OLCF’S HPC Systems Engineer Bing Xie Wins IEEE Early Career Award

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Bing Xie, OLCF

Bing Xie, a high-performance computing systems engineer for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, has received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society’s Early Career Researchers Award for excellence in high-performance computing, or HPC.

The award recognizes outstanding, influential and potentially long-lasting HPC contributions. Xie received her Ph.D. in computer science from Duke University in 2017 and began her career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory that year as a postdoc with the OLCF.

She works in the National Center for Computational Sciences’ Technology Integration Group, led by Sarp Oral. The group is part of the Advanced Technologies Section, led by Arjun Shankar. Her work encompasses research and techniques to accelerate network communication across deep-learning frameworks, design and development of HPC storage systems, and resource management and scheduling in HPC and cloud computing.

Xie’s accomplishments include improvements to the Hierarchical Data Format 5, a popular input/output middleware library that helped achieve up to a tenfold performance improvement for applications running on Summit, the nation’s fastest supercomputer. Other achievements include her recent contribution to Horovod, a popular collective communication library for deep-learning frameworks. The new methods developed by Xie and her collaborators delivered near-linear scaling for production runs across all of Summit’s nodes. The work has been published at a top-tier conference and incorporated into Horovod for production use.

“These projects have been the challenge that I always wanted to pursue,” she said. “My peers and mentors at the OLCF have helped me step up and step out to gain a deeper understanding of the problems and keep thinking about the whole picture at the same time. It’s a daily practice. I love the new discoveries, and I love working with so many talented and supportive people here at Oak Ridge.”

Beyond her work at the OLCF, Xie regularly serves as a conference panelist, journal reviewer and workshop participant. She also endeavors to mentor female graduate students beginning their careers.

“My family always supported me, but not every girl is that fortunate,” she said. “My motivation is to give girls and young women that encouragement so they can see themselves be successful and picture themselves in a rewarding scientific career. I want to tell them: Don’t sell yourself short, and don’t look for shortcuts. Be open, be active, talk to everyone you can, ask every question you can. Don’t be afraid to expand your research domain. Limiting yourself to one area limits your opportunities.”

source: Matt Lakin, science writer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory