TACC to Highlight Emerging HPC and Visualization Technologies at SC'11 Conference

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2011 was a milestone year for the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). In addition to celebrating our 10th anniversary of enabling scientific discoveries and advanced computing achievements, TACC debuted its newest HPC system, Lonestar 4, and announced that we had won an award from the National Science Foundation to build one of the most powerful supercomputers on the planet, Stampede, set for production in January 2013.

On the science front, TACC supported the development of new semiconductor and quantum computing technologies that will play an important role in future computing development, helped improve plant biology tools and algorithms, and aided scientists in Japan by providing computing time to researchers impacted by the earthquake and tsunami.

This year at SC'11, TACC's booth activities will highlight these projects and other socially significant scientific research made possible by our advanced computing resources, while also demonstrating center-led R&D projects, and outlining our future direction. We are particularly excited to present Lasso, a multi-panel touch display that showcases TACC's role as a pioneer in display and interface technologies. Also of note, we will have a Dell compute node with an Intel MIC card as well as the Knight's Ferry software development kit. Future incarnations of these technologies will power the upcoming 10-petaflop Stampede system. Staff will be on hand to discuss this emerging computing architecture.

Several leading application researchers will present their findings in TACC's booth, including: Ali Yilmaz (The University of Texas at Austin), principal investigator on an NSF-funded project investigating the effects of cell phone radiation on the body; Michael Crowley (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), part of a research team using simulation to explore biomass conversion by bacterial and fungal enzymes; Robert Farber (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), a leader in GPU and hybrid computing techniques; and Nathan Baker (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), chief scientist for the Signature Discovery Initiative and lead for the National Cancer Institute Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid.


TACC Visualization Researcher Brandt Westing interacts with Lasso, TACC's touch-sensitive tiled display. Lasso will be in TACC's booth for interaction.

Also speaking in the booth will be TACC Director Jay Boisseau, and staff members Matthew Vaughn and Lars Koesterke, among others. Their talks will focus on the new Stampede system, developments in the iPlant Collaborative, and lessons learned porting scientific computing codes to the Intel MIC co-processors, respectively. [See full SC'11 Booth Presentation List.]

Throughout the day, TACC's booth will feature stunning visualizations, short videos showcasing TACC systems and scientists, and interactive demonstrations of Lasso, a 3x2-monitor touch-sensitive tiled display equipped with Microsoft Kinect for interaction at a distance.

Additionally, TACC staff will be leading and participating in a number of tutorials, talks, and special sessions at the conference. Kelly Gaither, TACC's director of Visualization, led the creation of the Scientific Visualization Showcase, a new event at this year's conference. The showcase gives conference attendees a chance to experience the beauty of scientific visualization. Other highlights include two talks in the new "State of the Practice" track highlighting TACC's development of multi-touch display environments and best practices for the deployment and management of production HPC clusters, as well as two TACC-led workshops on Python for high performance and scientific computing and gateway computing environments. [See full list of TACC's Involvement at SC'11.]

On the education front, TACC will again be sponsoring a Student Cluster Challenge Team from The University of Texas at Austin. Last year, the TACC-sponsored team took home second prize and the highest LINPACK score ever. This year, with support from Dell, Intel, Mellanox, Chevron and Green Revolution Cooling, they hope to do even better.

As always, TACC staff will be present to discuss high performance computing, remote visualization, and data storage and archiving, and to provide one-on-one guidance on advanced computing techniques and technologies.

Join us at these talks and visit TACC Booth #323 on the exhibition floor to learn more about TACC's advanced computing resources, services, and programs.

SC'11 Booth Presentation List

Tuesday, 11/15:

Wednesday, 11/16:

Farber 10:30-11:15am
Rob Farber, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Scalable Workflows for GPU Supercomputing on Longhorn (or where you need them!)
Crowley 10:30-11:15am
Michael Crowley, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Learning about Biofuel Production Through Simulations
Vaughn 11:30-12:15pm
Matthew Vaughn , TACC
Computational Biology on HPC Resources at TACC
Koesterke 11:30-12:15am
Lars Koesterke, TACC
Porting Scientific Code to Intel's Many Integrated Core (MIC) Coprocessors
Schulz 1:30-2:15pm
Karl Schulz, TACC
MASA: Supporting Scientific Software Verification via an Open-Source Manufactured Solution Library
Baker 1:30-2:15pm
Nathan Baker, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Computational Investigation of Nanoparticle Interaction with Biological Materials
Boisseau 3:00-3:45pm
Jay Boisseau, TACC
Texas Stampede: Designing and Deploying a Comprehensive Petascale Supercomputer for the Open Science Community
Westing 3:00-3:45pm
Brandt Westing, TACC
Multi-touch and Gesture in High-Resolution Display Environments [Demonstration]
Yilmaz 4:00-4:45pm
Ali Yilmaz, The University of Texas at Austin
Petascale Bioelectromagnetics
McCalpin 4:00-4:45pm
John McCalpin, TACC
HPC Technology Trends: A Re-Analysis of the TOP500 Lists

TACC's Involvement at SC'11



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Andy R.



