Watch Experts Talk About Cool Science at HPC

Video highlights from the Intel HPC Developer Conference.

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I wrote on social media that I was geeking out a few weeks ago at the Intel HPC Developer Conference. Now you can watch many of the presentations online.  While they’re all interesting talks by experts, I want to highlight two of my favorites.

I love when HPC makes amazing science possible, and my favorite example was the plenary talk “Gravitational Waves: The Role of Computing in Opening a New Field of Astronomy” by Dan Stanzione and Joshua L. Willis (follow this link to activate all the videos). If you watch just one video from the conference, this is the one I recommend.

We live at the dawn of gravitational wave astronomy, which is a completely new way to study and understand the universe. Since the first humans gazed at the stars in the night sky, nearly everything we know about the universe has been from photons (e.g., electromagnetic radiation) and particles (e.g., cosmic rays and neutrinos). Gravitational waves tell us about disruptions in space-time itself.

This is something different, opening up unseen worlds. Important discoveries await those who succeed in capturing the waves and interpreting their message.

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has the sole purpose of detecting and measuring gravitational waves. On September 14, 2015, the first direct observation of gravitational waves from two merging black holes was made by LIGO. On August 17, 2017, LIGO and others detected gravitational waves from the merging of two neutron stars. Last month, the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to three people who made this possible, ushering in the age of gravitational wave astronomy.

dersert station 1 James Reinders

The LIGO Laboratory operates two detector sites, one near Hanford in eastern Washington, and another near Livingston, Louisiana. This photo shows the Hanford detector site.

Deep Learning for Science: I’m a believer now

“Deep Learning for Science,” by Mr. Prabhat and Michael F. Wehner, is a great talk, and it will open your eyes to how Deep Learning has a big role to play in science.  Maybe you’re already a believer. I haven’t always been.

Some time ago, I made a wisecrack about being a curmudgeon who was skeptical about the role of Deep Learning in real science. I know I’m not the only one. I’ve since emphasized that I’m now a convert. Why? Watch this video to hear an expert explain it clearly.

puppies 1 James Reinders

Finding storms can use Deep Learning techniques that classify and localize cute kittens and puppies.

Enjoy watching!

There are too many videos to list here, but I do want to cite the “award winners,” which highlight some of the best talks. 

  • Keynote/plenary sessions
    • Welcome and Opening Keynote: The Future
      (a good overview of Intel’s vision of the future from Intel technical experts!)
    • Plenary Session: Gravitational Waves: The Role of Computing in Opening a New Field of Astronomy
    • Plenary Session: Deep Learning for Science (also mentioned previously in this article)
    • Plenary Session: Leading the Evolution of Compute: Neuromorphic and Quantum Computing (I previously posted an article “Raise Your Hand and Ask: What's a Qubit?” which drew on some of Jim Held’s presentation)
  • Award-winning presentation recordings from the AI track
    • Accelerated Characterization of Neural Circuits of the Brain - Winner of a “People’s Choice Award” (selected by attendees)
    • An AI-Enabled Data Refinery for Satellite Imagery on a Global Scale – Winner of an Intel Award
  • Award winning presentation recordings from the Parallel Programming Track
    • Accelerate Cryo-Electron Microscopy Reconstruction in RELION with x86 SIMD Instructions – Winner of an Intel Award
    • Comparison and Analysis of Parallel Tasking Performance for an Irregular Application - Winner of a “People’s Choice Award” (selected by attendees)
  • Award winning presentation recordings from the Systems Track
    • Many-Cores for the Masses - A Year with the Cori System at NERSC - Winner of a “People’s Choice Award” (selected by attendees)


 National Geographic: Gravitational Waves Won the Physics Nobel Prize—Here's Why

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