Visit additional Tabor Communication Publications
November 29, 2011
Nov. 29 -- Argonne National Laboratory researchers Barry Smith and Lois Curfman McInnes have been named winners of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, which honors midcareer scientists and engineers for exceptional contributions in research and development.
"These researchers have made significant contributions to the national, economic and energy security of the United States," Secretary Steven Chu said in announcing the awards. "I congratulate the winners and thank them for their work on behalf of the Department and the Nation."
The award citation honors the breakthrough work of Smith and McInnes in developing PETSc, the Portable, Extensible Toolkit for Scientific computation. PETSc provides robust, scalable software for solving partial differential equations. Since such equations are ubiquitous in computational models in science and engineering, the PETSc library has had a major impact in a wide variety of critical application areas, including acoustics, arterial flow, air pollution, combustion, computational fluid dynamics, earthquake simulation, electromagnetics, fusion, ice dynamics, nanomaterials, and parallel reservoir simulation.
“PETSc continues Argonne’s proud tradition of developing high-quality, influential numerical libraries,” said Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director of Argonne’s Computing, Environment, and Life Sciences directorate. “With PETSc, Smith and McInnes have put the power of parallel computing in the hands of a wide range of scientists. I anticipate that PETSc will be a valuable tool for emerging exascale computing environments.”
Smith, a senior computational mathematician in Argonne’s Mathematics and Computer Science (MCS) Division, received his Ph.D. in 1990 in mathematics from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Science (New York University). He was a Wilkinson Postdoctoral Fellow at Argonne and joined the laboratory in 1994. McInnes, a computational scientist in the MCS Division, received her Ph.D. in applied mathematics in 1993 from the University of Virginia. She was a DOE Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at Argonne and joined the laboratory in 1997.
In developing PETSc, Smith and McInnes analyzed the challenges facing a broad variety of high-performance applications and then devised strategies to encapsulate advances in applied mathematics in robust, portable, extensible software.
“This award would not have been possible without the help and contributions of numerous collaborators over the years," said Smith and McInnes. “The community support has been essential in driving and transforming how large-scale software libraries are developed, maintained, and used.”
“We are incredibly honored that PETSc has been recognized for this award," they added.
Smith and McInnes also both credit the importance of Argonne's postdoctoral programs and the opportunity to shape their own research program.
PETSc was the first widely used parallel, object-oriented numerical software library developed at DOE national laboratories. One of the contributing factors to its success was its ability to manage the complexity that had overwhelmed previous attempts at developing general-purpose iterative solver libraries. PETSc was unique at the time of its introduction in that it placed object-oriented concepts in a context understood by scientific programmers, allowing researchers to continue to program in their favorite languages, using their well-established paradigms.
Today, numerous other software packages, written by groups throughout the world, rely on the transformational solver infrastructure in PETSc for portable performance on machines ranging from laptops to networks of workstations to petascale simulations and beyond.
The Lawrence Awards are DOE’s highest honors and include a gold medal, a citation, and $20,000, which will be presented at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., early in 2012. The awards were established by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1959, soon after the death of Ernest Lawrence, to honor the Nobel Prize-winning inventor of the cyclotron, the forerunner of today’s particle accelerator.
Smith and McInnes’s work on PETSc has also received several previous honors. For example, PETSc was cited as one of the “Top 10 Computational Science Accomplishments of DOE” in 2008. It also won an R&D award in 2009 for its use in simulations by government agencies as well as industry.
For more information on the Lawrence Awards, see http://science.energy.gov/lawrence
About Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.
Source: Argonne National Laboratory
Contributing commentator, Andrew Jones, offers a break in the news cycle with an assessment of what the national "size matters" contest means for the U.S. and other nations...
Today at the International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzing, Germany, Jack Dongarra presented on a proposed benchmark that could carry a bit more weight than its older Linpack companion. The high performance conjugate gradient (HPCG) concept takes into account new architectures for new applications, while shedding the floating point....
Not content to let the Tianhe-2 announcement ride alone, Intel rolled out a series of announcements around its Knights Corner and Xeon Phi products--all of which are aimed at adding some options and variety for a wider base of potential users across the HPC spectrum. Today at the International Supercomputing Conference, the company's Raj....
Jun 18, 2013 |
The world's largest supercomputers, like Tianhe-2, are great at traditional, compute-intensive HPC workloads, such as simulating atomic decay or modeling tornados. But data-intensive applications--such as mining big data sets for connections--is a different sort of workload, and runs best on a different sort of computer.
Jun 18, 2013 |
Researchers are finding innovative uses for Gordon, the 285 teraflop supercomputer housed at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) that has a unique Flash-based storage system. Since going online, researchers have put the incredibly fast I/O to use on a wide variety of workloads, ranging from chemistry to political science.
Jun 17, 2013 |
The advent of low-power mobile processors and cloud delivery models is changing the economics of computing. But just as an economy car is good at different things than a full size truck, an HPC workload still has certain computing demands that neither the fastest smartphone nor the most elastic cloud cluster can fulfill.
Jun 14, 2013 |
For all the progress we've made in IT over the last 50 years, there's one area of life that has steadfastly eluded the grasp of computers: understanding human language. Now, researchers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) are utilizing a Hadoop cluster on its Longhorn supercomputer to move the state of the art of language processing a little bit further.
Jun 13, 2013 |
Titan, the Cray XK7 at the Oak Ridge National Lab that debuted last fall as the fastest supercomputer in the world with 17.59 petaflops of sustained computing power, will rely on its previous LINPACK test for the upcoming edition of the Top 500 list.
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
04/15/2013 | Bull | “50% of HPC users say their largest jobs scale to 120 cores or less.” How about yours? Are your codes ready to take advantage of today’s and tomorrow’s ultra-parallel HPC systems? Download this White Paper by Analysts Intersect360 Research to see what Bull and Intel’s Center for Excellence in Parallel Programming can do for your codes.
Join HPCwire Editor Nicole Hemsoth and Dr. David Bader from Georgia Tech as they take center stage on opening night at Atlanta's first Big Data Kick Off Week, filmed in front of a live audience. Nicole and David look at the evolution of HPC, today's big data challenges, discuss real world solutions, and reveal their predictions. Exactly what does the future holds for HPC?
Join our webinar to learn how IT managers can migrate to a more resilient, flexible and scalable solution that grows with the data center. Mellanox VMS is future-proof, efficient and brings significant CAPEX and OPEX savings. The VMS is available today.