Supercomputing Conference Turns 20

By Michael Feldman

November 16, 2008

After more than a year of planning, the 20th annual Supercomputing conference (SC08) kicks off on Monday in Austin, Texas. SC08’s general chair, Patricia J. Teller, is a veteran of past SC conferences and is currently a professor at the University of Texas (UTEP) at El Paso. We got the opportunity to ask Professor Teller a little bit about her background, what went into planning this year’s event, and what we can look forward to this week.

HPCwire: First, can you tell us a little about your day job as a Professor with the Department of Computer Science at The University of Texas at El Paso and any other activities you are currently involved in?

Patricia Teller: As a professor, I am involved in research, teaching and service. With respect to research, I am currently working with six Ph.D. students, a master’s student, two undergraduates, and a research specialist, as well as collaborators at New Mexico State University, IBM, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, University of Oregon, ParaTools, Inc., Sandia National Laboratories, and University of Delaware. Our present research foci are dynamic adaptation of operating systems and computer architectures; performance evaluation, modeling, and enhancements, in particular with regard to. I/O, checkpoint/restart, and multi-core architectures; parallel and distributed computing; workload characterization; and education. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the systems areas, e.g., computer architecture, operating systems, and parallel and distributed computing. In addition, I serve on committees at the department, college and university levels; am UTEP’s representative to HiPCAT, High Performance Computing Across Texas, and the AHPCRC, the Army High Performance Computing Research Center; am a member of the program committees of other conferences; and serve on the TeraGrid Science Advisory Board, the IPlant EOT Advisory Board, and the SC Steering Committee.

HPCwire: It is apparent you have a deep interest in high performance computing and computer science, in general. What roles do you believe these technologies will play in our economy over the next 5 to 10 years?

Teller: As we all know, high performance computing has become a catalyst for advancing the state-of-the-art in science, engineering, and other disciplines. Such advances are critical to national and global interests, financial and scientific. For example, these advances will help provide accurate weather and climate forecasting, design new pharmaceuticals, and support advanced manufacturing design. Accordingly, computer science is being and will continue to be an important component of multi-disciplinary research and the industries that benefit from this research. At SC08, we will be focusing on two key areas — Biomedical Informatics and Energy. As an example of the breadth of research HPC can contribute to, our Energy Thrust will address everything from better use of existing energy resources to developing future energy sources such as fusion and biomass.

HPCwire: Can you point to a specific technology or trend in HPC that is changing the nature of supercomputing?

Teller: Multicore processors certainly is one of those technologies, and, as you will see, this is quite apparent in the SC08 Technical Program.

HPCwire: Turning to the conference: In the past you have been involved in SC as a member of the Steering Committee. What is it like being the program chair?

Teller: I have served the conference in many ways: on the Technical Papers Committee, the Tutorials Committee, the Technical Program Committee, and the Steering Committee, and as Student Volunteer Chair, Invited Speakers Chair, and Finance Chair — and maybe in other capacities too! Now, as Conference General Chair, I have a role that draws on these varied experiences, but also brings with it a lot of responsibility and effort. Being the General Chair, and having a great committee, once the vision is formed and conveyed, and the ball starts rolling, the chair’s role is to make sure it stays on course and to support the efforts of the committee members.

For me, this has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which would not have occurred if I were not nominated and elected by the SC Steering Committee, if the President of UTEP, Dr. Diana Natalicio, did not support my involvement, if my husband, Joe, did not support the many hours that I have spent in the planning process instead of doing other things, and if all the wonderful people on the SC08 committee did not commit and deliver. Working with the SC08 committee has been a joy and I look forward to experiencing, with them, the fruits of our efforts.

HPCwire: In what ways has the conference changed since you’ve been involved? What is your most memorable experience from SC years past?

Teller: The biggest change is the size, the magnitude! The SC08 20th Anniversary exhibit provides data on how the conference has grown, along with advances in the associated industry. I know folks will find it most interesting, as did I!

My most memorable experience… I will go with the first that came to mind: introducing Alvy Ray Smith, who was an invited speaker at Supercomputing ’96 and who I managed to secure for the conference. That was quite an experience for me since I was an assistant professor and still quite a newcomer to the SC Conference — speaking (even just an introduction) in front of all those people! And, now as General Chair I will do it again!

HPCwire: Were there any major challenges, setbacks or surprises in putting together this year’s conference?

Teller: The SC08 committee is awesome and the planning of the conference has gone rather smoothly. Our only big concern was the economic downturn and how it might affect attendance. I am happy to say that we will have more attendees than we projected in our budget! We also have sold out all the exhibit space in the Austin Convention Center, fitting in 339 exhibitors. Even under the current economic conditions, it’s clear that SC is the conference that can’t be missed.

HPCwire: What was your vision for this year’s conference? What can you tell us about this year’s theme?

