There's a Supercomputer in My Backyard?
Michael E. Papka
Deputy Associate Laboratory Director of Computing, Environment, and Life Sciences
Director of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility
Argonne National Laboratory
Stuart Building 113
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
Abstract: The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, houses one of the largest supercomputers in the world. Slated for installation in 2012, Mira (an IBM Blue Gene/Q), increases Argonne's computing capability 20 fold. The hardware provides 10 Petaflops of CPU performance, 2.2 microseconds of latency between cores, 35 Petabytes of high-performance storage, and a highly efficient 2.1 GFlops/Watt --- all within a short drive from downtown. Supercomputing is becoming increasingly important as more scientists and engineers use modeling and simulation to study complex chemical processes, exotic new materials, advanced energy networks, natural ecosystems and sophisticated energy technologies. Situated on the Argonne site in 2006, the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) is one of two leadership computing facilities supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). DOE funds ALCF to facilitate these "research problems that are not solvable through traditional theoretical and experimental approaches or are too hazardous, time-consuming, or expensive to solve by traditional means". In this talk you will hear about Argonne, the leadership computing facility, a sampling of the science that happens at the facility and how the ALCF enables great science. While the computational power of Mira is staggering, ALCF's true power is drawn from the team of high-performance computing staff: research scientists, system administrators, software developers, performance engineers, and operations management. Without this "best of breed" team, the hardware and software infrastructure would be useless.
Bio: Michael E. Papka is the Deputy Associate Laboratory Director for Computing, Environment, and Life Sciences at Argonne National Laboratory and Director of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility. Mike's research interests are in the area of scientific data analysis of large datasets and infrastructure needed to support collaboration between scientific teams. Richard Coffey is the Director of User Experience at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility. Richard has been supporting the people who support science for 15 years. His interests are data mining, business intelligence, mentoring, team building, and leadership.