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NSCI Seminar: Challenges in High Performance Computing and National Needs and Opportunities for NIST Leadership

High performance computing, and advanced computing in general, face a plethora of opportunities and challenges. The opportunities include: new hardware options (new CPUs, new competitors in the GPU space, and hardware being created and assembled as part of various exascale initiatives); new software particularly focused on containers, cloud computing, and AI; and new opportunities in applications such as biomedical research and climate studies. There are a plethora of new challenges however, including the fact that FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Nvidia, Google) are collectively outspending the US government on CS R&D; security and privacy challenges; and a public that is ever more skeptical of basic aspects of the scientific method and the outcomes of federally funded scientific research.

This talk will focus on national challenges and opportunities in four areas of HPC-oriented R&D topics relevant to NIST’s historic mission related to computing, and outline particular needs and challenges where NIST leadership would be highly valuable to the nation: biomedical research and security of personal information (with a focus on cancer research); AI; exascale parallel computing; and reproducibility of software analyses. This talk will hopefully be interesting in surveying certain areas of accomplishment (biomedical research is after all the reason the speaker is alive to be giving this talk) and also suggest opportunities that may be interesting to NIST’s experts as topics for future NIST activities.


NSCI Committee

Dr. Craig A. Stewart
Executive Director, Pervasive Technology Institute

Dr. Craig A. Stewart is an innovator and strategist in advanced computing and cyberinfrastructure for research and development. (Cyberinfrastructure is defined as “computing systems, data storage systems, advanced instruments and data repositories, visualization environments, and people, all linked together by software and high performance networks to improve research productivity and enable breakthroughs not otherwise possible,” a definition coined by Stewart and colleagues:

Since 2005, Dr. Stewart has been the Executive Director of the Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute (@IU_PTI on twitter). IU PTI is Indiana University’s flagship organization for research and development in cyberinfrastructure, informatics, and computer science in support of science and engineering research, artistic creativity, and cybersecurity. Stewart’s personal research focus is in advanced computing architectures, particularly the optimal use and mix of high performance computing (supercomputing) and cloud computing to address problems in data analysis and simulation. Stewart has a somewhat non-traditional background as a leader in computing; his Ph.D. is in ecology and evolutionary biology, and he has collaborated extensively with researchers in Germany, both of which inform his view of needs and opportunities in the future.

Outside attendees need to contact Barry Schneider in order to obtain the site badges required to enter NIST grounds and to attend the seminar. 24 hour notice is required for US citizens and 3 days for non-US citizens. Please contact bis [at] (bis[at]nist[dot]gov) to be added to the visitor list. Visitors must check in at the NIST Visitor Center to pick up their badges. A photo ID is required for US citizens and a passport or green card for foreign nationals. There is also the possibility of viewing the seminar as a webcast. Again, please contact Barry Schneider for details preferably by email.

Created September 16, 2019