Teller: My vision for this year’s conference was to make it an exciting, memorable, stellar, and welcoming conference. I wanted it to have an excellent Technical Program, application areas that were not well represented in past programs and that are of particular interest in the state of Texas, such as the Biomedical Informatics and Energy Thrusts I mentioned earlier. There also will be an exhibit that captures the past 20 years of the conference — this being the 20th anniversary of the conference, exploration of advances in music made possible by high performance computing, and continuation of the conference’s important outreach activities, i.e., the Broader Engagement Program, the Education Program, and the Cluster Challenge, which all were successful SC07 initiatives. And, very soon, my vision will become a reality!

An overriding theme for the conference is the 20th Anniversary. The star in the SC08 logo is evocative of both the state of Texas, the Lone Star State, and the SC Conference, which, as Jon Bashor wrote and as is noted on the SC08 website, “hosts longtime luminaries who established and built the conference and the next generation of stars who bring new ideas and perspectives to SC. The charging horses in the logo evoke Texas’ frontier heritage, as well as the ever-increasing “horsepower” of parallel computing systems and networks. The horses’ forward movement reflects the community’s constant push on the frontiers of high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis.”

HPCwire: What else is new on the agenda this year?

Teller: As always, the technical program focuses on high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis. However, this year, as I mentioned, we have introduced two Technology Thrusts, Biomedical Informatics and Energy, which are of particular interest in the state of Texas and, of course, the nation and the world. The idea of thrust areas is to showcase scientific and technological advances that have been facilitated by high performance computing systems and expertise. This year’s Technology Thrusts are represented in many aspects of the technical program, as well as in the exhibits.

In addition to adding the Technology Thrust areas, we have added a 20th Anniversary Initiative and a Music Initiative. The 20th Anniversary Initiative has created a museum-quality exhibit of the past 20 years of the conference and related technological advances, and an archive of videos, photos, and memorabilia that will live on into perpetuity. Austin being known as The Live Music Capital of the World gave rise to the Music Initiative, which explores the effect of high performance technologies on the generation of music.

Finally, we introduced SC Your Way to facilitate the attendee’s experience at the conference and in the city of Austin. SC Your Way helps an attendee select a hotel, a restaurant, or an evening activity, in addition to facilitating their navigation of the many events at SC08.

The successes of the Broader Engagement Program, the Education Program, and the Cluster Challenge compelled us to continue and support them this year. Each has grown in size and “reach.”

HPCwire: As a conference attendee, what are you most looking forward to at SC08?

Teller: Quoting a dear friend in the 20th Anniversary video, the conference is like the County Fair…. I am looking forward to everything, including seeing and visiting with friends and colleagues!

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Summit Achieves 445 Petaflops on New HPL-AI Benchmark

June 19, 2019

Summit -- the world's the top-ranking supercomputer -- has been used to test-drive a new AI-targeted Linpack benchmark, called HPL-AI. Traditionally, supercomputer performance is measured using the High-Performance Li Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

By the Numbers: For the HPC Industry, These Are the Good Old Days

June 18, 2019

For technology vendors in HPC and HPC-related markets driven by increased demand for AI, enterprise and exascale solutions, this is the best of times – with better times likely in the offing. HPC analyst firm Hyperion Research took the occasion of its semi-annual HPC market update breakfast today in Frankfurt... Read more…

By Doug Black

Top500 Purely Petaflops; US Maintains Performance Lead

June 17, 2019

With the kick-off of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt this morning, the 53rd Top500 list made its debut, and this one's for petafloppers only. The entry point for the new list is 1.022 petaf Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture: How to Power a Cloud

Learn how HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture provide critical infrastructure for leading Nordic HPC provider’s HPCFLOW cloud service.

For decades, HPE has been at the forefront of high-performance computing, and we’ve powered some of the fastest and most robust supercomputers in the world. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Avoid AI Redo’s by Starting with the Right Infrastructure

Do you know if you have the right infrastructure for AI? Many organizations don’t have it. In a recent IDC survey, “77.1% of respondents say they ran into one or more limitations with their AI infrastructure on-premise and 90.3% ran into compute limitations in the cloud.” Read more…

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its intention to make Arm a full citizen in the processing arch Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Summit Achieves 445 Petaflops on New HPL-AI Benchmark

June 19, 2019

Summit -- the world's the top-ranking supercomputer -- has been used to test-drive a new AI-targeted Linpack benchmark, called HPL-AI. Traditionally, superco Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

By the Numbers: For the HPC Industry, These Are the Good Old Days

June 18, 2019

For technology vendors in HPC and HPC-related markets driven by increased demand for AI, enterprise and exascale solutions, this is the best of times – with better times likely in the offing. HPC analyst firm Hyperion Research took the occasion of its semi-annual HPC market update breakfast today in Frankfurt... Read more…

