Will the Invincible Buckeyes Team from OSU and OSC Prove to be Invincible?

Mike Bernhardt is the Community Evangelist for Intel’s Technical Computing Group

Karen Tomko, Scientific Applications Group Manager at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), has assembled a team of fellow Buckeyes to attempt the Intel Parallel Universe Computing Challenge (PUCC) at SC14 in November.

We asked Karen a few questions about her team, called the Invincible Buckeyes (IB), and their proposed participation in the PUCC.

The 2014 Invincible Buckeyes (IB) team includes (from l to r) Khaled Hamidouche, a post-doctoral researcher at The Ohio State University (OSU); Raghunath Raja, Ph.D student (CS) at OSU; team captain Karen Tomko; and Akshay Venkatesh, Ph.D student (CS) at OSU. Not pictured is Hari Subramoni, a senior research associate at OSU

Q: What was the most exciting thing about last year’s PUCC?

A: Taking a piece of code from sequential to running in parallel on the Xeon Phi in 15 minutes, in a very close performance battle against the Illinois team was a lot of fun.

Q: How will your team prepare for this year’s challenge?

A: We’ll do our homework for the trivia, brush up on the parallel constructs, look at some Fortran codes, and make sure we have at least one vi user on the team.

Q: What would you suggest to other teams who are considering participation?

A: First I’d say, if you are considering it then sign up. It’s a fun break from the many obligations and talks at SC. When you’re in a match don’t over think, the time goes very quick. Also, watch out for the ‘Invincible Buckeyes’!

Q: SC14 is using the theme “HPC Matters” for the conference. Can you explain why “HPC Matters” to you?

A: HPC systems allow scientists and engineers to tackle grand challenge problems in their respective domains and make significant contributions to their fields. It has enabled innumerous discoveries in the fields of astro-physics, earthquake analysis, weather prediction, nanoscience modeling, multi-scale and multi-physics modeling, biological computations, and computational fluid dynamics, to name a few. Being able to contribute directly/indirectly to these discoveries by means of the research we do matters a lot to our team.