Emerging and Future Paradigms for High Performance Computing

The 2023 MICDE Symposium


FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2023

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8 a.m.: Registration Opens

Light breakfast items and coffee

8:30 a.m.: Opening Remarks, Eric Michielssen (Associate Dean for Research, College of Engineering)

Eric Michielssen
Associate Dean for Research, College of Engineering
University of Michigan

8:45 a.m.: MICDE Year in Review, Karthik Duraisamy, MICDE Director

Karthik Duraisamy
Director, Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering
Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
University of Michigan

9:00 a.m.: Fariba Fahroo, “Challenges, Opportunities, and National Needs in Computational Science”

“Challenges, Opportunities, and National Needs in Computational Science”

In this talk, a brief introduction to Air Force Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the computational math program will be presented. Then, the challenges and new directions emerging in computational mathematics as a field bridging areas in applied mathematics and computational science will be discussed.

Fariba Fahroo
Program Officer

Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Bio: Dr. Fariba Fahroo is a Program Officer at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and is managing the Computational Mathematics program. She rejoined AFOSR in March of 2018, after 4 years as a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the Defense Science Office (DSO). Since then, she has initiated large scale projects in machine learning for modeling physical systems, rare events, data assimilation, and reduced order modeling. While at DARPA she initiated and managed programs in applied mathematics in the areas of Uncertainty Quantification for modeling and design of physical systems (EQUiPS), dynamic data modeling (MoDyL) and large-scale nonlinear optimization (Lagrange). Prior to DARPA, her previous tour at AFOSR involved managing basic research programs in various areas of computational math and control theory such as multiscale modeling and computation, design under uncertainty, distributed, multi-agent control and estimation and computational control theory. She is a fellow of IEEE, SIAM, AAAS and Associate Fellow of AIAA and is the former Chair of the SIAM Control and Systems Theory Activity Group.

9:30 a.m.: Alex Aiken, “Legion: Programming Heterogeneous, Distributed Parallel Machines”


Programmers tend to think of parallel programming as a problem of dividing up computation, but often the most important decisions involve the partitioning, placement and movement of data. As machines become more complex and hierarchical, describing what to do with the data is increasingly a first-class programming concern.

Legion is a programming model and runtime system for describing hierarchical organizations of both data and computation at an abstract level. This talk will present the design of Legion and its rationale and discuss recent work developing high-productivity libraries using Legion’s capabilities.

Alex Aiken
Professor, Computer Science
Stanford University

Bio: Alex Aiken is the Alcatel-Lucent Professor of Computer Science at Stanford. Alex received his Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Music from Bowling Green State University in 1983 and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1988. Alex was a Research Staff Member at the IBM Almaden Research Center (1988-1993) and a Professor in the EECS department at UC Berkeley (1993-2003) before joining the Stanford faculty in 2003. His research interest is in areas related to programming languages. He is an ACM Fellow, a recipient of ACM SIGPLAN’s Programming Languages Achievement Award and Phi Beta Kappa’s Teaching Award, and a former chair of the Stanford Computer Science Department.



10:15 a.m.: Break

Snacks and beverages.

10:30 a.m.: Amitava Bhattacharjee, “Accelerating Fusion through Integrated Whole Device Model of Magnetically Confined Fusion Plasma”

“Accelerating Fusion through Integrated Whole Device Model of Magnetically Confined Fusion Plasma”

Whole Device Modeling (WDM) is generally described as assembling physics models that provide an integrated simulation of the plasma. The integrated WDM requires a fidelity hierarchy of multi-physics, multi-scale computational models. The High-Fidelity Whole Device Model of Magnetically Confined Fusion Plasma (WDMApp) in the DOE Exascale Computing Project (ECP) is a multi-institutional effort involving plasma physicists, applied mathematicians, and computer scientists. The 10-year problem target of the project is the high-fidelity simulation of whole device burning plasmas applicable to an advanced tokamak regime (specifically, an ITER steady-state plasmas with ten-fold energy gain), integrating the effects of energetic particles, plasma-material interactions, heating, and current drive. The most important step in the project, and one that involves the highest risk, is the coupling of two existing, well-established, extreme-scale gyrokinetic codes – the GENE continuum code for the core plasma, and the XGC particle-in-cell (PIC) code for the boundary plasma. The GEM PIC code is also used in the core as a test of flexibility of the extensible framework EFFIS 2.0 (End-to-End Framework for Fusion Integrated Simulations 2.0) and for risk mitigation. We have accomplished this challenging milestone for the first time in the magnetic fusion community by developing and implementing novel algorithms for both GENE-XGC and GEM-XGC coupling. The execution of this challenge problem required the optimization of the WDMApp codes (GENE, GEM and XGC), leveraging the ECP Co-Design and Software Technologies projects for portability and performance. WDMApp is a DOE 413.3b project with the objective of realizing by 2023 the demonstration of pedestal formation (height and width) on an experimentally realistic timescale for ITER, and a Figure of Merit exceeding 50 on exascale platforms (Frontier and/or Aurora), accomplished through algorithmic
advances, performance engineering, and hardware improvements.

