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Indiana University researchers, scientists put the “super” in computing

Leaders from the Pervasive Technology Institute, Global Research Network Operations Center, and School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering ready to share, learn at supercomputing conference

DENVER, Colo.— Computing and networking experts from Indiana University will gather in the Mile High City next week for SC17, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis taking place November 12-17 in Denver. SC17 is one of the world’s foremost tech events, annually attracting thousands of scientists, researchers, and IT experts from across the world.

IU’s Pervasive Technology Institute, Global Research Network Operations Center, and School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering (SICE) will team up to host a research-oriented booth (#601) in the exhibition portion of the conference, showcasing current research and educational initiatives.

With the theme “We put the ‘super’ in computing,” the IU booth will showcase staff and faculty members and projects that are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in computing and networking. Although they may not sport capes, the IU team devotes its considerable abilities to harnessing the cloud, achieving maximum throughput, engineering intelligent systems, and thwarting real-life cybervillains.

“SC17 marks the 20th anniversary of IU's first display at the Supercomputing Conference, a milestone that underscores our deep commitment to leveraging high performance computing and networking to benefit the IU community, the state of Indiana, and the world,” said Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for IT and chief information officer. “In that time span, our researchers, scientists, and technologists have not only put IU on the map in the world of HPC, but their talents and discoveries have made IU a true leader in this increasingly important realm.”

One highlight of IU’s participation in SC17 is Judy Qiu’s invited talk, “Harp-DAAL: A Next Generation Platform for High Performance Machine Learning on HPC-Cloud.” Qiu is an associate professor in the intelligent systems engineering department in SICE. She will discuss growth in HPC and machine learning for big data with cloud infrastructure, and introduce Harp-DAAL, a high performance machine learning framework. 

The Supercomputing Conference is always a fantastic opportunity to showcase the work that is being conducted at SICE and provides a spotlight for our wonderful faculty.

Raj Acharya, dean of the IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering

“The Supercomputing Conference is always a fantastic opportunity to showcase the work that is being conducted at SICE and provides a spotlight for our wonderful faculty,” said Raj Acharya, dean of SICE. “The conference itself is so valuable because it brings together the greatest minds in supercomputing in an atmosphere of collaboration that is as inspiring as it is informative. We’re always thrilled to be a part of it.”

This year, the IU team continues its leadership role in organizing the conference. Matt Link, associate vice president and director of systems for IU Research Technologies, serves as a member of the SC Steering Committee. Scott Michael, manager of research analytics, is vice chair of the Students@SC committee, and Jenett Tillotson, senior system administrator for high performance systems, is a member of the Student Cluster Competition committee.

Additionally, IU network engineers will continue a decades-long tradition of helping to operate SCinet, one of the most powerful and advanced networks in the world. Created each year for the conference, SCinet is a high-capacity network to support the applications and experiments that are the hallmark of the SC conference. Laura Pettit, SICE director of intelligent systems engineering research operations, is the SCinet volunteer services co-chair, and ISE doctoral students Lucas Brasilino and Jeremy Musser are also volunteering with SCinet.

This year, the IU booth will include a range of presentations and demonstrations:

  • Current Trends and Future Challenges in HPC by Jack Donagarra, University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • Special event: Jetstream and OpenStack by Dave Hancock and partners. OpenStack is the emerging standard for deploying cloud computing capabilities, and cloud-based infrastructure is increasingly able to handle HPC workloads. During this special event, members of the Jetstream team and the OpenStack Foundation Scientific Working Group will discuss how they use OpenStack to serve HPC customers.
  • Science Gateways with Apache Airavata by Marlon Pierce, Eroma Abeysinghe and Surresh Marru. Science gateways are user interfaces and user-supporting services that simplify access to advanced resources for novice users and provide new modes of usage for power users. Apache Airavata is open source cyberinfrastructure software for building science gateways. During this demonstration, the presenters provide an overview of recent developments.
  • Big Data Toolkit Spanning HPC, Grid, Edge and Cloud Computing by Geoffrey Fox. This demonstration looks at big data programming environments such as Hadoop, Spark, Flink, Heron, Pregel; HPC concepts such as MPI and asynchronous many-task runtimes; and cloud/grid/edge ideas such as event-driven computing, serverless computing, workflow and services.
  • Cybersecurity for Science by Von Welch. The Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, affiliated with the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University, specializes in cybersecurity for R&D. In this scope, the center works with science communities across the country, including leading the National Science Foundation's Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. This talk will provide an overview of what cybersecurity means in the context of science and how it can enable productive, trusted scientific research.
  • Enabling High-Speed Networking for Researchers by Chris Robb. With data networking becoming increasingly complex and opaque, researchers are often unsure how to address poor performance between their endpoints. This talk will introduce the IRNC NOC Performance Engagement Team (PET) and show how it can help researchers determine the best approach to achieving their maximum bandwidth potential.
  • Scientific Workflow Integrity for Pegasus by Von Welch and partners. The Pegasus Workflow Management System is a popular system for orchestrating complex scientific workflows. In this talk, the PIs of the NSF-funded Scientific Workflow Integrity for Pegasus project will talk about scientific data integrity challenges and their work to add greater assurances to Pegasus for data integrity.
  • Macroscopes from the “Places & Spaces: Mapping Science” Exhibition by Katy Börner. See up to 100 large-format maps that showcase effective visualization techniques to communicate science to the general public. These interactive visualizations, called macroscopes, help people see patterns in data that are too large or complex to view unaided.
  • Proteus: A Configurable FPGA Cluster for High Performance Networking by Martin Swany. Proteus is new HPC cluster and research testbed that will enable investigation of novel and advanced architectures in HPC. Using FPGAs to optimize the performance of common parallel operations, this serves as a model for hardware accelerated network “microservices.”
  • International Networks at IU by Jennifer Schopf. International Networks at IU is a multi-million dollar NSF-funded program that supports the use of international links between the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. Demos will review our currently supported links, as well as the measurement and monitoring services deployed on the links.

About the IU School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering
The School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering’s rare combination of programs—including informatics, computer science, library science, information science and intelligent systems engineering—makes SICE one of the largest, broadest and most accomplished of its kind. The extensive programs are united by a focus on information and technology.

About the Pervasive Technology Institute
The Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) at Indiana University is a world-class organization dedicated to the development and delivery of innovative information technology to advance research, education, industry and society. Since 2000, PTI has received more than $50 million from the National Science Foundation to advance the nation's research cyberinfrastructure.

About the Global Research Network Operations Center
The Global Research Network Operations Center (GlobalNOC) supports advanced international, national, regional and local high-performance research and education networks. GlobalNOC plays a major role in transforming the face of digital science, research and education in Indiana, the United States, and the world by providing unparalleled network operations and engineering needed for reliable and cost-effective access to specialized facilities for research and education.