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Interview: Thomas Sterling on HPC Achievement and Impact in 2013

Over at International Science Grid This Week, Nages Sieslack interviews Thomas Sterling from Indiana University. As one of our Rock Stars of HPC, Sterling will be keynoting ISC’13 on the topic of HPC Achievement and Impact – 2013,

At the risk of appearing self-serving, I am really excited about what I perceive as this period of transition between the paradigm of the past and the execution model of the future. This viewpoint is not widely held but I am convinced this it is what we are seeing. We don’t really have a choice. Technology demands it as it has many times in our short history. Indeed, for practical reasons of markets, road maps, and legacy codes we have deferred this too long. Each time this has happened, we find new ways to address in synergy the fundamental problems that have always faced parallel computing: starvation, latency, overhead, and the waiting due to contention for shared resources. Now we need to find ways to exploit the exponential growth of numbers of cores and the heterogeneous mix of their internal structures and external organization. It is likely that we will tap the largely unused runtime information combined with adaptive methods to significantly improve local efficiencies and vastly expand global scalability. After the brilliantly successful Pax-MPI era of the preceding two decades, we may be reformulating the interrelationships across the system layers in a transformative approach embracing dynamic adaptive cooperation and control. Such periods of change in our field are rare and it is inspiring to be a part of it.

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