Lucas A.



Date: Sunday November 13th, 8:30 am -12:00 pm
Title: S01: Hybrid MPI and OpenMP Parallel Programming
TACC staff: Gabriele Jost

Student Cluster Competition

Date: November 12th -17th, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Title: Student Cluster Competition
TACC staff: John Cazes, John Lockman, Carlos Rosales

Scientific Visualization Showcase

Date: Nov. 13th – 17th. Reception on Tuesday, November 15th

Title: Volume Rendering of Heart Muscle Mitochondria
TACC staff: Brandt Westing
Title: Stellar Magnetism
TACC staff: Kelly Gaither
Title: Eyes On The Gulf: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Visualization
TACC staff: Karla Vega
Title: Taylor-Couette Flow in a Virtual Rheoscopic Fluid
TACC staff: Paul Navratil, William L. Barth

State of the Practice

Date: Tuesday, November 15th, 4:00 – 4:30 PM
Title: Integrating Multi-Touch in High-Resolution Display Environments
TACC staff: Brandt Westing, Ben Urick, Maria Esteva, Freddy Rojas, Weijia Xu
Date: Tuesday, November 15th, 4:30 – 5:00 PM
Title: Best Practices for the Deployment and Management of Production HPC Clusters
TACC staff: Karl W. Schulz, Robert McLay, William L. Barth, Tommy Minyard

ACM Student Research Competition Poster, Poster, Electronic Poster

Date: Tuesday, November 15th, 5:15 – 7:00 PM
Title: The Relentless Computing Paradigm: A data-oriented programming model for distributed-memory computation
TACC staff: Lucas A. Wilson, John A. Lockman
Date: Tuesday, November 15th, 5:15 – 7:00 PM
Title: A Top-20 Supercomputing Facility Rethinks Its Cooling Efficiency with Liquid Submersion Cooling
TACC staff: Aaron Dubrow

Birds of a Feather

Date: Wednesday, November 16th, 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Title: Managing High-Performance Computing Centers: Issues and Challenges
TACC staff: Jay Boisseau
Date: Thursday, November 17th, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Title: Python for High Performance Computing
TACC staff: Andy R. Terrel
Date: Wednesday, November 16th, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Title: Scripting Languages and DSLs for Productive Development of HPC Applications
TACC staff: Andy R. Terrel
Date: Thursday, November 17th, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Title: HPC Visualization: Seeing is Understanding
TACC staff: Kelly Gaither

Broader Engagement and Education Resource Fair

Date: Saturday, November 12th, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Title: Raising the Level of abstraction of Developing High Performance Computing Applications
TACC staff: Ritu Aurora


Date: Friday, November 18th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Title: Python for High Performance and Scientific Computing
TACC staff: Andy R. Terrel
Date: Friday, November 18th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Title: Gateway Computing Environments
TACC staff: Rion Dooley, Dan Stanzione


Paul Navratil: Presenting offsite at Microsoft Research
Lars Koesterke: Talk at the Intel Booth
Jay Boisseau: Keynote talk at Mellanox (Nov. 16th)
Dan Stanzione: Talk at the Dell Booth
Kelly Gaither: Talk at the Dell Booth
Tommy Minyard: Talk at the Dell Booth

November 8, 2011

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin is one of the leading centers of computational excellence in the United States. The center's mission is to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies. To fulfill this mission, TACC identifies, evaluates, deploys, and supports powerful computing, visualization, and storage systems and software. TACC's staff experts help researchers and educators use these technologies effectively, and conduct research and development to make these technologies more powerful, more reliable, and easier to use. TACC staff also help encourage, educate, and train the next generation of researchers, empowering them to make discoveries that change the world.

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  • Visit us at Booth 323 from November 15-17 in Seattle, Washington!
  • TACC's booth activities will highlight scientifically and socially significant research made possible by TACC advanced computing resources.
  • Researchers who use TACC systems, along with center leadership, will highlight current and emerging applications and technologies.

Aaron Dubrow
Science and Technology Writer