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January 1993

CRPC Workshops: Past, Present, and Future

Since the center's establishment in 1989, Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC) researchers have been actively involved in workshops on parallel computing. Workshops highlight research achievements to targeted audiences from industry, academia, and government. Given below are examples of successful workshops that were either sponsored by the CRPC or were organized with the help of CRPC researchers. Many of these workshops have either led to collaborations between the CRPC and outside institutions or have influenced the research direction of CRPC projects.

Workshop on System Software and Tools for High Performance Computing Environments
Pasadena, CA, April 1992

Sponsored by nine federal agencies, this workshop has greatly influenced the agenda for software research in the High Performance Computing and Communications program. Out of the 150 participants attending, there were 13 CRPC researchers, several of whom either helped to organize the workshop or lead working group discussions on special topics. The concept of programming templates that is being developed at the CRPC grew out of this workshop. Results were presented at Supercomputing '92 last November.

The Changing Culture of Science: Bringing it into Balance
Berkeley, CA, July 21-23, 1992

Sponsored in part by the CRPC, this conference brought together scientists, engineers, students, and science administrators to discuss the attitudes, practices, and policies woven into the fabric of America's science culture. Several multicultural issues were explored, including racial and sexual stereotyping, "family vs. career" choices, the value of a competitive environment, the "glass ceiling," and the interaction of science with the rest of society. The conference provided a forum for sharing personal experiences and allowed a broad spectrum of science professionals to reach a consensus on social issues related to science.

Joint MADIC/NASA Workshop on Multidisciplinary Design
Fort Worth, TX, October 21-23, 1992

CRPC researchers participated in the MADIC/NASA Workshop on Multidisciplinary Design to identify the technical barriers preventing the development of automated multidisciplinary design systems. The workshop proved to be an effective focal point for defining the roles for this development among the participants from industry, academia, and government. This workshop also lead the optimization group into new research in this area (see page 6 for related article on multidisciplinary design optimization).

Sixth SIAM Conference on Parallel Processing for Scientific Computing
Norfolk, VA, March 22-24, 1993

At this conference, the CRPC sponsored a minisymposium that covered several research areas explored by center researchers. Mani Chandy discussed his group's work on Fortran M, an extension of Fortran 77 that enables users to write task-parallel and data-parallel programs that have standard sequential debugging and verification features. A talk on multidisciplinary optimization by Robert Michael Lewis emphasized the importance of this field in engineering design. In addition, John Salmon discussed CRPC research on treecodes, which enable large amounts of data to be analyzed for problems in astrophysics and other areas, and Mary Wheeler reported on the activities of the Flow in Porous Media group, emphasizing their work in parallel models for reservoir engineering and groundwater hydrology. At the same meeting, Jack Dongarra and Ken Kennedy gave invited presentations on CRPC work in linear algebra and parallel Fortran, respectively.

Computational Science Workshops
Los Alamos, NM, February 22 - May 14 and June 14 - September 3

CRPC researchers participate in the Computational Science Workshops, held at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The workshops provide attendees with an advanced education in high-performance computing as it applies to computationally intensive scientific research. Attendees collaborate with center researchers and work on individual research interests in an enriched environment for research on scientific and industry problems. They are also given access to high-performance workstations and innovative computer architectures. Workshop overviews and tutorials focus on the newest advances in parallel algorithms, architectures, operating systems, distributed computing, parallel languages, and visualization tools. The workshops also address applications issues with a special focus on the use of high-performance computing in the grand challenge applications. This year, more than 100 attendees will participate in one of two workshops, with options to participate in one- week, three-week, or 12-week configurations.

Computers: The Machines, Science, People, and Jobs!
Pasadena, CA, March 18-19, 1993

This recent two-day program at Caltech provided 100 minority high school students with a stimulating first-hand exposure to problems and issues in computer science. The event served to demystify and humanize scientific research professionals through face-to-face interaction of the participants with successful minority scientists. In addition, the students gained new insights into what career opportunities are available to them in science, engineering, and mathematics.

Students in the program, "Computers: The Machine, Science, People, and Jobs!" play the "Sorting Race" game to learn how computers solve problems by designing rules for solutions. To demonstrate how an algorithm regulates a computer's internal communication, the students in this picture are each holding cards with specific numbers. According to the algorithm being run, each student then communicates the value of the number on their card to another student.

Herb Keller and Richard Tapia (second and third from left) of the CRPC discuss career opportunities with participants in the program, "Computers: The Machine, Science, People, and Jobs!" held at the California Institute of Technology in March 1993.

SIAM Conference on Mathematical and Computational Issues in the Geosciences
Houston, TX, April 19-21, 1993

Several CRPC researchers are involved in this conference. The conference has a heavy focus on parallel computing and features presentations and minisymposiums on computing applications in hydrology, reservoir engineering, porous media, seismic imaging, flow and transport, geochemical systems, oceanography, atmospheric science, and ecological characterization. Demonstrations of several applications will be given at Rice University. The program also includes a tutorial on parallel computing with applications to linear algebra.

Additional Workshops

The CRPC sponsors other meetings including special-topic workshops such as the "Standards for Message Passing in a Distributed Memory Environment" workshop (Williamsburg, VA, April 1992) and the "Compiler Infrastructure Workshop" (Houston, TX, May 14-15, 1993). CRPC researchers have also submitted proposals for workshops to Supercomputing '93, including the proposed "High Performance Fortran: Implementor and User Workshop." Also, special workshops in computational science are given for participants of the "Research Experiences for Undergraduates" program at Syracuse University.

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