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PCE-TECH Brings New Focus to CRPC Applications

CRPC researchers work in a broad spectrum of applications research activities, from petroleum reservoir engineering to biological simulation. Many of these projects have flourished in an entrepreneurial fashion. While all of these projects have proven valuable in further integrating parallel technology into the scientific community, researchers have recognized that the potential for the center's applications research is even greater than they initially realized. "We can do more," said Ken Kennedy, CRPC director. "With additional emphasis, we can use our computer science experience and interdisciplinary, multi-institutional structure in several applications areas where they will be best utilized."

The CRPC has a focused initiative for developing new applications projects. This initiative, entitled PCE-TECH (Parallel Computing Enabling Technologies), captures key middle ground between basic computer science research and the work of application scientists. PCE- TECH covers development of the software, algorithms, and methodology needed to build HPCC applications software. By providing building blocks for designing such software, this development will "enable" researchers to explore new areas of research with powerful computational tools. Training courses held for users, developers, and teachers in academia and industry will be the basis for transferring these technologies. Outreach activities will specifically target small businesses. Resource material will be developed for the training courses, as well as for background material and user-specific troubleshooting.

PCE-TECH crystallizes and expands much of the technology development and technology transfer activities of the CRPC. Enabling software technologies that the CRPC can access include PVM, Express, HPF, ADIFOR, and several parallel runtime tools. Enabling algorithms will include mesh generation, SCALAPACK, sparse matrix solvers, particle dynamics kernels, optimization methods, and scheduling templates. The CRPC has these and other technologies that can be applied to PCE-TECH. "There are several options that we can take," said Geoffrey Fox, CRPC researcher at Syracuse University and director of the CRPC applications research thrust. "Right now it is all a matter of identifying those CRPC technologies with the most potential. PCE-TECH will hopefully do that."

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