A Podcast for HPC Folk

A Podcast for HPC Folk

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RCE 54: SciPy Scientific Tools for Python

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak withTravis Oliphant, Anthony Scopatz, and Warren Weckesser about SciPy (http://scipy.org/) Scientific Tools for Python.

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Travis has worked extensively with Python for numerical and scientific programming since 1997. He was the primary developer of the NumPy package and the author of the definitive Guide to NumPy (PDF). He was an early contributor to the documentation for the Numeric package and in 1999 released Multipack for Python. In 2001, he folded Multipack into SciPy as one of the original co-authors of that package. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Brigham Young University in Math and Electrical Engineering, and he received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Mayo Clinic in 2001. From December 2000 to August 2007 he worked as an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Brigham Young University where he also directed the Biomedical Imaging Lab and taught courses in inverse problems, signal processing, probability theory, and electromagnetics. Since 2007 he has been at Enthought, Inc. and serving as its President since 2008. He currently lives in Austin with his wife and six children.


Anthony Scopatz is a computational scientist and long time Python developer. Anthony holds his BS in Physics from UC Santa Barbara and MSE in Mechanical Engineering from UT Austin. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in Nuclear Engineering program at UT Austin. Anthony’s research interests revolve around physics-based modeling of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and related information theoretic metrics. Anthony has published and spoken at numerous conferences on both Nuclear Engineering and Python. Additionally, he helps run the inSCIght scientific computing podcast.

Warren Weckesser is a software developer at Enthought, Inc. He received his M.Eng. in computer and systems engineering and Ph.D. in mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and has taught at the University of Michigan and Colgate University. He is a contributor to the SciPy project, and is a Program Committee Co-chair for the SciPy 2011 Conference.

RCE 53: Performance Co-Pilot

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak withKen McDonell about Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) a framework and services that support system-level performance monitoring and management. It presents a unifying abstraction for all of the performance data in a system, and many tools for interrogating, retrieving and processing that data.

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Ken McDonell's interest in performance analysis begin at Monash University in 1971 with simulation studies of file access methods. At the University of Alberta he was awarded a Ph.D. in Computer Science for work on the interface between operating systems and database management systems.

It was at Alberta during 1974 that Ken was first exposed to the Unix operating system, and he has been a daily Unix (and later Linux) user and developer ever since.

From 1977 to 1988 Ken was an academic in the Computer Science Departments at Melbourne and Monash Universities.

An interest in Unix, and operating systems in general, led Ken to be a founding member, an executive member and the second President of the Australian Unix-systems User Group (AUUG).

Ken left academia in 1988 to take up a position in California with Pyramid Technology, where his responsibilities included management of the corporate performance analysis group and performance evaluation of core technologies for future products.

In 1993 Ken joined Silicon Graphics and formed a software engineering team in Melbourne, Australia, charged with the development of software products to monitor and manage the performance of very large systems acting as DBMS, video, file or compute servers. The Performance Co-Pilot products were developed from this effort and are sold world-wide by SGI, and made available through open source distributions.

Later, as a Director of Engineering, Ken headed a team that held world-wide responsibility for SGI engineering projects that spanned multiple platforms (Linux, IRIX, Windows, Mac OS X and Solaris) and delivered products and features in the areas of file systems, file serving, storage software, networking, systems monitoring and management, and core operating system services.

In 2005 Ken joined Aconex as Chief Technology Officer and assumed responsibility for all aspects of the development, deployment and operational management of a complex web-based solution hosted in multiple data centers around the world and supporting tens of thousands of concurrent users.

Since 2008 Ken has been mostly retired, enjoying grandchildren, gardening, cinema, travel, recreational computing (mostly PCP development) and a small amount of technology-based consulting.

RCE 52: ATLAS Automatically Tuned Linear Algebra Software

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Dr. Clint Whaley about ATLAS Automatically Tuned Linear Algebra Software a package of high performance BLAS and LAPACK routines auto-generated for your platform.

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Clint Whaley is the founder and main developer of the ATLAS project. He is presently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas in San Antonio. His research topics include empirical optimization, high performance computing, parallel computing, and backend compiler optimization. See: http://www.cs.utsa.edu/~whaley/ for further details.

RCE 51: Fukushima

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Dr. Mike Hartman and Dr. Kim Kearfott about the Fukushima Reactors that were damaged after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.

