Keynotes on Brain Simulation, Fast Systems, HPC Achievements and the Role of Memory

Add More Flavor to the ISC'11 Program

Hamburg, (PresseBox) - The 26th International Supercomputing Conference - ISC'11 - will feature four compelling keynote presentations focusing on an array of topics from using supercomputers to simulate the human brain to (amongst others) explore hypotheses of mental diseases as well as treatments, to the European desire to be technologically independent and capable of exascale computing.

ISC will once again be held in Hamburg, Germany, from June 19 - 23. This year's conference program continues ISC's reputation of providing insights on the hottest high performance computing (HPC) topics by some of the best-known speakers. These invited speakers have been recommended by 50 HPC experts from around the world. ISC has a well-established reputation for presenting well-founded, precise and up-to-date information in an environment that encourages informal conversations and sharing of ideas.

In addition, the ISC Exhibition will be the first large-scale HPC show in 2011. Over 150 global players in HPC, networking and storage alongside a host of research institutions from China to the USA will be presenting their latest technologies and research discoveries.

Early bird registration for ISC'11 will start March 1, and in addition to reduced rates, a number of oneday options for both the program and exhibition are available. Click here for complete details on registration categories and rates.

Here are short descriptions of the ISC'11 keynote addresses :

Monday, June 19: Henry Markram, the Project Director of the Blue Brain Project at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, will discuss "Simulating the Human Brain - The Next Decisive Years". Markram will introduce the massive efforts of the 20th century to understand the brain and its diseases that produced a vast spectrum of data. However, the knowledge generated remains fragmented and daunting to synthesize. Fortunately, three 21st century revolutions in the scientific process suggest effective strategies to build on this work. The first is a revolution in the methods used to obtain data on the structure and function of the brain. The second is the emergence of informatics-based science - the combined use of computers, mathematics and statistics to make sense of this data. The third revolution is simulation-based research and its application to the life sciences.
The Human Brain Project aims to embrace these three revolutions, and build a facility that is capable of modeling and simulating the brain. As it develops, the facility will allow the neuroscience and medical communities to exploit emerging information and computing technologies while simultaneously driving radical transformations in ICT itself.

Tuesday, June 20: Philippe Vannier, Chairman and CEO of Bull, France, will discuss why access to high performance computing resources is a key element in national competitiveness, both for the advancement of scientific research at the highest possible level, and to sustain economic growth through innovation. The USA, Japan, and now China are investing massively in their HPC industries.

Europe is rapidly waking up to the fact that its scientists and its industry must have access to largescale computing resources if they are to stay in the race at all. But over and above this, Europe should also give itself the means to build a vast European HPC ecosystem to support innovation, because technological independence is even more strategic than the availability of adequate computing resources. Technological independence is Europe's best asset when it comes to facing up to global competition and ensuring the creation of high-level employment in Europe. In his talk "The Road to Exascale Computing - A European Challenge?" Vannier will demonstrate that Europe has all the skills required to meet this challenge: Witness the fact that Bull and CEA successfully co-designed Tera 100, the first European-developed system to break the petaflops barrier.

Wednesday, June 21: Prof. Dr. Thomas Sterling, the Arnaud & Edwards Professor of Computer Science at Louisiana State University, USA, will share his views in a look at the past year and the current year. In his talk "HPC Achievement & Impact - 2011", Sterling will review the most exciting and dramatic leaps in technologies, deployed systems, breakthrough computational accomplishments, and new methods and tools. New multicore chip architectures from the major vendors, the building blocks of many of the prominent supercomputers worldwide, will be identified and described to track the growth and trends in performance opportunity. A number of the groundbreaking systems incorporating these and other key components will be characterized as new thresholds in sustained petaflops scale performance is achieved around the world. Reflecting these advances will be noteworthy computational science accomplishments exploiting these new capabilities and deployed resources. This presentation will look forward through the eyes of new initiatives building towards the extremes of performance even to exaflops. As always the presentation will conclude with the "Canonical HPC System," a design point that represents the more widely used components, sources, and scales over the preceding year.

Thursday, June 22: Dean A. Klein, Vice President of Memory System Development at Micron Technology, Inc., states that memory, often viewed as a commodity component for computing platforms, is evolving into a role of prominence in today's computing architecture. In part, the new role for memory is driven by a renewed focus on beating back the effects of "the memory wall", a real barrier to the continued performance gains of computing platforms. This focus on beating the memory wall is driving new architectures for both processors and for the DRAM that connects to them. The second role of memory is being driven by the continued cost reduction of non-volatile memory, which is leading to its adoption as storage. NAND flash memory is today's non-volatile memory of choice and is offered in multiple types, each with different characteristics. In his talk, "Future Trends in Memory Systems:

Showstopper or Performance Potential for HPC?", Klein will explore these evolving roles of memory, the challenges that exist around these memories and look at the future of computing architectures built around these and future memories.

For an overview of the ISC'11 Conference Program, including the Keynote Sessions, please click here.


Now in its 26th year, ISC is the world's oldest and one of the most important conferences for the HPC community, offering a strong five-day technical program with a wide range of expert speakers and exhibits from leading research centers and vendors. A number of events complement the technical program, including Tutorials, research paper sessions, Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions, a research poster session, Exhibitor and Start-up Forums and the popular "Hot Seat Sessions" featuring leaders from industry and research centers. The conference has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years, with an estimated 2,000 participants from around the world expected to convene in Hamburg, June 19 - June 23.

ISC'11 is open to IT-decision makers, scientists, members of the HPC global community and other interested parties. The ISC exhibition allows analysts, decision-makers from the automotive, defense, aeronautical, gas & oil, banking and other industries; solution providers, data storage suppliers, distributors, hardware and software manufacturers, the media, scientists and universities to see and learn firsthand about new products, applications and technological advances in the supercomputing industry today.

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