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CS @ ILLINOIS Has Strong Showing at SC13

The 2013 Supercomputing Conference (SC13) held November 17-22 in Denver proved to be a major showcase for the accomplishments of CS @ ILLINOIS students and faculty.

Marc Snir
Marc Snir

CS Professor Marc Snir, the Michael Faiman and Saburo Muroga Professor, was presented with IEEE Computer Society Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award for his contributions to high-performance parallel computing.SC13 logo

In the ACM Student Research Competition, 21 student-developed posters competed for the best graduate and undergraduate student poster awards. The work of two CS graduate students was recognized: Ehsan Totoni received the Gold Award, and Nikhil Jain received a Silver Award.

Totoni’s presentation, “Structure-Aware Parallel Algorithm for Solution of Sparse Triangular Linear Systems,” developed novel algorithms for working with triangular systems of linear equations, which have typically been found to be resistant to parallelism.

Jain’s work was titled “Fast Prediction of Network Performance: k-packet Simulation.” In this project, Jain developed a new simulation methodology that relies on increasing the granularity of simulation to k-packets and use of simple heuristics for predicting the state of the network.

CS graduate student Jonathan Lifflander received one of two ACM/IEEE-CS George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowships. This fellowship honors exceptional PhD students throughout the world whose research focus is on high-performance computing applications, networking, storage, or large-scale data analysis. The second fellowship was awarded to alumnus Edgar Solomonik (BS ’10), now a doctoral student at UC Berkeley.

Laxmikant (Sanjay) Kale
Laxmikant (Sanjay) Kale

In the first ever Intel Parallel Universe Computing Challenge, the Coding Illini—Jain and fellow CS graduate student Xiang Ni, plus NCSA researchers Andriy Kot, Omar Padron, and Mike Showerman—advanced to the finals.

Totoni, Jain, Lifflander, and Ni are all students of CS Professor Laxmikant (Sanjay) Kale.

William Gropp
William Gropp

Kale also received an award at the conference. He was part of a team that received the HPCwire Editors’ Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in Life Sciences for its use of the Blue Waters supercomputer to achieve a significant breakthrough in understanding the HIV virus.

The organization of this year’s conference was led by CS Professor William Gropp, the Thomas M. Siebel Chair. SC13 was the largest Supercomputing Conference to date, with an estimated attendance of 10,690. Other Illinois participants included Physics Professor Klaus Schulten and NCSA Director Thom Dunning, who were invited speakers at the conference.