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!

Talk to Me: Nvidia Claims NLP Inference, Training Records

August 15, 2019

Nvidia says it’s achieved significant advances in conversation natural language processing (NLP) training and inference, enabling more complex, immediate-response interchanges between customers and chatbots. And the co Read more…

By Doug Black

Trump Administration and NIST Issue AI Standards Development Plan

August 14, 2019

Efforts to develop AI are gathering steam fast. On Monday, the White House issued a federal plan to help develop technical standards for AI following up on a mandate contained in the Administration’s AI Executive Order Read more…

By John Russell

Scientists to Tap Exascale Computing to Unlock the Mystery of our Accelerating Universe

August 14, 2019

The universe and everything in it roared to life with the Big Bang approximately 13.8 billion years ago. It has continued expanding ever since. While we have a good understanding of the early universe, its fate billions Read more…

By Rob Johnson

AWS Solution Channel

Efficiency and Cost-Optimization for HPC Workloads – AWS Batch and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

High Performance Computing on AWS leverages the power of cloud computing and the extreme scale it offers to achieve optimal HPC price/performance. With AWS you can right size your services to meet exactly the capacity requirements you need without having to overprovision or compromise capacity. Read more…

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Bring the combined power of HPC and AI to your business transformation

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) acceleration cards are not new, as they’ve been commercially available since 1984. Typically, the emphasis around FPGAs has centered on the fact that they’re programmable accelerators, and that they can truly offer workload specific hardware acceleration solutions without requiring custom silicon. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Cloudy with a Chance of Mainframes

[Connect with HPC users and learn new skills in the IBM Spectrum LSF User Community.]

Rapid rates of change sometimes result in unexpected bedfellows. Read more…

Argonne Supercomputer Accelerates Cancer Prediction Research

August 13, 2019

In the fight against cancer, early prediction, which drastically improves prognoses, is critical. Now, new research by a team from Northwestern University – and accelerated by supercomputing resources at Argonne Nation Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Scientists to Tap Exascale Computing to Unlock the Mystery of our Accelerating Universe

August 14, 2019

The universe and everything in it roared to life with the Big Bang approximately 13.8 billion years ago. It has continued expanding ever since. While we have a Read more…

By Rob Johnson

AI is the Next Exascale – Rick Stevens on What that Means and Why It’s Important

August 13, 2019

Twelve years ago the Department of Energy (DOE) was just beginning to explore what an exascale computing program might look like and what it might accomplish. Today, DOE is repeating that process for AI, once again starting with science community town halls to gather input and stimulate conversation. The town hall program... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader and John Russell

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lenovo Drives Single-Socket Servers with AMD Epyc Rome CPUs

August 7, 2019

No summer doldrums here. As part of the AMD Epyc Rome launch event in San Francisco today, Lenovo announced two new single-socket servers, the ThinkSystem SR635 Read more…

By Doug Black

Building Diversity and Broader Engagement in the HPC Community

August 7, 2019

Increasing diversity and inclusion in HPC is a community-building effort. Representation of both issues and individuals matters - the more people see HPC in a w Read more…

By AJ Lauer

Xilinx vs. Intel: FPGA Market Leaders Launch Server Accelerator Cards

August 6, 2019

The two FPGA market leaders, Intel and Xilinx, both announced new accelerator cards this week designed to handle specialized, compute-intensive workloads and un Read more…

By Doug Black

Upcoming NSF Cyberinfrastructure Projects to Support ‘Long-Tail’ Users, AI and Big Data

August 5, 2019

The National Science Foundation is well positioned to support national priorities, as new NSF-funded HPC systems to come online in the upcoming year promise to Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/XSEDE

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

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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

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

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

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

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

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hardware That Powered the Black Hole Image

June 24, 2019

Two months ago, the first-ever image of a black hole took the internet by storm. A team of scientists took years to produce and verify the striking image – an Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Chinese Company Sugon Placed on US ‘Entity List’ After Strong Showing at International Supercomputing Conference

June 26, 2019

After more than a decade of advancing its supercomputing prowess, operating the world’s most powerful supercomputer from June 2013 to June 2018, China is keep Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

Qualcomm Invests in RISC-V Startup SiFive

June 7, 2019

Investors are zeroing in on the open standard RISC-V instruction set architecture and the processor intellectual property being developed by a batch of high-flying chip startups. Last fall, Esperanto Technologies announced a $58 million funding round. Read more…

By George Leopold

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