@HPCpodcast: Jack Dongarra Talks Turing Award, the TOP500 and the Past and Future of Supercomputing

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Jack Dongarra

At @HPCpodcast we’ve been fortunate to host some highly distinguished computer scientists and HPC thinkers, people who have shaped supercomputing as the technology has advanced human knowledge and taken on the world’s most vexing challenges. Today we welcome Jack Dongarra who was recently honored with the ACM Turing Award for “Pioneering Concepts and Methods Which Resulted in World-Changing Computations.”

As the ACM said in its award announcement, “Dongarra has led the world of high-performance computing through his contributions to efficient numerical algorithms for linear algebra operations, parallel computing programming mechanisms, and performance evaluation tools. For nearly forty years, Moore’s Law produced exponential growth in hardware performance. During that same time, while most software failed to keep pace with these hardware advances, high performance numerical software did—in large part due to Dongarra’s algorithms, optimization techniques, and production-quality software implementations. These contributions laid a framework from which scientists and engineers made important discoveries and game-changing innovation in areas including big data analytics, healthcare, renewable energy, weather prediction, genomics, and economics, to name a few.”

A University Distinguished Professor at the University of Tennessee and a Distinguished Research Staff Member at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dongarra has been an HPC luminary for more than 30 years. Here, in a wide ranging discussion, we talk about the Turing Award, the TOP500, the state of HPC benchmarks, China’s exascale supercomputers and future directions in algorithms.

We also talk about future of supercomputing and AI systems, reminisce about a period when a proliferation of system architectures provided fertile ground for experimentation, and whether we are entering a similar era now.

You can find our podcasts at insideHPC’s @HPCpodcast page, on Twitter and at the OrionX.net blog. Here’s the RSS feed.

We welcome your ideas for special topics and guest commentators. Feel free to contact Doug Black or Shahin Khan with your suggestions.


  1. Fantastic interview. Excellent job all around. Informative and entertaining. One of the best!