Shaping Tomorrow

Wednesday Keynote 2021

Thomas Sterling

Prof. Thomas Sterling

Professor of Intelligent Systems Engineering
School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering
Indiana University


HPC Achievement and Impact – 2021
(Wednesday, June 30)

For much of the world, 2020 has been the worst year in recent memory, and in some cases tragic. However, the HPC community including international industry, academia, and government have adapted effectively to changing conditions employing high-tech tools with which facilitated continued forward progress with minimum impediment. Remote working and online meetings were achieved through remote media of communication individually and in groups. ISC-21 is no less a success being undertaken with professional determination, to the credit of its organizers. But in spite of this all, technology and applications have both progressed at an increasing pace. As exemplars, over this period has been the Riken Fugaku computer and the TACC Frontera with other premier HPC systems slated for deployment across the international field. This year has continued the accelerating trend of merging HPC hardware platforms with rapidly expanding applications domain in Machine Learning of many forms breaking into diversity of AI applications for science discovery, business planning, and defense intelligence. HPE, IBM, Nvidia, Intel, AMD, Dell, Penguin and other major corporations have steadily advanced their leading-edge product lines even as a plethora of high-risk start-ups explore the potential of leapfrogging capabilities for special purpose custom design accelerators. Quantum Computing in both fabrication technology and applications has grown. This abbreviated (30 minutes) closing Keynote address will bring ISC to an exciting end with a clear expression of the accomplishments of HPC, the field that forged ahead in spite of the unique world challenges.



Prof. Thomas Sterling is a Full Professor of Intelligent Systems Engineering at the Indiana University (IU) serving as the Director of the AI Computing Systems Laboratory at IU. Since receiving his Ph.D from MIT in 1984 as a Hertz Fellow, Thomas Sterling has engaged in applied research in parallel computing system structures, semantics, and operation in industry, government labs, and academia. Sterling is best known as the "father of Beowulf" for his pioneering research in commodity/Linux cluster computing for which he shared the Gordon Bell Prize in 1997. His current research is associated with innovative extreme scale computing with non von Neumann memory-centric concepts to achieve Active Memory Architecture to accelerate dynamic graph processing. He is the co-author of seven books and holds six patents. In 2018, Dr. Sterling co-founded the new high-tech company, Simultac LLC, and serves as its Chief Scientist to enable academic technology transfer for the delivery of accelerators based on AMA concepts. Sterling was the recipient of the 2013 Vanguard Award and is a Fellow of the AAAS. Most recently, he co-authored the introductory textbook, “High Performance Computing”, published by Morgan-Kaufmann in 2017.

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