This research is supported by the DOE Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research under the auspices of the ECP.

Amitava Bhattacharjee
Professor, Astrophysical Sciences
Princeton University

Bio: Amitava Bhattacharjee is Professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. He served as Head of the Theory Department of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (2012-2021). Before joining the faculty at Princeton, he was Paul Professor of Space Science at the University of New Hampshire, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa, and Associate Professor of Applied Physics at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. at Princeton University in theoretical plasma physics from the Department of Astrophysical Sciences. He and his students and postdoctoral colleagues have authored nearly 325 refereed publications with broad applications to laboratory, space and astrophysical plasmas. He is co-author of a prize-winning textbook in plasma physics (with D. Gurnett). He has served on the Board of the American Physical Society (APS), as Chair of the APS Division of Plasma Physics, Founding Chair of the APS Topical Group in Plasma Astrophysics, and Senior Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics (2006-09). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, of the American Association of Advancement of Science, and the American Geophysical Union. Professor Bhattacharjee’s research interests include: magnetic reconnection, turbulence, kinetic theory, free-electron lasers, and complex plasmas. It has been his privilege to serve as mentor to over 65 doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. He was recently awarded the James Clerk Maxwell Prize in Plasma Physics (2022).

11:15 a.m.: Patty Lee, “Quantum Computing: Developments and Opportunities”

“Quantum Computing: Developments and Opportunities”

Quantum computing harnesses the properties of quantum mechanics to perform calculations, and for certain classes of problems, it has been theoretically shown to have computational speed up over classical computers. In recent years, the computational capability of state-of-the-art quantum computing hardware has been improving exponentially compared to classical computers. In this talk, I will present the current capabilities of quantum computing hardware, the scientific and industrial applications that have been run on the hardware, and the software development toolkits available to support the quantum programmer community. I will also discuss the outlook for achieving quantum advantage in the near term.

Patty Lee
Chief Scientist

Bio:Patty Lee is the Chief Scientist of Hardware Technology Development at Quantinuum, where she leads the technology roadmap efforts to scale up trapped ion quantum computers. She received her PhD in physics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she developed phase control techniques for quantum logic gates in trapped ions. She has worked as an experimental physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, US Army Research Laboratory, and Lockheed Martin. In 2016, she joined Honeywell Quantum Solutions to develop the H-Series trapped ion quantum computers for commercial use. After the combination between Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum to form Quantinuum in 2021, she and her team continue to improve the capabilities of trapped ion quantum computers and make strides toward fault-tolerance.



12:00 p.m.: Lunch (Assembly Hall) & Poster Session (East and West conference rooms)


Please RSVP if you are planning on attending lunch.

Poster Session

Students and post-docs will be available to talk to you about their posters from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

1:30 pm : Christiane Jablonowski, “Computational Frontiers in Weather and Climate Modeling”

“Computational Frontiers in Weather and Climate Modeling”

Weather and climate models are prominent examples of High-Performance Computing (HPC) applications. They utilize hybrid and increasingly heterogeneous programming paradigms, demand high-efficiency numerical methods and computational grids, and rely on high-accuracy coupling techniques. The latter include the coupling between the resolved atmospheric fluid flow and unresolved physical parameterizations, as well as the coupling between the atmosphere, land, ocean, and ice components in climate simulations.
The talk will review the state-of-the-art weather and climate modeling approaches at NOAA, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and the Department of Energy, and focus on the emerging computational frontiers. In particular, high-resolution weather and climate modeling trends, the ‘digital twin’ concept, and emerging computational paradigms will be discussed.

Christiane Jablonowski
Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering
University of Michigan


Christiane Jablonowski is a Professor in the Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science and Scientific Computing from the University of Michigan in 2004, was a postdoctoral scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), a visiting scientist at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, and worked as a consultant at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) in the U.K..

Dr. Jablonowski’s research portfolio includes atmospheric fluid dynamics, weather and climate modeling including high-resolution modeling, tropical dynamics, model hierarchies and coupling techniques, numerical methods, scientific computing, and machine learning techniques for the climate sciences. She works with the weather and climate models from NOAA, the Department of Energy (DoE), and NCAR. Dr. Jablonowski was the recipient of a DoE Early Career Award in 2010 and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). She currently serves on the Steering Committee for NCAR’s Community Earth System Model (CESM), and is a co-lead for NOAA’s Short-Range-Weather prediction model.


2:00 p.m. Doug Kothe, “The Exascale Computing Era is Here! Reflections on Then and Now”

“The Exascale Computing Era is Here! Reflections on Then and Now”

With the recent arrival of the Frontier system in the US at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and with the applications and software technologies under development as part of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Exascale Computing Project (ECP) now poised to exploit Frontier’s capabilities to tackle problems of national and international interest, the highly anticipated “dawn of the exascale computing era” is here. This is indeed a very exciting time for the world’s high-performance computing (HPC) community, as many exascale uncertainties and challenges over the past decade or so have been surpassed. Given the concerted US DOE investments in the ECP and architectural co-design embodied in Frontier, this exascale system is and will continue to be “used, useful, and affordable” over its lifetime. Exascale-capable applications are a foundational element of the ECP and the vehicle for delivery of mission need on targeted exascale systems such as Frontier. The ECP’s mission need application projects, each addressing an exascale challenge problem—a high-priority strategic problem of national interest that is intractable without at least 50 times the computational power of the HPC systems available at the project’s inception in 2016. Exascale applications are built on underlying software technologies, which play an essential supporting role in application efficacy on computing systems. The ECP’s ST effort is developing an expanded and vertically integrated software stack that includes advanced mathematical libraries, extreme-scale programming environments, development tools, visualization libraries, and the software infrastructure to support large-scale data management and data science for science and security applications. The ST efforts complement and integrate into the broader scientific software ecosystem that includes capabilities from industry and the broader HPC R&D community. Architectural details of the Frontier system will be given along with the challenges overcome in readying traditional and new exascale software technologies and applications as part of the ECP.

Doug Kothe
Director, U.S. Department of Energy
Exascale Computing Project

Bio: Douglas B. Kothe (Doug) has thirty-eight years of experience in conducting and leading applied R&D in computational science applications designed to simulate complex physical phenomena in the energy, defense, and manufacturing sectors. Doug is currently the Director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Exascale Computing Project and Associate Laboratory Director of the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Other positions for Doug at ORNL, where he has been since 2006, include Director of Science at the National Center for Computational Sciences (2006-2010) and Director of the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL), DOE’s first Energy Innovation Hub (2010-2015). In leading the CASL Hub, Doug drove the creation, application, and deployment of an innovative Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications (2016 R&D winner), which offered a technology step change for the US nuclear energy industry.

Before coming to ORNL, Doug spent 20 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he held a number of technical and line and program management positions, with a common theme being the development and application of modeling and simulation technologies targeting multi-physics phenomena characterized by the presence of compressible or incompressible interfacial fluid flow, where his field-changing accomplishments are known internationally. Doug also spent one year at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the late 1980s as a physicist in defense sciences. Doug holds a Bachelor in Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri – Columbia (1983) and a Masters in Science (1986) and Doctor of Philosophy (1987) in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University.

2:45 p.m.: Break

Snacks and beverages.

3:00 p.m.: Panel discussion w/ speakers (Moderated by Venkat Raman)

Moderator: Venkat Raman
Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
University of Michigan


Panelists: Fariba Fahroo, Doug Kothe, Amitava Bhattacharjee, Patty Lee, Christiane Jablonowski, Alex Aiken


4:00 p.m.: Closing Remarks and Announcement of Winning Posters