The National Institute for Computational Sciences


Panoramic image of St. Louis at blue hour, or twighlight time. Photo taken on 18 May 2011.[Image credit: © Rudi1976 |]

Researchers, practitioners, and students alike with involvement or interest in advanced computing will find plenty of opportunities for meaningful learning and networking opportunities at XSEDE15, the fourth annual conference, in St. Louis, July 26–30, at the Marriott Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel. And NICS is pleased to again be a sponsor and a contributor to both the outward and behind-the-scenes conference activities.

Greg Peterson, NICS director and XSEDE director of operations, is serving as general chair for XSEDE15. "I believe we've assembled a diverse and high-caliber lineup of discussions that continue the conference's tradition of illuminating the very latest and most impactful aspects of computational science and cyberinfrastructure; and, of course, the environment for networking will again be excellent," he said.

In addition to Peterson, other NICS people serving in committee roles for the conference are as follows below.

Executive Committee

  • Stephen McNally, co-chair, Logistics and
    Local Arrangements Committee

  • The duties of McNally and the committee he co-chairs are multifaceted. "Our committee is responsible for all of the non-technical program tasks or projects associated with the conference, although we help there quite a bit as well," McNally said. "Basically, if it needs to be done, our committee is typically involved. We formally handle audio visual, networking, awards, Campus Champions activities, sponsor coordination, registration, hotel coordination, contracts negotiation, food planning, special event logistics, plenary speaker coordination, and other duties as assigned. We are looking forward to the culmination of what has been just over a year of planning and preparation in St. Louis."

  • Scott Wells, project management

  • "As with planning most conferences this size, there were lots of moving parts," Wells said. "Primarily, my role was to maintain organization and keep the planning process moving efficiently. Having a great committee, which we had, makes this type of process run smoothly, and hopefully the end result is an enjoyable, informative conference for the attendees."

Technical Program Committee

  • Kwai Wong, vice chair, Accelerating Discovery

  • Vice chairs served on the Accelerating Discovery Committee, which enlisted a pool of reviewers for the submitted papers, oversaw the processes involved in selecting papers to be presented, and coordinated and arranged the delivery of the talks and papers at the XSEDE15 meeting. The committee had biweekly conference calls with Technical Program Committee Chair Bob Sinkovits and the chairs from the other tracks.

  • Tabitha Samuel, vice chair, Posters

  • "As vice chair for Posters, I help the chair with forming the committee for reviewing posters, assigning posters for review, and identifying posters that would be most interesting to the XSEDE15 audience," Samuel said. "At this year's conference, we are doing something we have not done in previous XSEDE conferences: we are using QR codes on posters so that attendees who are interested in a poster can use the QR code to download the abstract and an image file of the poster itself for future reference. We are excited to have around 60 posters at this conference showcasing the amazing work done by researchers from around the world on XSEDE resources."

  • Science Track Committee members:
    Rueben Budiardja, Pragnesh Patel, Junqi Yin

  • This committee reviewed the Science Track papers and posters.


The following outlines NICS' participation in XSEDE15's technology dialog.

Time Speaker(s) Content Type and Topic
Monday, July 27
8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Junqi Yin (NICS), Pragnesh Patel (NICS), Christian Capdevila

Tutorial: "Spark: Big Data processing framework"
8 a.m.4:30 p.m.

Drew Schmidt (NICS), Ruizhu Huang, David Walling, Eric Wernert, Weijia Xu, Hui Zhang

Tutorial: "Scaling R computation for Big Data processing with XSEDE resources"
5 – 6 p.m.

Alan B. Craig (speaker), Drew Schmidt (NICS) (panel member)

Birds of a Feather (BOF): “Gateways for humanities, arts, and social science”
5 – 6 p.m.

Jason Charcalla (NICS), Victor Hazlewood (NICS)

BOF: “Clouds are forming: XSEDE cloud capabilities and futures discussion”
Tuesday, July 28
4 – 4:30 p.m. Daniel Krulewich (NICS Extended Collaborative
Support Service [ECSS] program student), Junqi Yin (NICS ECSS mentor), Brent Bundick, Yong Zeng
Talk: “Performance assessment of real-time estimation of continuous-time stochastic volatility of financial data on GPUs”
Wednesday, July 29
10 – 10:30 a.m. Rueben Budiardja (NICS), Christian Cardall, Eirik Endeve Talk: "Accelerating our understanding of supernova explosion mechanisms via simulations and visualizations with GenASiS"
3:30 – 4 p.m.

Tabitha Samuel (NICS), Peter Coveney, Sandra Gesing, Shahbaz Memon, Morris Riedel, Shunzhou Wan, Nancy Wilkins-Diehr

Lightning Talk: "Overview of XSEDE–PRACE collaborative projects in 2014"
5 – 7 p.m.

Drew Schmidt (NICS), Mike Black

Poster Session: "XSEDE Text Analytics Gateway"
5 – 7 p.m. Rueben Budiardja (NICS), Christian Cardall, Eirik Endeve
Visualization Showcase: "Visualization of SASI-dominated explosion in core-collapse supernovae environment"
Visualization on Vimeo
Thursday, July 30
10:30 – 11 a.m.

Edmon Begoli (NICS)

Talk: "Integrating Apache Spark into PBS-based HPC environments"

Article posting date: 23 July 2015

About JICS and NICS:The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences (JICS) was established by the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to advance scientific discovery and leading-edge engineering, and to further knowledge of computational modeling and simulation. JICS realizes its vision by taking full advantage of petascale-and-beyond computers housed at ORNL and by educating a new generation of scientists and engineers to be well versed in the application of computational modeling and simulation for solving the most challenging scientific and engineering problems. JICS operates the National Institute for Computational Sciences, NICS, one of the nation's leading advanced computing centers. NICS is co-located on the UT Knoxville campus and ORNL, home of the world's most powerful computing complex. The center's mission is to expand the boundaries of human understanding while ensuring the United States' continued leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. NICS is a major partner in the National Science Foundation's eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE).