Torsten Hoefler Named ISC 2025 Program Chair

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The ISC supercomputing conference announced that Torsten Hoefler (pictured here) will be program chair for ISC 2025, to be held in Hamburg next June 10-13. Well-known throughtout the HPC-AI community, Hoefler is a Professor of Computer Science at ETH Zurich and leader of the Scalable Parallel Computing Lab at the university.

He is currently chief architect for machine learning at the Swiss National Supercomputing Center.

ISC 2025, will mark the 40th edition of the ISC High Performance event series. ISC 2024 was attended by more than 3,400 attendees from 52 countries, including users, vendors and providers from HPC and related domains. The event featured a range of workshops, tutorials and invited sessions. The keynotes addressed not only traditional HPC topics but also recent trends such as the convergence of HPC, AI, and quantum computing, and the expansion of cloud HPC.

In 2025, ISC will be held under the theme “Connecting the Dots.” “Two years ago, we initiated a discussion to acknowledge that HPC is at a crossroads and needs to look beyond exascale computing. The discussion at ISC 2024 branched into reinventing HPC by seriously considering methods to merge HPC with cloud computing, AI, quantum computing, and other applicable technologies,” the conference said in its announcement.

Next year, with Hoefler at the helm, the aim of the conference is to involve the growing number of stakeholders who depend on computing performance and data-intensive solutions, how to enhance HPC to tackle the most daunting scientific and engineering challenges while ensuring the economies of scale are taken into account.

ISC started as a 1986 seminar with 81 attendees and has now grown into Europe’s largest HPC conference, attracting over 3,000 attendees and exhibitors annually.

“The theme will be centered around making connections,” Hoefler said. “This encompasses not only the connection between various fields such as HPC, AI, cloud, and quantum computing, some of which are currently being reinvented, but also the connections between people, companies, universities, and the next generation of HPC talent. Our field is essentially a science of connections – we connect transistors to build CPUs and memories, then connect those into compute nodes, and at the highest level, we connect those with HPC networking to each other to build clusters and supercomputers. Just as we connect machines, we also need to connect people, even across generations, from undergraduates to senior policy and decision-makers in enterprises and the government.”

A glimpse into the next year’s program topics will be available in September. In the meantime, preliminary information is available on the ISC website.

Hoefler’s research interests are centered around performance-centric system design, including scalable networks, parallel programming techniques, and performance modeling for large-scale simulations and artificial intelligence systems.

He is a proponent of the “Performance as a Science” approach and uses mathematical models of architectures and applications to create optimized computing systems. Prior to joining ETH Zurich, Hoefler led the performance modeling and simulation efforts for the first petascale supercomputer, Blue Waters, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Additionally, he played a crucial role in the development of the Message Passing Interface (MPI) standard, serving as the chair for the Collective Operations and Topologies working group. He has also made significant contributions to large-scale parallel learning systems.

A dynamic and accomplished scientist, Hoefler received his PhD in 2007 at Indiana University and held his first professor appointment in 2011 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed scientific conference and journal articles and authored chapters of the MPI-2.2 and MPI-3.0 standards.

Hoefler is the youngest recipient of the IEEE Sidney Fernbach Award, the oldest career award in high performance computing. He was also the first recipient of the ISC Jack Dongarra Early Career Award.

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