This is an exciting time to be involved in High Performance Computing. Technology has matured to the point of becoming a pervasive tool for impacting society at large. Simulating global weather systems is becoming a reality rather than a dream. Societal impact can be found in almost all walks of life: global climate modeling, earthquake prediction, virtual surgeries, and vehicle design just to name a few. It is my supposition that the catalyst for this change has been the development and deployment of advanced computing technologies, encompassing all aspects of the high performance computing realm. We are in a time where we can no longer afford to focus solely on processor speeds and feeds. We are now concerned with all aspects of computing at the high end, from data acquisition, storage, and transfer, to compute, to real-time analysis. This new paradigm has evolved into what we now refer to as Advanced Computing - or an end-to-end study of the computational complexities and technologies at the high end of computing. I will take a brief historical look at the technologies that have brought us to where we are today, and I will spend some time talking about what we as advanced computing practitioners and researchers are studying at the present. Finally, I will present future challenges to think about as you attend HPC Day at Lehigh University.
Kelly Gaither, Associate Director for Data & Information Analysis, at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), is conducting research in scientific visualization and data analysis. Gaither, a research scientist, leads TACC's data and information analysis activities, including data collections, data acquisition and visualization. She also serves as an area director for visualization, data analysis, and scheduling in the National Science Foundation funded TeraGrid project. Gaither received her doctoral degree in Computational Engineering from Mississippi State University in May, 2000, and received her masters and bachelors degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University in 1992 and 1988 respectively. While obtaining her Ph.D., she worked full time at the Simulation and Design Center in the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center as the leader of the visualization group. Gaither has a number of refereed publications in fields ranging from Computatational Mechanics to Supercomputing Applications to Scientific Visualization. She has given a number of invited talks. Over the past ten years, she has actively participated in the IEEE Visualization conference, and served as the IEEE Visualization conference general chair in 2004. She is currently serving on the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee.