High Performance Computer Science Week

March 31 – April 5, 2008
Grand Hyatt Hotel
Denver, Colorado

Symposium Agenda
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High Performance Computer Science Week (HPCSW) addresses the computer science of high-performance computing.  HPCSW seeks to foster discussions on the computer science that lies between simulation/data-centric codes and the hardware upon which they run.  Input is sought, not just from computer scientists (though that is indispensable), but from the entire high-end modeling, simulation and data community. The goal is to draw together a critical mass of experts for discussion in one setting.  HPCSW will be a valuable forum for discussing current research and ongoing important projects in high-performance, scalable computer science and computation.

This year the HPCSW Symposium will address Programmability versus Performance.  For many years the barrier to widespread use of parallel computers has been the special knowledge necessary to effectively program them.  “It’s the software, stupid” has been the mantra of scientific computing and the recommended focus of numerous national studies since the dawn of parallel computing.  Even now, scientific computing is alive and well on the “low end,” in desktop and small local servers – and on the “high end,” at big institutions with the institutional resources to devote to programming.  However, the “missing middle” has never thrived, as the entry price and knowledge has been too high.

Processor and hardware architecture changes are now upon us that will make this problem even worse.  Multi/many-core processors offer significant on-chip parallelism.  “Special-purpose” processors (FPGAs, GPUs, accelerators), are appearing within systems, increasing their heterogeneity and even showing up on the processor die.  The scientific programming gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” will surely increase without significant effort devoted to broader abstract machine models and application programming interfaces.  Even on the high end there is a renewed need for simplified programming of many-core and heterogeneous architectures with the advent of the new generation of NSF and DOE leadership class machines.  HPCSW seeks contributions in programming idioms and languages, operating system and runtime software, and algorithms.


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