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SC17 Session Preview: “Taking the Nanoscale to the Exascale”

Brian Ban continues his series of SC17 Session Previews with a look at an invited talk entitled, “Taking the Nanoscale to the Exascale.” The presentation takes place Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 11:15am at SC17 in Denver.

Theresa Lynn Windus, Iowa State University

Chemistry is a central science in that, at its core, chemistry is the understanding of the way atoms and molecules interact. Chemistry influences many areas such as physics, biology, pharmaceuticals, materials, and chemical engineering. Computational chemistry, while a relatively young part of the chemistry field, has become a third pillar in the science next to experimentation and theory.

The demand for understanding and prediction of experimental results through computation has never been higher, and the physical models that underlie the chemistry are continually improving and evolving to meet new scientific challenges. All of these pieces together, and the changing ecosystem of hardware and software, make the development of computational chemistry codes a larger challenge than we have ever experienced.

This talk will focus on the challenges that computational chemistry faces in taking the equations that model the very small (molecules and the reactions they undergo) to efficient and scalable implementations on the very large computers of today and tomorrow.

In particular, how do we take advantage of the newest architectures while preparing for the next generation of computers? How do we increase programmer productivity while ensuring excellent performance, efficiency and portability across multiple platforms? How do we take advantage of the work of mathematicians, computer scientists and other computational scientists to enable our science, while ensuring maintainability and usability of the software? How do we ensure that the algorithms that we develop are making wise use of the computational resources? How do help the next generation of computational chemists to be ready for the complex computing environments that they will face?

While not claiming to have answers to all (or any!) of these questions, we will explore some possible solutions and their implications as we go forward and face the current petascale and the future exascale challenges.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Theresa L. Windus is currently a Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State University and an Associate with Ames Laboratory. She has previously worked in leadership positions at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Major Shared Resource Center and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Dr. Windus develops new methods and algorithms for high performance computational chemistry as well as applying those techniques to both basic and applied research. Her current interests are rare earth and heavy element chemistry, extractant design, catalysis, aerosol formation, and photochemistry. Much of her research interests involve large, collaborative efforts between scientists in multiple fields working together to solve difficult scientific challenges.

Dr. Windus has a history of delivering community software and is involved in the development of the computational chemistry codes GAMESS and NWChem. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the National Science Foundation funded Molecular Sciences Software Institute and is the Deputy Director for the Department of Energy funded NWChemEx Exascale computing project.

She has served on several editorial/advisory boards including the Journal of Physical Chemistry A/B/C, the Journal of Computational Science Education, and the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), and she is a subject area editor for Parallel Computations.

Dr. Windus is actively involved in high performance computing leadership including membership in the DOE Future of Laboratory Computing Working Group, co-chair for the Technical Papers for Supercomputing 2010, and co-chair of the DOE Exascale Requirements Review for Basic Energy Sciences. She has received multiple research and teaching awards including a Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer Award for her work with NWChem.

Registration is now open for SC17, which takes place Nov. 12-17 in Denver.

See our complete coverage of SC17

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