Introduction to HPC and Blue Waters

Presenters: Bill Kramer, Brett Bode and Greg Bauer, NFI and Blue Waters, University of Illinois

Tuesday, March 2, 2021




This session will cover the following topics: an overview of the characteristics and importance of high performance computing (HPC) to research, data analysis, engineering and discovery; Blue Waters and trends for HPC technologies; considerations for software and application development for HPC systems; examples of the HPC accomplishments achieved by NGA and other groups on Blue Waters; and an overview of Blue Waters services and access.

No prerequisites are needed to attend. No prior HPC experience is needed.


Dr. Bill Kramer is Executive Director of the New Frontiers Initiative (NFI), the Blue Waters PI and Director, and Computer Science Research Professor. Bill is responsible for all aspects of development, deployment and operation of the NSF Blue Waters system, National Petascale Computing Facility and the associated research and development activities through the Great Lakes Consortium, NSCA and University of Illinois supporting projects. This involves over 100 staff for integration and testing efforts for the Blue Waters systems and transition to full operations. The Blue Waters system is the 20th supercomputer Bill has deployed/managed, six of which were top 10 systems. Bill held similar roles at NERSC and NASA.

Dr. Brett Bode is the Blue Waters Deputy Project Director and a co-Principal Investigator of Blue Waters and the new Delta HPC system at NCSA. Brett oversees all things technical with respect to Blue Waters and the 2021 Delta system. Brett has worked on over 12 HPC systems over the past 20 years of developing software and techniques for improving the usability of HPC environments.

Dr. Greg Bauer is the Blue Waters Senior Technical Program Manager of the Science and Engineering Application Support team that provides advanced support and assistance to projects on resources such as Blue Waters. Greg is a co-Principal Investigator of Blue Waters and the new Delta HPC system at NCSA. Greg has worked on 10 HPC systems since coming to the University of Illinois.