Published December 2022

Dear SDSC Staff, Collaborators, Partners, and All Friends:

‘Tis the season! With the winter break ahead for SDSC and UC San Diego, I want to share with you some of our “wins” as we approach the final quarter of 2022.

You might recall that in the October issue of Innovators, I previewed some of the topics and activities we would feature during the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC22), which took place Nov. 14-18 in Dallas. This is the premier annual event in our world of high-performance and data-intensive supercomputing and cyberinfrastructure. I am happy to report that the conference was a huge success for SDSC. Here is why I say that:

Our SDSC-sponsored team placed third overall out of 13 teams and won the HPL Benchmark in the Student Cluster Competition. Undergraduate students Matthew Mikhailov (team lead), Stefanie Dao, Anish Govind, Michael Granado, Yuchen Jin, Davit Margarian and two alternates – Rachel Handran and Khai Vu – plus their mentors Mary Thomas and Bryan Chin, as well as Andy Goetz, Bob Sinkovits and Mahidhar Tatineni are to be commended for their efforts leading up to and during the competition. I couldn’t be prouder of the outcome and the experiential benefits we helped our students gain. Congratulations and thank you to all involved.

Secondly, our in-booth, on-the-show-floor and virtual presentations by our directors and researchers – Shawn Strande, Amit Majumdar, Mike Zentner, Ilkay Altintas, Bob Sinkovits, Christine Kirkpatrick, Shava Smallen, and our industry collaborators who presented – drew the attention of conference-goers more so than I remember in recent years. It was gratifying to see people eagerly enter our booth, mingle, and engage with our presentation and video content with interest in the work we do and the resources we have to offer at SDSC – from Expanse and Voyager, and SGX3 and WIFIRE, to NRP, which SDSC will kick-off in February 2023. The dynamic California Threats feature video, which showed how SDSC helps to address some of the biggest environmental challenges (drought, earthquakes, and fire) we face locally, regionally, nationally, and globally, garnered rapt attention.

Ahead of the conference, we had prepared our pitch to potential industry partners for our reimagined Advanced Technology Lab (ATL). Although ATL has existed for some years, we are relaunching it with a more structured program to identify and evaluate technologies that will significantly accelerate Time to Insight across many application domains. During the SC22 conference, which provided an ideal setting for connecting with potential collaborators and sponsors, we spread the word about ATL, explaining that it is driven by the intention to translate innovation into practice in partnership with industry sponsors and to close the gap between innovation and research in ways that accelerate academics’ adoption of technological advances to solve scientific challenges. We expect “ATL 2.0” to significantly influence the design and technological makeup of future supercomputer systems at SDSC. Special thanks to Ron Hawkins, our former Industry Partnerships director, whom we have brought out of retirement to help us kick off ATL next quarter, and Shawn Strande, our deputy director, who has stepped in to fill Ron’s shoes over the last several months.

We also took the opportunity during the conference to promote SDSC as a wonderful workplace, and shared information about the positions we currently have open, including the newly created position of Chief of Staff. We hope to move forward with filling that position as soon as possible in the new year.

Last but not least, our hard-working External Relations team members deserve props for their efforts in gaining recognition for SDSC. Kimberly Bruch, Cynthia Dillon, Jake Drake, Mike Dwyer, Susan Rathbun, Ben Tolo and Cindy Wong collectively cover our news and public relations, our multimedia activities, our web services  and our programs and events. The editorial branch of the team helped us earn five HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards this year at SC22 – the most we have ever earned at the center. Programs Manager Susan Rathbun led the SC22 planning efforts, coordinating everything from booth location and transportation logistics to program activities and booth sponsorship. Thanks to the ER team, our SC22 conference branding, information and news content, and schedule of programs was top notch. Please enjoy the many news and information highlights the ER team has put together for you to enjoy in this last issue of 2022, including a feature story about our Cyberinfrastructure and Convergence Research and Education (CICORE) Division.   

As a center community – and moreover as part of a global society – we have encountered several big challenges since 2020, and as I reflect back on this year, I am humbled by how SDSC literally has touched some of those challenges with great impact.

Best wishes for health and happiness over the holidays,
Frank Würthwein
SDSC Director