Last week, the Office of the Chief Information Officer sponsored a Technology Summit on High Performance Computing (HPC), hosted by the Chief Technology Officer.  This was the eleventh in a series showcasing federal innovation and transformation. The summit explored how Energy is using high performance computing to address a number of society’s most daunting challenges including: climate change, nuclear stockpile stewardship, and earthquake hazard assessments. The topic of HPC is relevant on many fronts and has a connection with a number of other DOE activities, such as the Department’s first-ever Technology Roadmap, which will elaborate on how technologies like HPC will better enable DOE’s mission.  

While the HPC Summit was not meant to identify everything HPC, it did provide a framework for understanding HPC - such as the work of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Advanced Simulation and Computing program and the Office of Science's Advanced Scientific Computing Research program.  The summit featured five "trailblazers” representing the National Nuclear Security Administration, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), and Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

The Summit began with a high-level overview of how HPC came into existence followed by presentations of how HPC is being used in the community, and the challenges facing the technology's use.  Interview style discussions with the speakers allowed for an honest deliberative exchange on a range of topics including data ownership questions, collaborative lab efforts, and the shift away from focusing almost exclusively upon how many peta-floating-point operations per second a system uses as a measure.

At its core, the Technology Summits serve as an information sharing platform about the positive impact on Energy’s mission, made by so many people. Learning about powerful tools like HPC is helping government and industry tackle some of the world’s most complex problems.

In case you missed the event, it is posted in its entirety on the Department of Energy's You Tube channel: