Making High Performance Computing Special — the ACM Way

By John E. West

November 15, 2011

This month ACM, the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, announced the launch of its newest Special Interest Group, SIGHPC. This is the first international group within a major professional society that is devoted exclusively to the needs of students, faculty, and practitioners in high performance computing.

HPCwire caught up with Cherri Pancake, Professor at Oregon State University and the first Chair of SIGHPC, to get her take on what the group is today, and the role she sees for it in the future of the high performance computing community.

HPCwire: Cherri, what is SIGHPC, and why was it started?

Cherri Pancake: SIGHPC is the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing. SIGHPC is one of about three dozen SIGs sponsored by the ACM over the  last several decades. The SIGs allow for more focused communities of interest to develop within the broader context of ACM. SIGs keep members up-to-date with the latest technical developments, provide an opportunity to network with colleagues outside the workplace, and deliver the latest information in a particular area of focus.

SIGHPC was started to promote the advancement of the field in three specific ways. First, by disseminating research and experience by those using computing resources to tackle problems at the largest scale. Second, by promoting the mentoring and education of the next generation HPC professionals. And third, by serving as a source of information about the field to other parts of ACM and the larger scientific community.

HPCwire: HPC is a diverse community. Does SIGHPC focus on a particular set of areas or subparts of the discipline, such as programming or architecture?

Pancake: SIGHPC focuses on HPC in the broadest sense of the term. We are after the individuals and organizations that work in the full range of high-performance technologies, systems, and applications.  And you are right: this approach does include an extremely wide variety of organizations and individuals engaged in studying, developing, teaching, and supporting high-performance computing, storage, networking, software, and systems.  It also encompasses an even wider range of people engaged in applying HPC across a broad spectrum of scientific, engineering, and business domains.

HPCwire: Other than being part of the latest cool thing, what are the reasons you tell people they should consider joining SIGHPC?

Pancake: Part of the excitement of high performance computing as a career is its multi-disciplinary nature: HPC brings together computational techniques, algorithms, system software, computer architecture, parallel programming, and system administration. But this diversity also creates a real challenge! Finding your way among the choices and career paths can be daunting.

One of our key goals for SIGHPC is for it to serve as a hub where young professionals — and students — and seasoned HPC professionals can work together to the benefit of all. Those new to our community will find the rich experiences and hard-won lessons of those who have gone before an invaluable resource in planning their own careers. Experienced practitioners will find the energy, enthusiasm, and emerging skills of a younger generation will inform their own decisions as they continue to grow in their own careers.

And, of course, SIGHPC will also offer the services and experiences the members of ACM’s best SIGs have come to expect, like:

– SIGHPC members are eligible for discounted member rates at SIGHPC sponsored and cooperating workshops and conferences, including major international events such as the annual SC conference.

– Members receive email and online versions of at least 3 newsletters each year, filled with HPC updates, descriptions of upcoming activities, and opportunities to be a part of the HPC community.

– Access to HPC-specific research reports, conference proceedings, theses and dissertations, and more that we will be depositing in the ACM Digital Library, without having to pay a separate subscription to access the Library.

HPCwire: What’s the process to join? Do SIGHPC members also have to sign up for ACM?

Pancake: While all of us feel that ACM membership has a lot to offer, we do recognize that not everyone will want to go that route, and this is particularly true for members of the HPC community who work in science and engineering application areas or are outside theUnited States. That’sone of the main reasons that we selected ACM as the parent organization for our group: anyone can join SIGHPC without having to first join ACM.

In our discussions with ACM we were also very concerned about keeping access to SIGHPC as affordable as possible in order to reach the widest possible cross-section of our community. Membership is only $25 per year.  People who join during “SC Week,” that is, before November 18, 2011, will save $5 off that rate.

HPCwire: Starting a new organization, particularly one that aims to have a significant impact in a community as broad as HPC, is challenging. How are you and ACM managing that challenge? Have you started to get traction?

Pancake: This has been a tremendously rewarding experience for all of us. We first tested the idea of some kind of organizing activity for the HPC during a town hall at SC10 and found the response overwhelmingly positive, which gave us the energy to follow through with the concept. Getting to the launch of the SIG on the first of November was a long process, and we

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!

HPC in Life Sciences Part 1: CPU Choices, Rise of Data Lakes, Networking Challenges, and More

February 21, 2019

For the past few years HPCwire and leaders of BioTeam, a research computing consultancy specializing in life sciences, have convened to examine the state of HPC (and now AI) use in life sciences. Without HPC writ large, modern life sciences research would quickly grind to a halt. It’s true most life sciences research computing... Read more…

By John Russell

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 silicon designs catered toward general-purpose cloud computing Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The Internet of Criminal Things—Trust in the Gods but Verify!

February 20, 2019

“Are we under attack?” asked Professor Elmarie Biermann of the Cyber Security Institute during the recent South African Centre for High Performance Computing’s (CHPC) National Conference in Cape Town. A quick show Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake, STEM-Trek

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.

powercloud_blog.jpgFor 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

The Perils of Becoming Trapped in the Cloud

Terms like ‘open systems’ have been bandied about for decades. While modern computer systems are relatively open compared to their predecessors, there are still plenty of opportunities to become locked into proprietary interfaces. Read more…

Machine Learning Takes Heat for Science’s Reproducibility Crisis

February 19, 2019

Scientists are raising red flags about the accuracy and reproducibility of conclusions drawn by machine learning frameworks. Among the remedies are developing new ML systems that can question their own predictions, show Read more…

By George Leopold

HPC in Life Sciences Part 1: CPU Choices, Rise of Data Lakes, Networking Challenges, and More

February 21, 2019

For the past few years HPCwire and leaders of BioTeam, a research computing consultancy specializing in life sciences, have convened to examine the state of HPC (and now AI) use in life sciences. Without HPC writ large, modern life sciences research would quickly grind to a halt. It’s true most life sciences research computing... Read more…

By John Russell

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

Insights from Optimized Codes on Cineca’s Marconi

February 15, 2019

What can you do with 381,392 CPU cores? For Cineca, it means enabling computational scientists to expand a large part of the world’s body of knowledge from the nanoscale to the astronomic, from calculating quantum effects in new materials to supporting bioinformatics for advanced healthcare research to screening millions of possible chemical combinations to attack a deadly virus. Read more…

By Ken Strandberg

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

UC Berkeley Paper Heralds Rise of Serverless Computing in the Cloud – Do You Agree?

February 13, 2019

Almost exactly ten years to the day from publishing of their widely-read, seminal paper on cloud computing, UC Berkeley researchers have issued another ambitious examination of cloud computing - Cloud Programming Simplified: A Berkeley View on Serverless Computing. The new work heralds the rise of ‘serverless computing’ as the next dominant phase of cloud computing. Read more…

By John Russell

Iowa ‘Grows Its Own’ to Fill the HPC Workforce Pipeline

February 13, 2019

The global workforce that supports advanced computing, scientific software and high-speed research networks is relatively small when you stop to consider the magnitude of the transformative discoveries it empowers. Technical conferences provide a forum where specialists convene to learn about the latest innovations and schedule face-time with colleagues from other institutions. Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake, STEM-Trek

Trump Signs Executive Order Launching U.S. AI Initiative

February 11, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) today launching a U.S Artificial Intelligence Initiative. The new initiative - Maintaining American L Read more…

By John Russell

Celebrating Women in Science: Meet Four Women Leading the Way in HPC

February 11, 2019

One only needs to look around at virtually any CS/tech conference to realize that women are underrepresented, and that holds true of HPC. SC hosts over 13,000 H Read more…

By AJ Lauer

Quantum Computing Will Never Work

November 27, 2018

Amid the gush of money and enthusiastic predictions being thrown at quantum computing comes a proposed cold shower in the form of an essay by physicist Mikhail Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Unveils Shasta, Lands NERSC-9 Contract

October 30, 2018

Cray revealed today the details of its next-gen supercomputing architecture, Shasta, selected to be the next flagship system at NERSC. We've known of the code-name "Shasta" since the Argonne slice of the CORAL project was announced in 2015 and although the details of that plan have changed considerably, Cray didn't slow down its timeline for Shasta. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

AMD Sets Up for Epyc Epoch

November 16, 2018

It’s been a good two weeks, AMD’s Gary Silcott and Andy Parma told me on the last day of SC18 in Dallas at the restaurant where we met to discuss their show news and recent successes. Heck, it’s been a good year. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Reportedly in $6B Bid for Mellanox

January 30, 2019

The latest rumors and reports around an acquisition of Mellanox focus on Intel, which has reportedly offered a $6 billion bid for the high performance interconn Read more…

By Doug Black

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US Leads Supercomputing with #1, #2 Systems & Petascale Arm

November 12, 2018

The 31st Supercomputing Conference (SC) - commemorating 30 years since the first Supercomputing in 1988 - kicked off in Dallas yesterday, taking over the Kay Ba Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Looking for Light Reading? NSF-backed ‘Comic Books’ Tackle Quantum Computing

January 28, 2019

Still baffled by quantum computing? How about turning to comic books (graphic novels for the well-read among you) for some clarity and a little humor on QC. The Read more…

By John Russell

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

Contract Signed for New Finnish Supercomputer

December 13, 2018

After the official contract signing yesterday, configuration details were made public for the new BullSequana system that the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep500: ETH Researchers Introduce New Deep Learning Benchmark for HPC

February 5, 2019

ETH researchers have developed a new deep learning benchmarking environment – Deep500 – they say is “the first distributed and reproducible benchmarking s Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Quantum Update: Q System One Launch, New Collaborators, and QC Center Plans

January 10, 2019

IBM made three significant quantum computing announcements at CES this week. One was introduction of IBM Q System One; it’s really the integration of IBM’s Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

HPC Reflections and (Mostly Hopeful) Predictions

December 19, 2018

So much ‘spaghetti’ gets tossed on walls by the technology community (vendors and researchers) to see what sticks that it is often difficult to peer through Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia’s Jensen Huang Delivers Vision for the New HPC

November 14, 2018

For nearly two hours on Monday at SC18, Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, presented his expansive view of the future of HPC (and computing in general) as only he can do. Animated. Backstopped by a stream of data charts, product photos, and even a beautiful image of supernovae... Read more…

By John Russell

The Deep500 – Researchers Tackle an HPC Benchmark for Deep Learning

January 7, 2019

How do you know if an HPC system, particularly a larger-scale system, is well-suited for deep learning workloads? Today, that’s not an easy question to answer Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Confirms 48-Core Cascade Lake-AP for 2019

November 4, 2018

As part of the run-up to SC18, taking place in Dallas next week (Nov. 11-16), Intel is doling out info on its next-gen Cascade Lake family of Xeon processors, specifically the “Advanced Processor” version (Cascade Lake-AP), architected for high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and infrastructure-as-a-service workloads. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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