April 13, 2010: Seminar - Dr. William Gropp: "BLUE WATERS AND PETASCALE COMPUTING"

Seminar Announcement


Dr. William Gropp
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
National Center for Supercomputing Applications
Friday April 23, 2010
11:00 a.m.
1043 ERF


Blue Waters is expected to be the most powerful supercomputer available for open scientific research when it comes online in 2011. Blue Waters is a joint effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (UIUC), National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), IBM, and the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation (GLCPC). It is supported by the National Science Foundation and the University of Illinois.

Blue Waters will be the first system of its kind to sustain one petaflop performance on a range of science and engineering applications. The project also includes intense collaboration with dozens of teams in the development of science and engineering applications, system software, interactions with business and industry, and educational programs. This comprehensive approach will ensure that scientists and engineers across the country will be able to use Blue Waters to its fullest potential. Blue Waters is an 8 year project with an overall cost of over $500M. Scientists will create breakthroughs in nearly all fields of science using Blue Waters. They will predict the behavior of complex biological systems, understand how the cosmos evolved after the Big Bang, design new materials at the atomic level, predict the behavior of hurricanes and tornadoes, and simulate complex engineered systems like the power distribution system and airplanes and automobiles.

Our keynote speaker Dr. William Gropp of UIUC and NCSA will present opportunities for frontier computational research and education associated with Blue Waters, and ways to access the system. He will also present some of the challenges that must be overcome in order for applications to efficiently make use of the more than 200,000 cores that will be available.

The GLCPC currently consists of 28 universities, colleges, national research laboratories and other institutions. Its goal is to facilitate and coordinate multi-institutional efforts to advance computational and computer science engineering, and technology research and education and their applications to outstanding problems of regional or national importance. UIC is one of the Consortium members. Maxine Brown, UIC Associate Director of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, serves as the UIC representative and President Elect of the GLCPC, and becomes GLCPC President in May 2010.

Brief Bio:

Dr. Gropp is the UIUC Paul and Cynthia Saylor Professor of Computer Science, Deputy Director for Research of the UIUC Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies, and co-principal investigator for Blue Waters, providing software strategy, oversight, and direction along with UIUC professor Marc Snir. He joined the UIUC faculty in 2007, before which he was Deputy Director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory, a Senior Scientist in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Chicago, and a Senior Fellow in the Argonne- Chicago Computation Institute. Gropp's research interests are in parallel computing, software for scientific computing, and numerical methods for partial differential equations. He played a major role in creating the MPI, the standard interprocessor communication interface for large-scale parallel computers, and co-authored the Portable Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation (PETSc), a leading package for scientific computing on highly parallel computers. Gropp is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the ACM and IEEE, and a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award.

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