Let’s Talk Exascale: ALCF’s Katherine Riley Talks Aurora Deployment, Impactful Science and Partnering with ECP

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Katherine Riley, ALCF Director of Science

In this episode of the “Let’s Talk Exascale” podcast, the Exascale Computing Project’s (ECP) Scott Gibson talks with Katherine Riley, director of science at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility. Her mission is to lead a team of ALCF computational science experts who work with facility users to maximize their use of the facility’s computing resources. Riley has been at the ALCF since 2007 and has the distinction of being one of the facility’s first hires.

Argonne is in the process of deploying the Aurora exascale-class supercomputer, an Intel-powered system expected to reach peak throughput of 2 exaFLOPS. Aurora will support advanced machine learning and data science workloads alongside more traditional modeling and simulation applications.

In this conversation, Riley talks about how her fascination with designing a science application tool for HPC sparked the beginning of her career. Other topics include:

  • Who the ALCF serves and the ways users are granted access to the facility’s systems
  • The types of research conducted using ALCF systems
  • Some of the major activities currently taking place at the ALCF
  • A summary of the innovations that Aurora will offer
  • Progress deploying Aurora
  • Argonne’s role in partnering with ECP
  • The impact ECP’s products are having on the HPC and research communities
  • What ECP will leave in its wake and the “then and now” perspective on how it has changed HPC since the project began
  • Thoughts about maintaining the continuity of ECP’s work after the project ends


  1. The work that aurora will do will be great for humanity… why in the hell isnt this work getting open sourced so people can give their gpu/cpu time to help?? Fusion energy, curing cancer, etc…