High Performance Computing Town Hall Meeting:
Science, Requirements, and Benchmark

Held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, October 17, 2005

Report Icon
Posted June 2, 2006
Final Report from the Meeting: Goals of the Meeting · Computational and Scientific Challenges involving HPC · General Recommendations of Meeting · Existing Benchmarking Suites · Recommendations for MPS Benchmarks · Proposed Benchmark Codes · (860kB, PDF)

About the MPS HPC Town Hall Meeting

Updated Wednesday, 04-Jan-2012 16:58:46 CST

Image from Presentation at 2005 NSF HPC Town Hall Meeting

In April 2004, the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate (MPS) of the National Science Foundation convened the MPS Cyberscience Workshop to discuss the cyberscience opportunities across MPS and identify the cyberinfrastrure needs for MPS cyberscience. The recommendations of this workshop are reported in Identifying Major Scientific Challenges in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Their CyberInfrastructure Needs (PDF).

NSF has been working rapidly to develop and execute an implementation plan for cyberinfrastructure across the Foundation. High performance computing is an important component of cyberinfrastructure. In the near term, solicitations are planned to acquire high performance computing systems. The MPS cyberscience workshop lays the foundation for this town hall meeting, which focuses in greater detail on high performance computing and the computational community served by the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate. The town hall meeting is an opportunity for the MPS community to discuss important issues related to high performance computing and to inform NSF of its views. The MPS town hall meeting on high performance computing is by itself one of a series. Future meetings are also anticipated, possibly on short notice, that will focus in more detail on other elements of cyberinfrastructure.

Science is first. This town hall meeting will discuss the exciting cyberscience that specifically requires high performance computing and the scientific opportunities opened by high performance computing. What high performance computing resources are required to do this science? To help guide NSF investments and to help the community decide what resources are best suited for the scientific problems engaged by the MPS community, the town hall meeting will also focus on the issue of how to measure in a meaningful way the performance of a high performance computing system on MPS cyberscience problems.

To break down barriers to communication, this meeting will occur in the cyber world and the real world. There will be a virtual forum for the group to help facilitate discussions leading to a report to NSF. The meeting will take place on October 17, 2005 and will be hosted by the Materials Computation Center, on the University of Illinois campus, with participation of access grid nodes across the country. The meeting will report progress on the main questions above and identify candidate benchmarks to measure the performance of high performance computers at the "production machine" level and those at the "petascale" level. A follow-up meeting, date to be determined, will crystallize the view of the community on this aspect of high performance computing.

Final Report from the Meeting

Posted June 2, 2006 The Final Report from the Meeting (860kB, PDF) covers:

  • Goals of the Town Hall Meeting
  • Computational/Scientific Challenges involving High-Performance Computing
  • Summary of General Recommendations of the Town Hall Meeting
  • Existing Benchmarking Suites
  • Recommendations for MPS benchmarks
  • Description of Proposed Benchmark Codes

The authors of the Report are:

  • David Ceperley, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Chair)
  • Paul Fischer, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Steven Gottlieb, Indiana University
  • Robert Harrison, University of Tennessee, ORNL
  • Luis Lehner, Louisiana State University
  • Roy Williams, California Institute of Technology

Tentative Meeting Agenda

The meeting will take place in the Access Grid Room 3000, at the NCSA Building, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lunch and coffee breaks will take place in Siebel Center, adjacent to the NCSA Building.
Note: session times are given in Central Daylight Time.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Time (CDT) Activity
10:00am Coffee Siebel Center Cafe
10:40am Welcome and Logistics Duane D. Johnson, MCC-UIUC
10:50am MPS Welcome to on-site and Access Grid participants Meeting Chair
11:00am Scientific Frontiers, CI & HPC, and HPC Performance Requirements to Engage Them Tom Weber, NSF/MPS/DMR
11:10am Overview of activities leading up to the town hall meeting; Report on additional input from the community; Introductory remarks on presentations and how they were selected Meeting Chair
11:30am Presentations
12:00pm Lunch Siebel Center
1:00pm Presentations
4:00pm Break
4:15pm Short presentations, 5-10 mins., from anyone in the community Multiple presenters
5:15pm Discussion
6:15pm Town Hall Meeting group response to charge, recommendations, and statement of future plans Meeting Chair
6:45pm Final discussion and comments
7:15pm NSF final comments, Adjourn

Registration and Contact Information

All participants should complete the online registration form as soon as possible, whether or not travel is required to participate. Access to the meeting web forum is granted upon successful receipt of registration. There is no registration fee.

