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Larry Smarr to present ’50 Years of Supercomputing: From Colliding Black Holes to Dynamic Microbiome

Larry Smarr, Founding Director of NCSA, will give a talk titled “50 Years of Supercomputing: From Colliding Black Holes to Dynamic Microbiomes to the Exascale” at 10 a.m. in the NCSA Auditorium on September 16. The talk, which will stream live and is open to the public, is part of NCSA’s 30th Anniversary Celebration.

Smarr is a physicist and national leader in the supercomputing and high-performance computing worlds. Smarr’s famed, unsolicited “Black Proposal” established NCSA and four other NSF-funded national supercomputing centers. Smarr is now the Founding Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2).

The talk is free and open to the public and will be streamed live at:

Talk abstract: For the last thirty years, NCSA has played a critical role in bringing computational science and scientific visualization to the national user community. I will embed those three decades in the 50 year period 1975 to 2025, beginning with my solving Einstein’s equations for colliding black holes on the megaFLOPs CDC 6600 and ending with the exascale supercomputer. This 50 years spans a period in which we will have seen a one trillion-fold increase in supercomputer speed. Today we see the rise of data science and a new generation of architectures that balance traditional HPC with data analytics and pattern recognition. I will illustrate that with my current research into the microbial ecology dynamics within our human body. Finally, I will describe a number of trends in the decade to come, in which brain-inspired computing will become more prevalent in both software and hardware.

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