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The Taub Faculty of Computer Science Events and Talks

CS Guest Lecture: Software Development in the Sixth Epoch of Distributed Computing
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Tim Mattson (Senior principal engineer, Intel)
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Thursday, 26.01.2023, 10:30
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Zoom Lecture: 94604196201
Amin Vahdat, in a talk that has gone viral, described the five epochs of distributed computing ( It’s a great talk, but I disagree with him on one key point. He thinks we are early in the fifth Epoch. I say we entered the fifth Epoch several years ago and we are on the verge of the next Epoch … the sixth Epoch of distributed computing. In this talk I will very briefly outline the five Epochs of distributed computing and then shift to the future and the sixth Epoch. This Epoch emerges when we bring next generation networking technology into our distributed computing systems so the time for one hop on the network is on par with the time for a memory reference in DRAM (Distributed Random Access Memory). This innovation is coming in the not-too-distant future. It will fundamentally change how high-performance computing applications project into the cloud. We need to start thinking NOW about how we will develop software in the sixth Epoch. I will suggest one approach for programming in the sixth Epoch, but the ideas are speculative and therefore alternatives abound. To that end, I hope this talk launches an aggressive, and hopefully interesting, dialog about software development in the sixth epoch of distributed computing. Biography: Tim Mattson is a parallel programmer obsessed with every variety of science (Ph.D. Chemistry, UCSC, 1985). He is a senior principal engineer in Intel’s parallel computing lab. Tim has been with Intel since 1993 and has worked with brilliant people on great projects including: (1) the first TFLOP computer (ASCI Red), (2) MPI, OpenMP and OpenCL, (3) two different research processors (Intel's TFLOP chip and the 48 core SCC), (4) Data management systems (Polystore systems and Array-based storage engines), and (5) the GraphBLAS API for expressing graph algorithms as sparse linear algebra. Tim has well over 150 publications including five books on different aspects of parallel computing, the latest (Published November 2019) titled “The OpenMP Common Core: making OpenMP Simple Again”.