For questions about the meeting scope or agenda, contact:

  • Daryl W. Hess, NSF/MPS Division of Materials Research, dhess@nsf.gov, phone: (703) 292-4942
  • Nigel Sharp, NSF/MPS Division of Astronomical Sciences, nsharp@nsf.gov, phone: (703) 292-4905
  • Celeste Rohlfing, NSF/MPS Division of Chemistry, crohlfin@nsf.gov, phone: (703) 292-4962
  • Leland M. Jameson, NSF/MPS Division of Mathematical Sciences, ljameson@nsf.gov, phone: (703) 292-4883
  • Barry Schneider, NSF/MPS Division of Physics, bschneid@nsf.gov, phone: (703) 292-7383

Web Forum

A wiki-based web forum (login required) provides a central meeting area for participants to raise and discuss issues prior to the meeting, and to supply materials and codes for consideration. Access to the web forum is granted to expected participants upon registration. A 'practice' wiki will be available for those wishing a environment in which they can get comfortable with wikis and "do no harm." Contributors who are new to wikis may find the introduction to wikis useful.

About wikis: A wiki is a web application that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows anyone to edit the content. Wikis are similar to blogs. One popular wiki-based project is Wikipedia.

Participation on Meeting Day

The meeting is hosted by the Materials Computation Center, and will be held at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, with participation from Access Grid nodes around the country. Travel expenses to the MCC or another participation Access Grid node will be reimbursed.

For a list of Access Grid notes and for information about participating via the Access Grid, visit http://www.accessgrid.org/.

Lodging and Travel Information for Onsite Meeting Participation

Please remember to keep all receipts for meals, parking, and other expenses, and submit a completed Expenses/Travel Reimbursement form (PDF) with your receipts or AG local usage fee charges.

The MCC has reserved a block of rooms under the Group Code "NSF-HPC", for the October 16-18, 2005 at the Hampton Inn. The rates are $79/night for a single or double. The hotel rate includes a hot breakfast. Parking is free of charge at the Hampton Inn, and the meeting site is within a very short walking distance from the hotel. Please reserve your hotel room by October 7, 2005.

Hampton Inn
1200 W. University Ave, Urbana, Illinois
Tel: +1-217-337-1100  Fax: +1-217-337-1143 

Maps and Driving Information:

Guidelines for Meeting Presenters

  • The Access Grid software at NCSA is designed to be aware of slide controls used by Powerpoint and to synchronize slide display on other AG nodes. If possible, authors should choose Powerpoint, rather than PDF, when presenting via the Access Grid.
  • NCSA's Access Grid works best with Windows-compatible Powerpoint files. Specifically, MacOS-image formats do not always render problem-free.
  • Presenters should submit their presentation slides two days before their presentation to insure compatability with the Access Grid.

Background Information

  1. Identifying Major Scientific Challenges in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Their CyberInfrastructure Needs, held on April 21, 2004; http://www.nsf.gov/attachments/100811/public/CyberscienceFinal4.pdf
  2. A Science-Based Case for Large-Scale Simulation; workshop held June 24-25, 2003; http://www.pnl.gov/scales/docs/volume1_72dpi.pdf; http://www.pnl.gov/scales/docs/SCaLeS_v2_draft_toc.pdf
  3. "Computation as a Tool for Discovery in Physics," October 2002, http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2002/nsf02176/start.htm
  4. Cyber Chemistry Workshop; workshop held October 3-5, 2004; http://bioeng.berkeley.edu/faculty/cyber_workshop
  5. Materials Research Cyberscience enabled by Cyberinfrastructure; workshop held November 2004; http://www.nsf.gov/mps/dmr/csci.pdf
  6. Multiscale Mathematics Initiative: A Roadmap; workshops held May 3-5, July 20-22, September 21-23, 2004; http://www.sc.doe.gov/ascr/mics/amr/Multiscale Math Workshop 3- Report latest edition.pdf
  7. "Physics of the Universe," February 2004, http://www.ostp.gov/html/physicsoftheuniverse2.pdf
  8. President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee Report, Posted August 16, 2005 http://www.nitrd.gov/pitac/reports/20050609_computational/computational.pdf