July 9, 2020


Tuesday, July 28th Keynote Speaker

Cherri Pancake, Ph.D.

Past President of the Association for  
Computing Machinery (ACM.org) and Director of the Northwest Alliance  
for Computational Research


Can We Change the Face of Computing?

The computing field has earned a bad reputation for its lack of diversity. That’s a very serious problem, and not just in terms of equity or social justice. When the workplace is too homogeneous, a company or institution is constraining its potential for future innovation and growth. Even worse, computing’s inhospitable culture is discouraging the very people who could bring the new perspectives that are so badly needed. I hope to convince you that each of us should take personal responsibility for changing the “culture of technology” before our field slowly strangles itself.
To change a culture, it’s important to understand how group behavior and values evolve and be realistic about how they can be influenced. My talk will focus on lessons I have learned about cultural change, first as an anthropologist and then working my way into and through a field that is overwhelmingly dominated by white male thinking. I’ll suggest a number of practical actions we can take, in our everyday roles and at any stage in our careers, to become an “agent of change”  for our profession.
Dr. Cherri M. Pancake is the past President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM.org) and Director of the Northwest Alliance for Computational Research. She recently retired as Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Intel Faculty Fellow at Oregon State University. Her background combines environmental design and anthropology with computer engineering.
Pancake conducted much of the seminal work identifying how the needs of scientists differ from computer science and business communities. Over a period of 25 years, she served as PI or coPI on research grants totaling over $160 million from industry, not-for-profits, NSF, and US Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, and Interior. The user-centered design methods she developed were reflected in software products from Hewlett Packard, Convex, Intel, IBM, and Tektronix. Her current research focus is software systems to help resource managers access and analyze complex research data more effectively so their decisions can be science-based. A Fellow of ACM and IEEE, Pancake was the founding chair of SIGHPC, ACM’s Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing.

Tuesday, July 28th Exhibitor Forum

Pranav Mehta


Pandemic Accelerates the Scale Out

The current pandemic has accelerated the need for scientific and technological advances in certain end user visible applications and underlying cyberinfrastructures to support them. This talk will look at some of these vertical use cases and outline challenges and possible solution approaches, based on our internal and collaborative research results, to satisfy the critical societal needs.

Pranav H. Mehta is a vice president in Intel Labs and director of Systems and Software Research at Intel Corporation. The Systems and Software Research lab explores emerging usage models and workloads – like artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, ambient computing, visual cloud, cloudification of the network infrastructure, and more – that will accelerate the compute and communications ecosystems. The goal of the lab is to comprehend their implications on the underlying system software layers as well as Intel platforms to ensure they are best optimized to create most satisfying end user experiences.

Prior to joining Intel Labs in 2015, Mehta was part of Intel’s Embedded and Network Infrastructure businesses for more than two decades, starting as a silicon architect, gradually moving to system architecture, and eventually as the chief technology officer for almost a decade. In that role, he conceived and successfully drove the workload consolidation strategy to run disparate network infrastructure workloads optimally on standard high-volume server platforms based on Intel Architecture® to transform the telecommunications industry. As Intel’s chief Network Function Virtualization (NFV) architect, he was one of the founding members of the Open Platform for NFV, an open source project under Linux Foundation and the first ever open source initiative for the Telecommunications industry with global participation. Mehta joined Intel in 1988 as a software engineer in Intel’s fabrication facility.

Mehta holds six U.S. patents and has one pending.

Mehta has a bachelor’s degree in instrumentation and control engineering from Gujarat University, India and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech.​

Luke Wilson


HPC Gives Computers a Voice

The dream of having a conversation with your computer is fast becoming a reality. But how are these voices produced? Neural networks have transformed voice synthesis, replacing artificial sounding voice clips with smooth, natural voices generated entirely by computer. Scale-out parallelism and acceleration are driving down the time to create these voice models from months to hours, turning the dream of conversational computers into a reality even faster.

Luke Wilson is Chief Data Scientist of the HPC & AI Innovation lab at Dell Technologies. Since joining Dell Technologies in 2017 Luke has helped build the HPC & AI Innovation Lab into Dell Technologies’ premier R&D group in scalable artificial intelligence. Luke leads the engineering and design of Dell EMC’s AI Solutions, works with customers and partners to develop state-of-the-art AI models and new techniques for reducing time-to-value of AI projects, and publishes peer-reviewed research in international conferences and journals.

