IU innovations on display at international supercomputing conference

IU’s supercomputing work will be on display at SC16, the International Conference taking place November 13-18 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

By all measures, Indiana University continues to lead in supercomputing technologies that enable science, research, and education. 2016 furthers that journey with IU’s new Big Red II+ supercomputer, the work of its Global Research Network Operations Center, and the many grant-funded research projects that benefit the nation.

This week, IU’s work will be on display at SC16, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis taking place November 13-18 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

SC16 is one of the world’s foremost tech events, attracting thousands of scientists, researchers, and IT experts from across the world each year. This year’s conference is sponsored by IEEE Computer Society and Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), now headed by Bobby Schnabel, the former dean of the IU School of Informatics and Computing.

IU’s School of Informatics and Computing will host a research-oriented booth (#1010) in the exhibition portion of the conference, showcasing current research and educational initiatives.

The school will be represented by:

  • Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies (CREST) led by Thomas Sterling and Martin Swany
  • Digital Science Center, led by Geoffrey Fox and Judy Qiu
  • Data to Insight Center, led by Beth Plale and facilitated by Inna Kouper

In addition, CREST Director Thomas Sterling will give an invited talk, “Runtime Systems Software for Future HPC: Opportunity or Distraction?”

“SC16 has always been a showcase for the future of technology,” says Raj Acharya, dean of the IU School of Informatics and Computing. “The involvement of our centers allows us to demonstrate the innovative work being done in our school and is another sign of our leadership in the field.”

The Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) and Global Research Network Operations Center (GlobalNOC) will host an exhibit in booth #1000. IU tech experts will be on hand to discuss a range of topics and initiatives including IU’s Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative (MDPI), which is working to preserve IU’s audio and visual history by digitizing the university’s deteriorating media before they become unusable; Jetstream, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is a cloud system for 24/7 access to computing and data analysis tools that are integrated into the national research ecosystem; and Netsage, a measurement and monitoring framework project for NSF-funded international networks and exchange points.

“IU began its systematic investment in advanced research ‘cyberinfrastructure’ for the university and for the nation before the term was widely known,” said Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for IT and chief information officer. “At SC, we will be demonstrating how those investments are paying off as researchers advance their work on IU-led cyberinfrastructure in networks, computation, storage, and applications, including work in cultural preservation and cyberinfrastructure for the digital humanities.”

This year, the IU team continues its leadership role in organizing the conference. Matt Link, director of systems for IU Research Technologies, serves as a member of the conference management team as special assistant to the chair. Additionally, IU network engineers will continue a decades-long tradition of operating SCinet, a leading-edge network equipped with OpenFlow-capable switches from vendors such as IBM. SCinet will address the high performance computing, storage, and networking needs of all SC16 exhibitors and attendees.

This year, the PTI and GlobalNOC booth will include the following presentations and demonstrations:

  • Jetstream: In production, supporting science, and available to everyone (including you, engineers!) by Craig Stewart and Dave Hancock. The NSF-funded Jetstream cloud system is up and running and available for scientists to use. Learn how Jetstream supports live, interactive research as well as orchestrated cloud production jobs using systems like Mesos and containers like Docker.
  • Current trends and future challenges in HPC by Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He will examine how high performance computing has changed over the last 10 years. This evolution had¾and continues to have¾a major impact on numerical scientific software.
  • Science Gateways with Apache Airavata by Marlon Pierce, Suresh Marru, and Eroma Abeysinghe. Science gateways are user interfaces and user-supporting services that simplify access to advanced resources for novice users and give power users new modes of usage. Apache Airavata is open source software for building science gateways. In this presentation the IU science gateways team will provide an overview of recent developments.
  • Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative at IU by Kristy Kallback-Rose. The MDPI project is working to preserve IU’s rich audio and visual history by digitizing the university’s deteriorating media before they become unusable. Kallback-Rose will give an overview of the workflow, techniques, and technology that make this massive undertaking a successful reality.
  • HathiTrust: Unlocking insights from billions of texts through analytics and secure access by Inna Kouper. The HathiTrust (HT) collection makes one of the largest academic libraries in the United States available for analysis. We will discuss how a researcher can unlock many insights from this digital library while remaining within the legal and ethical boundaries of copyrighted content.
  • Pegasus Workflow Management System by Von Welch. This system is designed to map high-level, resource-independent workflow descriptions onto heterogeneous computational resources such as HPC clusters, high-throughput HTCondor pools, and cloud resources.
  • GlobalNOC: So much more than just a NOC by Dave Jent. The GlobalNOC at IU ensures reliability, performance, and advanced capabilities for more than 20 projects, including the Internet2 NOC and NOAA’s N–Wave network. Learn how GlobalNOC evolved over 20 years to become not only a NOC but also a leader in the field of network engineering and research.
  • 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. This talk will review our currently supported links, as well as the measurement and monitoring services deployed on the links.
  • IRNC NOC Performance Engagement Team: Enabling high-speed networking for researchers by Chris Robb. 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.
  • The white coats are coming! The growth, success and future of computing in biology by Tom Doak, Sherri Sanders, and Carrie Ganote. Biology is experiencing a huge increase in data production and demand for computational resources, especially in genomics. Experts from the National Center for Genome Analysis Support (NCGAS) will discuss how computation is used in genomic research.
  • OpenSFS: Looking to the future by Stephen Simms. Open Scalable File Systems (OpenSFS) is undergoing changes to move steadily forward. This talk will delve into its history and future directions, and how to help further community goals.

IU researchers and scientists will also participate in a number of panels and sessions as part of the SC16 technical program:

Monday, November 14

2-5pm: HPC Systems Professional Workshop. Presented by Jenett Tillotson.

Tuesday, November 15

12:15-1:15pm: Lustre Community BOF: Lustre Deployments for the Next 5 Years. Presented by Stephen Simms.

1:30-3pm: OpenStack for HPC: Best Practices for Optimizing Software-Defined Infrastructure. Presented by Mike Lowe.

3:30-5pm: HPC Workforce Development: How Do We Find Them, Recruit Them, and Teach Them to Be Today’s Practitioners and Tomorrow’s Leaders? Presented by Thomas Sterling.

Thursday, November 17

10:30-noon: Experiencing HPC for Undergraduates: Careers in HPC. Presented by Jennifer Schopf.

1:30-3pm: HPC Runtime System Software for Asynchronous Multi-Tasking. Presented by Thomas Sterling.

3:30-5pm: HPC/Research Computing: Leveraging the Architectures, Flexibilities, and Tools Emerging from the Members of the OpenStack Scientific Community. Presented by Mike Lowe.

To see a complete list of presentations taking place in IU’s booth #1000, see

To learn more about SC16, go to

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.

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 IU School of Informatics and Computing

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

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