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KAUST makes a distinctive presence at SC17

David Keyes, Director of the Extreme Computing Research Center (ECRC) will chair next year's SC18 in Dallas, Texas.

- By Lulwah Shalhoub, KAUST News

KAUST faculty members, IT staff and students participated in the recently held International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis - Supercomputing Conference (SC17) in Denver, Colorado. The event, which took place between November 12th-17th at Colorado Convention Center, consisted of the conference and an exhibition that brought together all the major names in the field of supercomputing under the same roof.

Celebrating 10 years of KAUST at the SC17 Conference

KAUST's presence at SC17 marked a special occasion as the university celebrated 10 years of participating at this annual supercomputing conference, which takes place in a different U.S. city each year. The university's booth was surrounded by some of world's leading companies and universities in the field of supercomputing, such as CrayIBMIntel Corporation and Microsoft.

"This is a very strategically important conference for KAUST to be at. This is our 10th year attending this great event," said Jason Roos, Chief Information Officer (CIO) during the conference in Denver. "One of the most important things about KAUST is our advances in computer science and supercomputing. And so, with our Shaheen supercomputer, it is very important for us to have a presence here and it distinguishes KAUST among all the other top-tier research universities. We look forward to coming here next year as well," he added.

KAUST's Shaheen 2 Cray XC40 System ranked the 20th fastest in the world and the fastest in the Middle East. Jysoo Lee, Director of Supercomputing Core Lab, receiving the award.

During the event, KAUST won several awards. The university's supercomputer, Shaheen 2 Cray XC40 System, ranked 2nd and 3rd for IO500 benchmark using DataWarp and Lustre. The supercomputer was ranked the 20th fastest in the world and the fastest in the Middle East.

Another factor that made KAUST's participation in SC17 special was the series of talks hosted by KAUST's IT department. Each talk tackled a different aspect of supercomputing. The university's booth had a dynamic vibe with hundreds of computing experts and students visiting to attend the sessions that were presented by KAUST scholars. These included David Keyes, Director of the Extreme Computing Research Center (ECRC) as well as visiting scholars such as Distinguished Professor Jack Dongarra from University of Tennessee and Geophysical Consultant Thierry-Laurent from Saudi Aramco.

Jason Roos, KAUST CIO, giving a talk at KAUST booth about the future outlook of computing and information technology (IT) at KAUST.

Among the talks at the booth were presentations by Mootaz Elnozahy, dean of Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) and Jason Roos, Chief Information Officer (CIO). Both spoke to booth visitors about the future outlook of computing and information technology at KAUST.

Mootaz Elnozahy, Dean of Computer, Electrical, Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) giving a talk at KAUST booth about the future outlook of computing and information technology (IT) at KAUST.

KAUST computer scholars and scientists also took part in birds of a feather (BoF) sessions and workshops. "This year, our participation in the conference was distinctive as we were focused on shedding the light on the research that is conducted at KAUST alongside the university's capabilities. We had a remarkable turnout at KAUST booth," Elnozahy said.

A group of students studying computer sciences in US universities as part of the KAUST Gifted Students Program (KGSP) attended the event in order to further learn about the latest updates in supercomputing and inform booth visitors about KAUST.

Ready for SC18

KAUST faculty members, IT staff and students participated in the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis - Supercomputing Conference (SC17) in Denver, Colorado between November 12th-17th 2017.

KAUST is already geared up to participate in next year's supercomputing conference as Keyes will be chairing the technical program of SC18 taking place in Dallas, Texas; this will include all the papers, posters, tutorials, workshops, birds of a feather sessions and panels. "I hope KAUST will be a major participant," said Keyes. "As we are after all one of the first computational science and engineering universities; and I hope to be discussing this much more with you as we turn the page from a very successful SC17 to an even greater SC18."