ANALYSIS & OPINION

ISC'09 focuses on climate research, aeronautics and cloud computing

1 May 2009



The 2009 International Supercomputing Conference (ISC'09) will take place in Hamburg this year, with more than 1,500 attendees and more than 120 exhibitors from over 45 countries expected to attend. Held from 23-26 June, the high-performance computing exhibition will feature four keynote speakers covering a wide range of topics, from hardware evolution to a future when smart systems will free up human intellect. In addition, four in-depth technical sessions will be held as part of the conference proceedings, focusing on applications in climate research, aeronautics, cloud computing, and HPC research.

The keynote presentations will be spread over the four days, with Andreas von Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and founder and chief development officer of Arista Networks, giving his talk on 23 June. In his presentation, von Bechtolsheim will discuss trends in the high performance computation market, including the challenge of building large fabrics and the role of InfiniBand and 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Prof Dr Thomas Sterling the Arnaud and Edwards Professor of Computer Science at Louisiana State University will look at the past year and examine the beginning of the Petaflops era. Prof Dr Gunter Dueck, chief technologist and distinguished engineer at IBM in Germany, will look at the use of intelligence or skill at work in his talk entitled Lean Brain Management – More Success and Efficiency by Saving Intelligence. Lean Brain Management aims at economising on intelligence by moving all the necessary brain work into a perfect system which can be handled by completely unskilled workers – only the system must be intelligent, not the employees.

The final keynote talk on 26 June, entitled The Brain-Like Vision, will be given by Prof Dr Edgar Körner, president of the Honda Research Institute Europe in Germany. Körner will look at how the brain organises behaviour and how this might provide technical artefacts with some aspects of brain-like intelligence.

In addition to the keynote speakers, ISC'09 will feature four in-depth sessions. The cloud computing session will be held in two parts and is chaired by Prof Dieter Kranzlmüller from Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München and Dr Martin Antony Walker, an independent consultant. The first part will contain presentations from two major IT vendors, HP and IBM, followed by perspectives from the Jülich Supercomputing Center and Microsoft. The second part will start with presentations from three IT vendors driving cloud computing today, Google, Amazon, and Yahoo!, followed by a roundtable panel discussion to field questions from the audience.

Climate research, especially simulations for different emission scenarios, will be discussed in the second of the sessions. The first part, chaired by Reinhard Budich of Germany's Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, will set the scene by looking at current solutions, with presentations from climate research centres in Germany, the United States and Great Britain. The second part, chaired by Prof Wolfgang Hiller of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany, will look at the future challenges and possible solutions for the climate computing problem, with perspectives from experts from the US and Great Britain. A panel discussion will conclude the session looking at the question: 'If global change is the grand challenge application, do we need a world climate computing centre?'

The session on the aeronautics industry, chaired by Prof Dr Isabelle Terrasse of the EADS Innovation Works in France, will feature speakers from EADS, Airbus, Boeing, DLR and Turbomeca. The first half will focus on the current technologies and capabilities used in aeronautical research and industrial applications both for numerical simulations and data analysis. The second part of the session will mostly focus on the challenges that need to be solved in the next 10-20 years in the aerospace industry.

Finally, the Scientific Afternoon in-depth session will showcase the top submissions from the ISC'09 Call for Papers. Of the 54 submissions, the top 24 were selected based on their novelty of research, fundamental insights and potential for long-term contribution to HPC. All 24 papers will be published by the scientific publishing house Springer Science and Business Media and will be distributed at the conference.

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ISC'09