000 honorarium are awarded jointly by the ACM and the IEEE Computer Society for outstanding contributions to programmability or productivity in high-performance computing together with significant community service or mentoring contributions.

Brief Bio:
Ken Kennedy's seminal work on interprocedural and intraprocedural analysis techniques, which build on his insights in data flow analysis; similarly his work on dependence analysis provided a key technical underpinning for automated detection of parallelism. In both of these areas the theoretical impact of this work was matched by a tremendous practical impact, as Ken's work has had a profound influence in the commercialization of automatic vectorizing and parallelizing compilers.

This work has been incorporated into the inner workings of a number of commercial systems from HP/Convex, Cray Research, Digital Equipment, IBM, Masspar, Thinking Machines, the Portland Group, Pacific-Sierra Research, and Applied Parallel Research. Successes such as these allowed Ken to play a crucial role in building a creative bridge between academic IT research and the industrial and commercial world.

IMPORTANT INFO: Nomination Deadlines: July 1, 2015
Email Contact: awards@computer.org

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The SC14 Massachusetts Green Team Explains Why the Student Cluster Competition Matters

The Massachusetts Great Team hard at work at SC14.
"The SC Student Cluster Competitions allow students to learn and advance their education and knowledge, supplying an extraordinary, unique and concrete experience in the field of supercomputing. The Student Cluster Competition at SC14 provided a real, hands-on glimpse into the world of supercomputing. Scaling tests and optimizations allowed the competitor such as myself to say what’s working, what’s better, and best of all: why and how.

Where else could you manage and tweak your own supercomputer to squeeze out the extra flop of speed, and also immediately see the effect in both the LINPACK benchmark as well as the relevant application? SCC14 provided the environment and configuration for both the supercomputing experimentation as well as the delicious knowledge that yes, you had taken that extra step and found yourself at the top with the fastest supercomputer against a spectrum of the fastest."

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

HPCwire Posts Interview with SC15 General Chair Jackie Kern

SC15 Chair on HPC Transforms, Diversity Outreach, and Austin

SC headshot3
Jackie Kern
By John Russell
SC15 General Chair Jackie Kern is hardly new to the HPC community. A member of the SC planning committee since 2003, Kern led the building of SCINET in 2007. The largest network in the world for a week, it delivered multicast video conferencing, among other things, onsite and around the world. As general chair this year, Kern is overseeing a broad agenda – themed HPC Transforms – and hoping to attract roughly 11,000 attendees, somewhat more than last year.

Click here to go the HPCwire website and continue reading the article.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Student Cluster Competition from a Student’s Perspective

SC14 Purdue University and EAUSIT University (Colombia) SCC team. Back row from left to right: Alejandro Gomez, Matt Molo, and Kurt Kroeger. Front Row from left to right: Pablo Restrepo, Mateo Gomez, and Fangning Cheng.
My name is Kurt Kroeger, a senior Computer Science major at Purdue University, and I participated on the SC12 and SC14 Purdue University Student Cluster Competition teams. I first heard about SCC through my co-workers at RCAC (Rosen Center for Advanced Computing) who had participated on the SC11 team and told us about openings for the SC12 team.

Participating in both the SC12 and SC14 competitions has been a rewarding experience for me for a variety of reasons. I was able to gain knowledge on hardware, distributed computing, high performance computing, and scientific computing, which are usually not taught or available to students until they have entered graduate school or the workforce.

For my first time participating in the SCC competition, I was brand new to HPC and supercomputing in general. My experience and performance at SC12 and ISC'13 allowed me to return for SC14.   The second time around I felt more comfortable with the competition as I had previous experience.  Also, I was given more responsibility, which allowed me to take more of a leadership role on my team.

SC12 Purdue team from left to right (facing the camera): Kurt Kroeger, Andrew Huff, Nick Molo, and Tyler Reid.

Being able to attend SC is an experience in and of itself. Talking to the universities and vendors allows you to connect with a wide variety of industry professionals that you wouldn't be able to meet anywhere else. I am graduating in Fall of 2015, and this summer will be an intern at EMC Isilon which creates distributed storage solutions.

I will look back fondly of my time participating in Student Cluster Competition and I wish the best for future competitors!