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Dr. Mike HartmanMike Hartman is an assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences (NERS) at the University of Michigan. His current research focuses on the use of radiation probes to study the structural and dynamical properties of matter at the atomic level. This effort relies heavily upon neutron scattering investigations, and current projects include the study of solid state hydrogen storage materials, investigation of lithium ion batteries, and the development of advanced nuclear fuel forms. He also has an extensive background in the design and operation of nuclear power plants from prior employment with the United States Naval Nuclear Power Propulsion Program, Westinghouse Electric Company, and several university research reactors.

Dr. Kim KearfottKim Kearfott holds an Sc. D. degree, specialized in radiation safety and medical physics with a doctoral minor in public health, from M.I.T. and an M.E., with specialization in reactor safety systems, from the U. of Virginia. She was a recipient of the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the Society of Nuclear Medicine Tetalman Award, the Health Physics Society Elda Anderson Award, and the American Nuclear Society Women's Achievement Award. She is currently board certified by the American Board of Health Physics and the National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists. Kim Kearfott has over 30 years of research and applied experience in radiation detection and radiological safety. Her research includes pioneering work in radon: she located and mitigated a home having the highest ever recorded indoor radon air concentration and was first to discover and mitigate elevated radon problems involving indoor air returns. She is well known in the medical radiation community for her early work on internal dose assessments for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and for her designs of clinical PET facilities. She has conducted projects in the personnel monitoring and was responsible for the development of the first system for positionally sensitive TLD plate imaging, a new mixed radiation field dosimeter approach, and the first designs of inexpensive, spectroscopic-capable passive dosimeters. She has made many other practical contributions to the fields of external dosimetry and internal dose assessment. Her current research is the design of radiation detection systems for environmental radiation and dosimeters for homeland security, although she holds an interest in measurement systems of all types. Professor Kearfott's sabbatical activities have included work at nuclear power plants and national laboratories, as well as dose assessments concerning the health effects of recent and historical uranium mining activities. This involves fresh approaches to biosphere modeling.

More than 195 graduate and undergraduate students have participated directly in her work, resulting in more than 300 publications. An experienced teacher and communicator, Prof. Kearfott has been responsible for more than 300 talks, 48 undergraduate and graduate courses, and 22 short courses. She also holds several patents on radiation detection methods and detectors, several of which were licensed by small businesses.

Kim Kearfott was a member of The National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) Scientific Committee SC 6-3 on Uncertainties in the Dosimetry of Internal Radiation Doses, where she is responsible for the nuclear power plant example. She held elected positions on the Board of Directors of both the Health Physics Society and the American Nuclear Society. She served on NCRP Scientific Subcommittee 57 (Dosimetry and Metabolism of Radionuclides), NRC's Enhanced Participatory Rulemaking Workshop on Radiological Controls for Decommissioning, and the U. S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries (USTUR). She was a consultant to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Advisory Committee on Nuclear Wastes on low-level radiation health effects, as well as performed a variety of applied health physics tasks for numerous medical and industrial radiation users (particularly in the area of shielding and facility design and instrument evaluation). She also has substantial applied experience in the area of diagnostic radiology testing and facility design, and also worked outages at nuclear power plants. She was an Associate Editor of the Health Physics Journal from 1991 through 2010.

RCE 50: Zenoss


Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Randal Rheinheimer of LANL and Simon Jakesch of Zenoss about Zenoss Core a cloud management and monitoring tool.

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Simon Jakesch is an IT professional with years of experience in the service and datacenter management software space. As Principal Engineer he's been instrumental at making Zenoss one of the most widely used management products, and is directly responsible for its adoption in some of the largest datacenters and cloud providers in the world.

Randal Rheinheimer is Deputy Group Leader for the HPC Systems Support Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Randal's background is in physics, but he has been in the HPC field since 1996, starting with Thinking Machines Corporation. At LANL, Randal has worked on projects in distributed resource management, grid computing, HPC security, and new supercomputer deployments, including leading the deployment of Roadrunner, the first petaFlop system. Randal's current interests revolve around processes to keep computing clusters operating as desired at very large scale, particularly monitoring and system validation.

RCE 49: Trilinos

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Mike Heroux and Jim Willenbring of Sandia National Lab. about Trilinos. The Trilinos Project is an effort to develop algorithms and enabling technologies within an object-oriented software framework for the solution of large-scale, complex multi-physics engineering and scientific problems.

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Jim Willenbring is a staff member at Sandia National Laboratories and has worked on the Trilinos Project since 2002. He is the Trilinos Framework and Tools Capability Area Leader. His contribution to the project is focused on Trilinos level coordination, planning and improvement, as well as build system, testing, and porting issues. Jim holds a B.S. in Mathematics/Computer Science from St. John's University (MN), and a M.S. in Computer Science from St. Cloud State University.

Mike Heroux is a staff member at Sandia National Laboratories, working on new algorithm development, and robust parallel implementation of solver components. He leads the Trilinos Project. Mike also works on the development of scalable parallel scientific and engineering applications and and leads the Mantevo project, which is focused on the development of Open Source, portable miniapplications and minidrivers for scientific and engineering applications.

Mike works remotely for Sandia, maintaining an office at home in rural central Minnesota and at St. John's University where he is Scientist in Residence in the Computer Science Department. He is a member of SIAM, and Associate Editor for the SIAM SISC journal. He is a member and Distinguished Scientist in ACM and is the Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software.

RCE 48: NumPy

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Travis Oliphant of Enthought Inc. about NumPy. NumPy is a package needed for scientific computing with Python.

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Travis has worked extensively with Python for numerical and scientific programming since 1997. He was the primary developer of the NumPy package and the author of the definitive Guide to NumPy. He was an early contributor to the documentation for the Numeric package and in 1999 released Multipack for Python. In 2001, he folded Multipack into SciPy as one of the original co-authors of that package. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Brigham Young University in Math and Electrical Engineering, and he received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Mayo Clinic in 2001. From December 2000 to August 2007 he worked as an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Brigham Young University where he also directed the Biomedical Imaging Lab and taught courses in inverse problems, signal processing, probability theory, and electromagnetics.

RCE 47: ITAPS Interoperable Tools for Advanced Petascale Simulations

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Mark Shepard, Tim Tautges andCarl Ollivier-Gooch about ITAPS (Interoperable Technologies for Advanced Petascale Simulations).

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Carl Ollivier-Gooch is a professor in the department of mechanical engineering at The University of British Columbia, where he is a member of UBC's Institute for Applied Mathematics and Institute for Computing, Information, and Cognitive Systems. His research interests are in high-order numerical methods for aircraft aerodynamics and in unstructured mesh generation. He has also won national and provincial awards for research that applies aerodynamics to the pulp and paper industry. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Timothy Tautges is a Computational Scientist in the Mathematics and Computer Science division at Argonne National Laboratory. He also holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor in Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Tim was trained in nuclear engineering with an emphasis on parallel computing. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin (thesis topic: parallel nuclear severe accident simulation), he worked on severe accident modeling at the CEC Joint Research Center, Ispra, Italy, and Sandia National Laboratories. Later he joined and eventually lead the Cubit mesh generation project at Sandia. Tim's research interests include unstructured hexahedral mesh generation and component-based application of mesh and geometry in scientific computing applications. He is responsible for the development and open-source releases of the Common Geometry Module (CGM) and a Mesh-Oriented datABase (MOAB). After moving to Argonne in 2006, Tim took on the responsibility for mesh and geometry infrastructure for the SHARP reactor simulation project. He also is the Argonne Principle Investigator on the SciDAC ITAPS project.

Mark S. Shephard is the Samuel A. and Elisabeth C. Johnson, Jr. Professor of Engineering, and the director of the Scientific Computation Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He holds joint appointments in the departments of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Computer Science. Dr. Shephard has published over 250 papers. He is a fellow in and the past President of the US Association for Computational Mechanics, a fellow and member of the General Council of the International Association for Computational Mechanics, a fellow of ASME and an Associate Fellow of AIAA. He is the editor of Engineering with Computers and on the editorial board of six computational mechanics journals. He is a co-founder of Simmetrix Inc., a company dedicated to the technologies that enable simulation-based engineering.

RCE 46: dCache

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Paul Millar about dCache.

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Paul Millar has been working as a senior programmer within the dCache.org team for three years. Coming from a physics background, Paul worked on various WLCG data-focused grid projects at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, before joining the dCache team at DESY in Hamburg, Germany. dCache software is deployed at multiple sites internationally which, combined, provide over 40% of CERN's current storage (127 PiB). Therefore, Paul not only concentrates on improving dCache software and working on various Grid standards but also provides support for the sites using dCache. When not writing code and catching up with emails, Paul enjoys running and playing the piano (although not at the same time).

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