Before joining Dell Technologies in 2017, Luke spent twelve years at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) developing next-generation artificial intelligence-based techniques for performing parallel computations on some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. While at TACC he managed multiple National Science Foundation (NSF) research projects developing cutting-edge distributed computing infrastructure tools.

Luke’s other professional experience includes being a Lecturer of scientific computing and data science at the University of Texas at Austin and receiving the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Heidelberg Laureate Forum Young Researcher Award for excellence and vision in dissertation research. Luke earned his Ph.D. in computer science from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 and has two decades of experience in high performance computing and artificial intelligence.

Wednesday, July 29th Panel

PEARC20 Panel: Introduction of the new NSF Innovative HPC systems

Continuing to provide a comprehensive portfolio of innovative advanced computing resources to meet the evolving needs of the nation’s science and engineering communities, NSF announced in May the latest round of awards for five new systems to be deployed and in production during 2020 – 2021. These systems will be available to U.S. researchers via XSEDE’s resource allocations process.


These new systems are results of the NSF solicitation 19-587 for “Advanced Computing Systems & Services: Adapting to the Rapid Evolution of Science and Engineering Research”, featuring two tracks:

  • Category I, Capacity Systems: production computational resources maximizing the capacity provided to support the broad range of computation and data analytics needs in S&E research; and
  • Category II, Innovative Prototypes/Testbeds: innovative forward-looking capabilities deploying novel technologies, architectures, usage modes, etc., and exploring new target applications, methods, and paradigms for S&E discoveries.


This session features presentations from the announced awardees of this NSF solicitation, i.e., three Category I systems and two Category II systems as follows:


Carol Song

Anvil – A National Composable Advanced Computational Resource for the Future of Science and Engineering (Category I capacity system)


Carol Song is a senior research scientist and director of Scientific Solutions with Research Computing (RCAC) at Purdue University. Her current research interests include high-performance and distributed computing, data cyberinfrastructure and science gateways. Carol is the Principal Investigator for Purdue’s Anvil capacity HPC system recently awarded by NSF and has been leading Purdue’s participation in the TeraGrid & XSEDE projects since 2006. She is also the PI for several data infrastructure projects including the Geospatial Data Building Blocks (GABBs) supported by NSF DIBBs and a recent CSSI data framework project to develop an extensible geospatial data framework (GeoEDF) to support FAIR science. Carol has funded and mentored more than 60 graduate and undergraduate students over the years and serves as a mentor through programs such as Women in HPC, Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing and Supercomputing conferences. Before joining Purdue, she worked in the medical imaging and networking industries where she led software product development and worked on medical imaging standards. Carol received her Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Bill Gropp

Delta: Category I: Crossing the Divide Between Today’s Practice and Tomorrow’s Science, Bill Gropp, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, UIUC


William Gropp holds the Thomas M. Siebel chair in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is the Director and Chief Scientist of the National Center for Supercomputer Applications, and was the founding director of the Parallel Computing Institute. Prior to joining Illinois in 2007, he held positions at Argonne National Laboratory, including Associate Director for the Mathematics and Computer Science Division and Senior Computer Scientist. He is known for his work on scalable numerical algorithms and software (sharing an R&D100 award and the SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering for PETSc software) and for the Message Passing Interface (sharing an R&D100 award for MPICH, the dominant high-end implementation, as well as co-authoring the leading books on MPI). For his accomplishments in parallel algorithms and programming, he received the IEEE Computer Society’s Sidney Fernbach award in 2008, the SIAM-SC Career Award in 2014, and the ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award in 2016. He is a fellow of AAAS, ACM, IEEE, and SIAM, and is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Gropp received his Ph.D in computer science from Stanford University, his M.S. in Physics from the University of Washington, and his B.S. in Mathematics from Case Western Reserve University.

David Y. Hancock

Jetstream2: Category I: Accelerating Science and Engineering on Demand, Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute

David Y. Hancock is the Director for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure within the Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute’s Research Technologies division. Hancock is responsible for directing IU’s local and national high-performance computing (HPC) systems, storage, and cloud resources for research. Hancock is the primary investigator for the Jetstream and Jetstream2 projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). He is also responsible for directing IU system administrators who participate in the NSF XSEDE project as well as being senior personnel on a number of other completed NSF projects.

