Top Researchers, Accomplishments in High Performance Computing Honored at SC2003

Gordon Bell Awards, HPC& Bandwidth Challenges, Best Papers and Poster Winners Announced

PHOENIX, Ariz (Nov. 21, 2003) - Top researchers and their unprecedented accomplishments in high performance computing were recognized at the SC2003 conference this week, where the winners of the Gordon Bell Prizes, the HPC Challenge, and the best research papers and poster were announced. SC2003, the annual conference of high performance computing was held from November 15-21 in the Phoenix Convention Center with the theme "Igniting Innovation."

Every year, SC2003 presents a wide range of awards that recognize the innovative work of conference participants and leaders in the field. The conference itself gives awards for Best Paper, Best Student Paper, Best Poster, and the HPC Challenge and Bandwidth Challenge. In addition, SC2003 serves as the venue for presenting the Gordon Bell Prizes, which reward practical uses of high-performance computers, including best performance of an application and best achievement in cost-performance. Additionally, two special awards are presented by the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) to recognize longtime innovators in high-performance computing.

The 2003 IEEE Seymour Cray Award was presented to Burton J. Smith, chief scientist for Cray Inc. The Seymour Cray Award honors individuals whose innovative contributions to high performance computing systems best exemplify the creative spirit demonstrated by Seymour Cray. Smith is a co-founder of Cray Inc. and has been chief scientist and a director since early 1988. He is a recognized authority on high performance computer architecture and programming languages for parallel computers. He is the principal architect of the MTA system and heads Cray's Cascade project. Smith was honored in 1990 with the Eckert-Mauchly Award given jointly by the IEEE and the Association for Computing Machinery, and was elected a fellow of both organizations in 1994. In February 2003 he was also elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

The IEEE's 2003 Sidney Fernbach Award as presented to Jack Dongarra, a professor at the University of Tennessee and adjunct R&D participant at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and adjunct professor at Rice University. The award, established in 1992 in memory of Sidney Fernbach, one of the pioneers in the development and application of high performance computers, is awarded for outstanding contributions in the application of high performance computers using innovative approaches. Dongarra, who is well-known for his work with the twice-yearly ranking of the world's Top 500 supercomputers, specializes in numerical algorithms in linear algebra, parallel computing, use of advanced-computer architectures, programming methodology, and tools for parallel computers. His research includes the development, testing and documentation of high quality mathematical software. He has contributed to the design and implementation of the following open source software packages and systems: EISPACK, LINPACK, the BLAS, LAPACK, ScaLAPACK, Netlib, PVM, MPI, NetSolve, and ATLAS.

The Gordon Bell Prizes are traditionally granted in three categories: special accomplishment based on innovation; peak performance based on operations per second; and a price per performance ratio measured in megaflop/s per dollar. Winners depend on the entries received; in some years a prize is not awarded in a given category. This year's Gordon Bell Prizes were for:

Peak Performance: "A 14.6 Billion Degrees of Freedom, 5 Teraflop/s, 2.5 Terabyte Earthquake Simulation on the Earth Simulator." Authors: Dimitri Komatitsch, Chen Ji, and Jeroen Tromp (California Institute of Technology); and Seiji Tsuboi (Institute for Frontier Research on Earth Evolution, JAMSTEC). The researchers used 1,944 processors of the Earth Simulator to model seismic wave propagation resulting from large earthquakes. The model, based on a very high-resolution mesh, incorporates wave speed and density structure, three-dimensional wave-speed and density structure, ellipticity, topography, and bathymetry.

Special Achievement: "High Resolution Forward and Inverse Earthquake Modeling on Terascale Computers." Authors: Volkan Akcelik, Jacobo Bielak, Ioannis Epanomeritakis, Antonio Fernandez, Omar Ghattas, Eui Joong Kim, Julio Lopez, David O'Hallaron, and Tiankai Tu (Carnegie Mellon University); George Biros (Courant Institute, New York University); and John Urbanic (Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center). For earthquake simulations to play an important role in the reduction of seismic risk, they must be capable of high resolution and high fidelity. The researchers developed earthquake simulation algorithms and tools and used them to carry out simulations of the 1994 Northridge earthquake in the Los Angeles Basin using 100 million grid points.

Special Achievement ("lifetime"): "Performance Evaluation and Tuning of GRAPE-6—Towards 40 'Real' Tflop/s." Authors: Junichiro Makino and Hiroshi Daisaka (Department of Astronomy, School of Science, University of Tokyo); Eiichiro Kokubo (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan); and Toshiyuki Fukushige (Department of General System Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo). The researchers benchmarked GRAPE-6, a sixth-generation special-purpose computer for gravitational many-body problems, and presented the measured performance for a few real applications with a top speed of 35.3 teraflops.

The SC2002 Conference also selected several outstanding award winners for research papers and activities presented during the meeting.

Best Paper Award: "The Case of the Missing Supercomputer Performance: Achieving Optimal Performance on the 8,192 Processors of ASCI Q." Authors: Fabrizio Petrini, Darren Kerbyson, and Scott Pakin (Los Alamos National Laboratory). The researchers described how they improved the effective performance of ASCI Q, the world's second-fastest supercomputer. Using an arsenal of performance-analysis techniques including analytical models, custom microbenchmarks, full applications, and simulators, they succeeded in observing, identifying, and eliminating a serious—but previously undetected—performance problem.

Best Student Paper: "A New Parallel Kernel-Independent Fast Multipole Method." Authors: Lexing Ying, George Biros, Denis Zorin, and Harper Langston (New York University).

Best Student Poster: "Improving the Performance of MPI Derived Datatypes by Optimizing Memory-Access Cost." Authors: Surendra Byna and Xian-He Sun (Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago); William Gropp and Rajeev Thakur (Argonne National Laboratory).

The HPC Challenge Awards recognize participants in two categories for innovative uses of high performance computing resources. Those included:

The HPC Challenge Award for the Most Geographically Distributed Application: "Global Analysis of Arthropod Evolution," by Craig Stewart (UITS, Indiana University), John Colbourne (Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics, Indiana University) and their team.

The HPC Challenge Award for Most Innovative Data-Intensive Application: "Transcontinental RealityGrids for Interactive Collaborative Exploration of Parameter Space (TRICEPS)," by Stephen Pickles (University of Manchester), Peter Coveney (University College London) and their team.

SC2003 continues the 15-year Supercomputing Conference tradition of highlighting the most innovative developments in high-performance computing and networking. Bringing together scientists, engineers, researchers, educators, programmers, system administrators and managers, SC2003 in Phoenix demonstrated how these developments are sparking new ideas and new industries, as well as rekindling older ones. The conference features the latest scientific and technical innovations from around the world, while its SC Global events will showcase achievements in the arts and sciences among dozens of remote locations.

Next year, SC2004 will be held November 6-12 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The series of SC conferences is sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society and by the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture.