|The Leading Source for Global News and Information Covering the Ecosystem of High Productivity Computing / January 5, 2007|
The HPC User Forum was founded in 1999 to advance high performance computing through discussions, information sharing and initiatives involving users in industry, government and academia, along with vendors and other interested parties. The User Forum has helped bring about stronger benchmarks and shed light on important issues related to ISV software and storage. Following two dozen successful meetings in the U.S., Europe and Japan, the organization will hold its first meetings in India, February 28 through March 2, 2007. HPCwire, a co-sponsor of the meetings, talked about the India meetings with IDC's Dr. Earl Joseph, who serves as executive director of the HPC User Forum.
HPCwire: Why India?
Joseph: India has some of the world's most talented scientists, engineers and technologists who are using HPC heavily for advancing their science and engineering research. So we would like to interact with the HPC community in India. It all started with the visit of Mr. Arun Kumar to IIT Delhi in early 2005, where he was invited to participate in one HPC workshop organized by Prof. S. K. Dash at the behest of the Department of Science and Technology, of the Government of India. Arun had a chance to interact with many of the top scientists and technocrats concerned with HPC activities in India, and the proposal to hold the IDC conference in India emerged there. They expressed interest in having the HPC User Forum organize meetings where leading experts from outside of India and Indian experts could come together to discuss specific topics of special importance to India.
HPCwire: What are the topics?
Joseph: The topics we have mutually agreed on are related to numerical weather prediction and climate modeling, seismology, life sciences, CAE/CFD, nanotechnology and material sciences, and computational chemistry. These are some of the areas in which India's HPC community is very active.
HPCwire: Where will the conference be held?
Joseph: The first two days of the conference will be held at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, on February 28 to March 1, 2007. The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore will host the last day of the conference, on March 2, 2007.
HPCwire: Are the meetings open to anyone?
Joseph: Anyone interested in HPC from India or from outside India can register to attend without any registration fees. The agenda and registration information are at www.hpcuserforum.com.
HPCwire: Who will be speaking?
Joseph: We have a strong lineup of experts on the targeted topics. The speakers from outside of India include people like Stuart Bell from UK Met; John Michalakes from NCAR; Jeroen Tromp from Caltech on seismology; Thomas Zacharia from Oak Ridge; Stan Burt from NCI; Michael Resch from HLRS in Stuttgart; Doug Ball and Suresh Shukla from Boeing; Steve Finn from BAE Systems; Robert Singleterry from NASA Langley; Sharan Kalwani from GM; Andrew Johnson and Paul Muzio from AHPCRC; Jim Kasdorf from PSC; and a number of us from IDC.
The speakers from India will be decided by the Advisory Committee of the HPC conference very soon. The Indian speakers will consist of leading scientists and technologists from internationally known organizations in India. We'll also have research updates from the major global HPC industries and from Indian companies in the HPC market. Paul Muzio is working with the members of the advisory committee to finalize the conference agenda.
HPCwire: What do you hope to get out of the conference?
Joseph: In this first HPC User Forum conference in India, we are expecting to initiate dialogue between scientists, technologists and various computer industries involved with HPC. The conference will provide a platform for exchanging information and perspectives on HPC, future trends, common requirements and launching new partnerships. We want to learn more about what's happening with HPC in India in these important fields, so that meaningful collaborations can be undertaken for the betterment of science and technology, globally in general and in India specifically.
HPCwire: Do you expect these meetings will trigger some ongoing discussions or collaborations?
Joseph: Yes, but the specifics will be driven by the attendees, the steering and advisory committees, and mostly by the HPC users. This is the kind of thing that happened in some of our other meetings, and we definitely would be open to supporting any continuing discussions or initiatives that might benefit India or the overall HPC industry.
HPCwire: What about your recent visit to India?
Joseph: Yes, I visited IIT Delhi and IISc recently in order to meet some of the members of the Advisory Committee and interact with the organizers of the proposed IDC conference. Arun Kumar and I met with the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, who has kindly agreed to chair the Advisory Committee; the Director of IIT Delhi and the Associate Director of IISc, Bangalore. All are very enthusiastic about the upcoming conference. My visit to IIT Delhi was fabulous. The infrastructure available both in IIT Delhi and IISc, Bangalore is fantastic. I am sure the conference will be a success and the discussions there will lead to further collaborations between the U.S. and India in general, and in the field of HPC in particular. We will plan for some joint projects between the interested scientists and technologists from both countries in the near future.