Hancock has a passion for user-driven technology organizations and community service entities. He is an active participant in a number of national and international HPC organizations and is currently serving on the board of directors of the Cray User Group and an elected representative to the XSEDE Advisory Board by the Service Provider (SP) Forum. He has advised multiple HPC-centric user groups in addition to formally serving as the vice president for the IBM HPC User Group, president, vice president and program chair for the Cray User Group, and vice chair of the XSEDE SP Forum.

Paola Buitrago

Neocortex: Category II: Unlocking Interactive AI Development for Rapidly Evolving Research, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center


Paola Buitrago is the Director of AI and Big Data at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) at Carnegie Mellon University, where she leads a team of engineers and researchers exploring the convergence of HPC and AI. Paola is the principal investigator (PI) for the upcoming NSF-funded Neocortex, a specialized supercomputer that is designed to revolutionize national AI-enabled research. She is also PI for Open Compass, a research project that is exploring the potential of emerging AI technologies for scientific research, and co-PI for Bridges and Bridges-2, two large multipurpose supercomputers at PSC. Bridges-2 will be deployed later this year. Paola’s academic background includes degrees in Chemical Engineering and Systems and Computing Engineering.

Amit Majumdar

Voyager: Category II: Exploring AI Processors in Science and Engineering, San Diego Supercomputer Center


Amit Majumdar is the Division Director of the Data Enabled Scientific Computing division at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). His research interests are in high performance computing (HPC), computational science, cyberinfrastructure (CI) and science gateways. He is interested in convergence of HPC and data science. He is PI/Co-PI on multiple research projects related to HPC machines/programming, neuroscience cyberinfrastructure, neuromorphic computing and education/outreach and which are funded by NSF, NIH, DOD and industry. He received bachelor’s in electronics and telecommunication engineering from the Jadavpur University, Calcutta; master’s in nuclear engineering from the Idaho State University, Pocatello; Ph.D. degree in the interdisciplinary program of nuclear engineering and scientific computing from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is member of IEEE, SIAM, APS, Society for Neuroscience (SfN), and Organization for Computational Neuroscience (OCNS).

Thursday, July 30th Plenary Speaker

Amy Friedlander, Ph.D.

(Acting) Office Director of the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering,
National Science Foundation


Envisioning the 21st Century Scientific Research Cyberinfrastructure: Stability, Innovation, and the Science of the Future

The central problem in technology-driven large-scale infrastructure systems is providing services that are predictable, reliable and broadly accessible without allowing them to become obsolete, stale, and under-resourced. For the cyberinfrastructure (CI), this problem is particularly acute as the technologies themselves advance very rapidly, user demand and expectations escalate, and the cyberinfrastructure is itself dynamic. This talk explores ways that the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC) at the National Science Foundation manages this tension to provision the national scientific and engineering research CI while enabling innovation in the CI systems and services and nurturing the development of new capabilities to transform the next generation of scientific research.
Dr. Amy Friedlander is currently the Acting Office Director for the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE/OAC), where she has served as Acting Deputy Division Director and Deputy Office Director since November, 2014.  Since joining NSF in 2010, she has led several strategic activities, including both initial coordination of the Public Access Initiative and the activities that culminated in the widely-distributed report Rebuilding the Mosaic (2011). In addition to her position in OAC, Dr. Friedlander plays a central role in NSF’s data management policies and activities that address the foundation’s administrative data as well as the research data resulting from NSF’s investments.
Prior to her NSF appointment, Dr. Friedlander held positions in the private non-profit and for-profit  sectors.  Among other projects, she participated in the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, funded largely by NSF; led the initial strategic planning for the Library of Congress’ National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NSIIPP); and served as editor-in-chief of the ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage. At the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), she was the founding editor of D-Lib Magazine (www.dlib.org) and the author of a series of studies of the historical development large-scale technology infrastructures in the U.S.
Dr. Friedlander graduated from Vassar College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She holds the M.A. and Ph.D. from Emory University and the M.S.L.I.S. from The Catholic University of America.  She pursued postdoctoral work on quantitative methods and computer-assisted social science research at the Newberry Library in Chicago, IL.