San Diego, Calif., Aug. 2, 2010 — Calit2 Director Larry Smarr will be among the top presenters at a special conference in late October organized by the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego. Smarr will focus on data-driven science in the globally networked world -- an appropriate topic as SDSC prepares to deploy a unique data-intensive, high- performance computing (HPC) system called Gordon in mid-2011.
Called “Grand Challenges in Data-Intensive Discovery”, the multi-disciplinary conference will be held October 26-28, 2010 at SDSC, located on the UC San Diego campus. Attendees can register for the conference beginning August 2 by visiting www.sdsc.edu/gordongrandchallenge.
“Science has entered a data-intensive era, driven by a deluge of data being generated by digitally based instruments, sensor networks, and simulation devices,” said Michael Norman, interim director of SDSC. “Hence, a growing part of the scientific enterprise is associated with analyzing such data, placing special demands on computer architectures because the associated calculations have frequent I/O accesses, large memory requirements, and often limited parallelism.
“We believe this conference will greatly benefit those doing research in data-intensive fields,” added Norman. “Gordon, and future systems like it, will open new opportunities across numerous areas of research, and it is important that such resources are utilized to their utmost capabilities.”
The goal of the GCDID conference is to provide an opportunity for attendees to share their expertise while exchanging ideas about the computational challenges and concerns common to data-intensive problems. Specifically, the conference is structured to facilitate discussion to help:
Contributed talks, panel discussions, sharing of early user experiences, and posters will complement the plenary speakers listed above. The schedule will be posted on the conference website shortly.
“With a peak speed of 245 teraflops, very large shared memory nodes, and a quarter-petabyte of flash SSD (solid state drive) memory, Gordon will vastly accelerate large database and data mining applications,” said Norman. “This system will reduce solution times and yield results for applications that now tax even the most advanced supercomputers, while helping to make sense of the avalanche of data generated by the digital devices of our era.”
SDSC announced last November that it won a five-year, $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build and operate Gordon, the first high-performance supercomputer to employ a vast amount of flash memory to help speed solutions now hamstrung by slower spinning disk technology. Gordon will be a peer-reviewed, allocated resource on NSF’s TeraGrid, and be available to any U.S. researcher. TeraGrid is the nation’s largest open-access scientific discovery infrastructure.
SDSC has now deployed Dash, a smaller prototype of Gordon that gives prospective users an opportunity to explore Gordon’s unique architectural features. Dash also gives computer scientists and systems architects a way to address some of the key challenges that must be met as part of Gordon’s deployment. Attendees will have an opportunity to hear from early Dash users during a panel session focused on early user experience.
As an Organized Research Unit of UC San Diego, SDSC is a national leader in creating and providing cyberinfrastructure for data-intensive research, and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year as one of the National Science Foundation’s first supercomputer centers. Cyberinfrastructure refers to an accessible and integrated network of computer-based resources and expertise, focused on accelerating scientific inquiry and discovery. SDSC is a founding member of TeraGrid, the nation’s largest open-access scientific discovery infrastructure.
Warren R. Froelich, SDSC Communications, 858-822-3622
Jan Zverina, SDSC Communications, 858-534-5111