Got parallel programming skills?

We all know the glamour of having the fastest HPC machine, or the most nodes, or fattest pipes. But what ends up lost in the hoopla of all the hardware hype is the fact that someone has to write the code for this stuff to be even marginally useful for handling enormous computations. Herein lies one of the problems with high performance, scientific computing - not enough skilled programmers. Simply put, software development isn’t keeping pace with hardware development. This has been a problem for some time and still is. Writing code and programming applications (from middleware to debuggers) that enable a large computational, data intensive problem to be broken into parts that are solved individually and then reassembled into a single solution is non-trivial. Though a little dated, Susan Graham and Marc Snir, of Cal Berkeley and Illinois, Ubana-Champaign respectively, touched on this still relevant problem in their February 2005 CTWatch Quarterly article “The NRC Report on the Future of Supercomputing.” Gregory Wilson, a CS professor, gets a little more specific in “Where’s the Real Bottleneck in Scientific Computing?” from American Scientist. A more recent discussion of the lag in software development can be found in Doug Post’s keynote talk “The Opportunities and Challenges for Computational Science and Engineering” from the inauguration of the new Virtual Institute - High Productivity Supercomputing (VI-HPS).

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

The moderators and/or administrators of this weblog reserve the right to edit or delete ANY content that appears on the site. In other words, the moderators and administrators have complete discretion over the removal of any content deemed by them to be inappropriate, in full or in part.

Any opinions expressed on this site belong to their respective authors and are not necessarily shared by the sponsoring institutions or the National Science Foundation.

Any trademarks or trade names, registered or otherwise, that appear on this site are the property of their respective owners and, unless noted, do not represent endorsement by the editors, publishers, sponsoring institutions, the National Science Foundation, or any other member of the CTWatch team.

No guarantee is granted by CTWatch that information appearing in the Blog is complete or accurate. Information on this site is not intended for commercial purposes.