Back with the 2016 Google Summer of Code at TU Wien

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After being ordered to the bench in 2015 (to give others a chance to participate as well), we made it back! The TU Wien – for the fifth time now – participates this year again in Google’s Summer of Code program with the loose interest group “Computational Science and Engineering at TU Wien”. Our group is composed of several departments of our university and thus offers students a diverse set of free open source projects to work on. By now, we can look back on a decent history: We have already participated in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and so far supervised 40 international students with a great interdisciplinary team of university staff.

For this year, visit our org(anization) at the program website and checkout our project ideas. Selected students will have the excellent opportunity to enter an internationally highly visible student summer program, extend their programming skills, get in touch with open source development teams in the area of science and engineering, and on top of that Google will hand out USD 5 500 to each successful student. Interested students should get in touch with us via our mailing list as soon as possible to prepare their application material; submission deadline is March 25.

For us, the university, participating in the Google Summer of Code allows us to advance our open source code, which in turn is desperately needed to advance our science with a reasonable pace. We get access to highly motivated students who are eager to learn and bring new ideas and impulses to the table, which for obvious reasons is of great interest to us. It also allows us to spread the awareness about the importance of open source code for science and engineering and educate future research software engineers. This is what I call a win-win.

The Austrian media picked up on the topic as well – here are some links in German:

VSC Seminar Talk: Modern Multi-Core Architectures for Supercomputing

On December 11, 2015 I gave a two hour tutorial talk on “Modern Multi-Core Architectures for Supercomputing” as part of the VSC School Seminar lecture series. This series’ goal is to push the efficiency of the codes running on the VSC clusters as well as improve the skills of the VSC School students.

My talk sets the stage for high performance computing for science in general and parallel computing in particular. The audience is supposed to have basic programming experience with C, C++ or Fortran as such it is perfectly suitable for (under)graduate students.

I start from the hardware basics where I cover the principal building blocks of modern processors, discuss memory hierarchies, pipelining and multi-core as well as multi-threaded processors. Based on those basics I move on to software aspects (frequently back-referencing to relevant hardware peculiarities), in particular discussing most common and important techniques to actually make use of the available parallel computing resources (which is the big problem we – the computational scientists – face today). Software-wise, I focus on OpenMP, vectorisation and distributed computing. Checkout the slides below.

Download (VSC_School_Seminar_2015_12_11_Weinbub_multi_core_architectures.pdf)

After my talk, Karl(i) Rupp continued with another two hour talk titled “Modern Many-Core Architectures for Supercomputing”. This talk covers hardware and software aspects of graphics processing units and co-processors as well as performance modelling. You can get the talk slides here.

On January 13, 2016 Jesper Larsson Träff (TU Wien) will give a talk on “Effective MPI Programming: Concepts, Advanced Features, Dos and Don’ts“.

 

 

Opening of my Christian Doppler Laboratory

cdg_logoOn October 5 we opened my Christian Doppler Laboratory for High Performance TCAD. Within this research project my team and I will investigate – together with our partner company from Silicon Valley Silvaco, Inc. – high performance computing approaches for numerical simulations in the area of semiconductor process simulation. Although the project has already started on August 1, 2015, the opening ceremony now marks the formal kick-off. We had many high ranking officials of our partner company as guests and we enjoyed the ceremony, the technical meetings in the afternoon and the dinner in the evening together.

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NVIDIA GPU Research Center

GRC-LogoWell, that is something. We have applied to become an NVIDIA GPU Research Center, and NVIDIA said “yes”. So, beginning summer 2015 (which at this point is already over) TU Wien now hosts a GPU Research Center at our institute (Institute for Microelectronics). At this point, there is only one other NVIDIA center in Austria (more information..). So, together with Karl(i) Rupp (who takes the lead here) and Florian Rudolf, we will further tune our free open source linear algebra library ViennaCL to the newest accelerator hardware. Additionally, we will investigate specific application areas based on finite element and on multigrid methods.

