FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16
  • 10:30am-noon
    Room A207/209

    General: Supercomputing's Best and Worst Ideas
    Moderator: H. J. Siegel, Professor, Colorado State University
    Panelists: James C. Browne, Professor Computer Science, University of Texas, Austin; Cherri M. Pancake, Professor, Oregon State University; Guy Robinson, Research Liaison/MPP Specialist, Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, University of Alaska; Charles Seitz, CEO & CTO, Myricom, Inc.; Burton Smith, Chief Scientist, Cray Inc.; Marc Snir, Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    The title of this panel is, to some extent, self-explanatory-but if that were all we said, the abstract would be too short. Thus, the questions below expand on the issues that the panelists may wish to consider. We are pleased to have a very distinguished group of panelists covering a wide range of aspects of supercomputing. We invite you to join in the discussion with your answers to the following questions, and with your own questions for the panelists and audience.

    Some questions to be put forth at the panel are as follows:

    • What makes an idea a "supercomputing idea"? (You cannot use the word "supercomputer" in your answer)

    • What are the criteria for deciding what is best or worst?

    • What ideas have gone, over time, from best to worst, worst to best, or both?

    • What ideas have stayed around too long?

    • From ideas that were bad, what good kernels have been extracted?

    • From ideas that were good, what bad impacts have occurred?

    • Are some ideas reminiscent of a "Tale of Two Cities"it is the best of ideas and the worst of ideas?

    • Is one person's best idea choice another person's worst idea choice?

    • What best and worst ideas will hardware, software, and applications people agree to?

    • What ideas change from best to worst (or visa versa) if your perspective changes among hardware, software, and applications?

    • What best ideas have been stifled due to industry (i.e., economic) factors?

    • How much should wideness of applicability be used to judge the "bestness" of an idea?

    • What has been the impact of marketing (i.e., mass appeal) on the ability to develop an idea to find out if it is best or worst, or does this not affect supercomputers?

    • What has been the impact of government initiatives on what can become a best idea?

    • When have standards been enablers/stiflers of best ideas?

    • When have standards been enablers/stiflers of worst ideas?

    • Can we use a knowledge and understanding of supercomputing's best and worst ideas of the past to develop new best ideas and avoid new worst ideas in the future?