By Doug Black

Top500 Purely Petaflops; US Maintains Performance Lead

June 17, 2019

With the kick-off of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt this morning, the 53rd Top500 list made its debut, and this one's for petafl Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Jack Wells Joins OpenACC; Arm Support Coming

June 17, 2019

Perhaps the most significant ISC19 news for OpenACC wasn’t in its official press release yesterday which touted growing user traction and the notable addition Read more…

By John Russell

DDN Launches EXA5 for AI, Big Data, HPC Workloads

June 17, 2019

DDN, for two decades competing at the headwaters of high performance storage, this morning announced an enterprise-oriented end-to-end high performance storage Read more…

By Doug Black

Final Countdown to ISC19: What to See

June 13, 2019

If you're attending the International Supercomputing Conference, taking place in Frankfurt next week (June 16-20), you're either packing, in transit, or are alr Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The US Global Weather Forecast System Just Got a Major Upgrade

June 13, 2019

The United States’ Global Forecast System (GFS) has received a major upgrade to its modeling capabilities. The new dynamical core that has been added to the G Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

High Performance (Potato) Chips

May 5, 2006

In this article, we focus on how Procter & Gamble is using high performance computing to create some common, everyday supermarket products. Tom Lange, a 27-year veteran of the company, tells us how P&G models products, processes and production systems for the betterment of consumer package goods. Read more…

By Michael Feldman

Cray, AMD to Extend DOE’s Exascale Frontier

May 7, 2019

Cray and AMD are coming back to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to partner on the world’s largest and most expensive supercomputer. The Department of Energy’s Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphene Surprises Again, This Time for Quantum Computing

May 8, 2019

Graphene is fascinating stuff with promise for use in a seeming endless number of applications. This month researchers from the University of Vienna and Institu Read more…

By John Russell

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Verifies Its Largest 7nm Chip Design in Ten Hours

June 5, 2019

AMD announced last week that its engineers had successfully executed the first physical verification of its largest 7nm chip design – in just ten hours. The AMD Radeon Instinct Vega20 – which boasts 13.2 billion transistors – was tested using a TSMC-certified Calibre nmDRC software platform from Mentor. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

It’s Official: Aurora on Track to Be First US Exascale Computer in 2021

March 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy along with Intel and Cray confirmed today that an Intel/Cray supercomputer, "Aurora," capable of sustained performance of one exaf Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep Learning Competitors Stalk Nvidia

May 14, 2019

There is no shortage of processing architectures emerging to accelerate deep learning workloads, with two more options emerging this week to challenge GPU leader Nvidia. First, Intel researchers claimed a new deep learning record for image classification on the ResNet-50 convolutional neural network. Separately, Israeli AI chip startup Hailo.ai... Read more…

By George Leopold

The Case Against ‘The Case Against Quantum Computing’

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy to be a physicist. Richard Feynman (basically the Jimi Hendrix of physicists) once said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourse Read more…

By Ben Criger

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

TSMC and Samsung Moving to 5nm; Whither Moore’s Law?

June 12, 2019

With reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) and Samsung are moving quickly to 5nm manufacturing, it’s a good time to again ponder whither goes the venerable Moore’s law. Shrinking feature size has of course been the primary hallmark of achieving Moore’s law... Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Launches Cascade Lake Xeons with Up to 56 Cores

April 2, 2019

At Intel's Data-Centric Innovation Day in San Francisco (April 2), the company unveiled its second-generation Xeon Scalable (Cascade Lake) family and debuted it Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray – and the Cray Brand – to Be Positioned at Tip of HPE’s HPC Spear

May 22, 2019

More so than with most acquisitions of this kind, HPE’s purchase of Cray for $1.3 billion, announced last week, seems to have elements of that overused, often Read more…

By Doug Black and Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Arm Unveils Neoverse N1 Platform with up to 128-Cores

February 20, 2019

Following on its Neoverse roadmap announcement last October, Arm today revealed its next-gen Neoverse microarchitecture with compute and throughput-optimized si Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Announcing four new HPC capabilities in Google Cloud Platform

April 15, 2019

When you’re running compute-bound or memory-bound applications for high performance computing or large, data-dependent machine learning training workloads on Read more…

By Wyatt Gorman, HPC Specialist, Google Cloud; Brad Calder, VP of Engineering, Google Cloud; Bart Sano, VP of Platforms, Google Cloud

In Wake of Nvidia-Mellanox: Xilinx to Acquire Solarflare

April 25, 2019

With echoes of Nvidia’s recent acquisition of Mellanox, FPGA maker Xilinx has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Solarflare Communications, provider Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia Claims 6000x Speed-Up for Stock Trading Backtest Benchmark

May 13, 2019

A stock trading backtesting algorithm used by hedge funds to simulate trading variants has received a massive, GPU-based performance boost, according to Nvidia, Read more…

By Doug Black

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This