HPC 2016

I am chairing the 24th SCS High Performance Computing Symposium (HPC) 2016, being held from April 3 – 6, 2016 in Pasadena, CA, USA.

The topics for this particular conference include:

  • High performance computing issues in Big Data analytics
  • High performance/large scale application case studies
  • GPU for general purpose computations (GPGPU)
  • Multicore and many-core computing
  • Power aware computing
  • Cloud, distributed, and grid computing
  • Asynchronous numerical methods and programming
  • Hybrid system modeling and simulation
  • Large scale visualization and data management
  • Tools and environments for coupling parallel codes
  • Parallel algorithms and architectures
  • High performance software tools
  • Resilience at the simulation level
  • Component technologies for high performance computing

Voluntary abstract submission (to get early feedback from the conference organizers) is due October 10, 2015. The actual full paper (limited to 8 pages, double column format) submission deadline is December 15, 2015.

More information ..

VSC School Kick-Off

Our proposal for a research project within the VSC School got accepted and we got funding for one PhD student for three years. (Actually it got accepted some months back, but we were only recently able to make actually use of it.) Within this project, our future PhD student will conduct research in computational science on top of our flagship free open source linear algebra library: ViennaCL.

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Accepted/Prospect VSC Research School PhD students/Postdocs

This much needed and highly important program for Austria’s HPC landscape enables us, the researchers, to not just fund research in computational science but also to conduct much required code development and code optimization of parallel code for large-scale compute clusters (such as our excellent VSC-based supercomputers – the brand new one being the VSC-3, which starts regular operation on April 1, 2015).

The VSC Research School’s importance for Austria’s research infrastructure stems from the fact that software-related funding is usually not possible with conventional funding institutions (e.g. FWF), as it does not represent basic research. The fact of the matter is, however, that the lion’s share of today’s science and engineering research just won’t work without specifically tailored research software, especially when the problems at hand are so computational intensive that they require highly parallel processing (or do you want to wait months to investigate simulation results?!) – hence, the absolute need for supercomputers and a program like the VSC Research School and its excellent support team to aid the researchers in making efficient use out of a behemoth like the VSC-3. (Let me tell you that developing code, which efficiently utilizes supercomputers, is no small feat.)

Ok, back to topic: On March 5, 2015 we had the kick-off meeting, organized by the highly motivated VSC team. After the meeting, where all projects got introduced and some networking was done, we got the chance to visit VSC-2 (the by now old supercomputer) and the new one, VSC-3, which are both located at the Arsenal.

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The VSC-3 plaque, mounted right next to the cluster.

We took part of a guided tour led by the technical manager of the VSC, Ernst Haunschmid.

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Ernst Haunschmid shows us one of the many units, containing a bunch of compute blades submerged in, well, oil. Also, lot’s of cables.

As the computers are oil cooled, there is no need for an AC cooling down the entire room (as is the case for the conventional VSC-2 cluster). Although the oil cooling method is superior with respect to efficiency and energy consumption, the room gets rather warm: it had around 35 degrees Celsius.

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VSC-3’s QDR-80 dual-link high-speed InfiniBand spine switches (on the back) and core switches (on the front). I so infinitely not envy the guy responsible for installing the network cables. Also, Florian.

We were allowed to take a closer look at the insides of the big compute tubs and let me tell you, yes everything (the compute blades that is) is submerged in oil. In a response to a question regarding what the crew does with the used/old oil (yes, it wears out over time), the team responded, that the oil is so well-filtered and biological that in principle it could be sold to Viennese pastry shops for shining-up the surface of the famous Austrian pastry: Punschkrapferl. Well, obviously this was a joke, but, if you ask me, there is a business model, right there.

Much to my surprise, I found this in the midst of all the equipment to keep the VSC-3 up and running.

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No, there are no cats based at the VSC facility.

Turns out that the VSC crew uses cat grit to tackle spilled oil. This is what I call: out-of-the-box thinking.

In conclusion, the kick-off meeting was great. The other projects are very interesting and I can’t wait to see how the entire program evolves.

To the VSC team: Thank you for your efforts in not only organizing the kick-off meeting and the guided tour, but also the program itself and the support you provide to the participating universities!

 

 

 

IUE Summer of Code 2015

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Worry not, TU Wien-students, you can code during the summer months and become one of the next IUE Interns!

Behold, the


IUE Summer of Code 2015 


organised by a team of fearless software warriors (Andreas ‘Ivan’ Morhammer, Florian Rudolf, Karl’i’ Rupp, and me) working at the Institute for Microelectronics, TU Wien (which also funds this program, by the way, so a big ‘Thank you!’).

With this program we build on the great success with our Google Summer of Code participations organised by our Computational Science and Engineering group (with our team at the Institute at the helm). Our aim is to strengthen the awareness of free open source scientific software development at our university, and therefore we created the IUE Summer of Code spin-off.

We even made a poster! (The fearless among you may look for these on the ground levels of the buildings of the electrical engineering department – Go now, and look for them, Godspeed!)

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If you are indeed a TU Wien-student and interested in software development, come to our info-meeting, which is on March 9, 2015 at 15:00 in lecture hall EI 3A.

Potential project topics range from high performance computing, GPU computing, mesh generation/adaptation, GUI development, and data collection to web development and much more!

Join us and become the next IUE Intern!

The response you are looking for is …

fry_2015_bg

Open source research software – my (reused) “two” cents

Some while back I wrote two pieces on open source research software for the Software Sustainability Institute‘s Blog. The man to thank here is Dr Mario Antonioletti, who is a Software Architect at EPCC, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. (Checkout his EPCC blog) I was very fortunate to have him as my main contact during my HPC-Europa2-funded research visit at EPCC. Mario quickly noticed my passion for open source software and thus established the connection with the Software Sustainability Institute. As the messages in both posts are (and will be) important to me I am reusing them here again.

LSSC 2015

I am co-organizing a special session on Computational Microelectronics at the 10th Large-Scale Scientific Computations Conference (LSSC) 2015, being held from June 8 – 12, 2015 in Sozopol, Bulgaria. The conference is organised in cooperation with SIAM. The general area of the conference is on (but not limited to):

  • Hierarchical, adaptive, domain decomposition and local refinement methods;
  • Robust preconditioning algorithms;
  • Monte Carlo methods and algorithms;
  • Numerical linear algebra;
  • Control systems;
  • Parallel algorithms and performance analysis.
  • Large-scale computations of environmental, biomedical and engineering problems;

Within the special session Computational Microelectronics, we focus on topics ranging from stochastic to deterministic approaches in the area of TCAD. Mandatory abstract submission deadline (1 page) is due January 15, 2015. Full paper submission (8 pages, Springer LNCS format) is due March 15, 2015. The proceedings will be published in a dedicated Springer LNCS volume.

More information ..

HPC 2015

I am co-chairing the 23rd SCS/ACM High Performance Computing Symposium (HPC) 2015, being held from April 12 – 15, 2015 in Alexandria, VA, USA. So I figured help spread the word on my blog, as eventually I needed a first blog post anyway, why not start with HPC’15, right?

The topics for this particular conference include:

  • High performance/large scale application case studies
  • GPU for general purpose computations (GPGPU)
  • Multicore and many-core computing
  • Power aware computing
  • Cloud, distributed, and grid computing
  • Asynchronous numerical methods and programming
  • Hybrid system modeling and simulation
  • Large scale visualization and data management
  • Tools and environments for coupling parallel codes
  • Parallel algorithms and architectures
  • High performance software tools
  • Resilience at the simulation level
  • Component technologies for high performance computing

Voluntary abstract submission (to get early feedback from the conference organizers) is due September 12, 2014. The actual full paper (limited to 8 pages, double column format) submission deadline is November 22, 2014.

More information ..