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SC15 Concludes with Awards, Recognition and Record Numbers

AUSTIN, Texas—The SC15 conference drew a record 12,868 attendees, including 4,829 who registered for the six-day Technical Program of invited speakers, technical papers, research posters, tutorials, workshops and more.


The SC15 exhibition featured 343 exhibitors from industry, academia and research organizations from around the world. The 217 industry-focused exhibits was the highest in the 27-year history of the conference.  There were 43 first-time exhibitors and 113 international exhibitors from 23 countries outside the U.S.


The conference, held Nov. 15-20 in Austin, capped the week with an awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 19.


“The awards are very important for the SC conference series. They celebrate the best and the brightest of high performance computing, said SC15 Awards Co-chair Franck Cappello of Argonne National Laboratory. “Awards are not just plaques or certificates – they define excellence. They are a very powerful inspiration for both young and senior researchers.”


Here is the list of Technical Program awards presented at SC15:


Technical Papers
SC15 received 361 paper submissions, of which 78 were accepted (a 22 percent acceptance rate).Of those, nine were selected as finalists for the Best Paper and Best Student Paper awards.

The Best Paper Award went to “ScaAnalyzer: A Tool to Identify Memory Scalability Bottlenecks in Parallel Programs” by Xu Liu of the College of William and Mary and Bo Wu of the Colorado School of Mines.

The Best Student Paper Award went to “Parallel Distributed Memory Construction of Suffix and Longest Common Prefix Arrays” by Patrick Flick and Srivinivas Aluru, both of Georgia Tech.


ACM Gordon Bell Prize
The ACM Gordon Bell Prize is awarded for outstanding team achievement in High Performance Computing and tracks the progress of parallel computing.

The 2015 ACM Gordon Bell Prize was awarded to “An Extreme-Scale Implicit Solver for Complex PDEs: Highly Heterogeneous Flow in Earth’s Mantle” by Johann Rudi, The University of Texas at Austin; A. Cristiano I. Malossi, IBM; Tobin Isaac, The University of Texas at Austin; Georg Stadler, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences; Michael Gurnis, California Institute of Technology; Peter W. J. Staar, Yves Ineichen,  Costas Bekas and Alessandro Curioni, all of IBM; and Omar Ghattas, The University of Texas at Austin.


Research Posters
This year, SC received 254 detailed poster submissions that went through a rigorous review process. In the end, 114 posters were accepted and seven finalists were selected for the Best Poster Award. As part of its research poster activities, SC15 also hosted the ACM Student Research Competition for both undergraduate and graduate students.


The Best Poster Award went to “Parallelization, Acceleration, and Advancement of Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD) Methods” by Timothy I. Mattox and James P. Larentzos, both of Engility Corp.; Christopher P. Stone, Computational Science and Engineering, LLC; Sean Ziegeler, Engility Corp.; John K. Brennan, U.S. Army Research Laboratory; and Martin Lísal, Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and J. E. Purkyne University.


The 2015 Undergraduate Student Research Award recipients were:
First Place: “Lessons from Post-Processing Climate Data on Modern Flash-Based HPC Systems” by Adnan Haider, Illinois Institute of Technology.
Second Place: “Optimization Strategies for Materials Science Applications on Cori: An Intel Knights Landing, Many Integrated Core Architecture” by Luther D. Martin, National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.
Third Place: “Modeling the Impact of Thread Configuration on Power and Performance of GPUs” by Tiffany A. Connors, Texas State University.


The 2015 Graduate Student Research Award recipients were:
First Place: “AccFFT: A New Parallel FFT Library for CPU and GPU Architectures” by Amir Gholami, The University of Texas at Austin.
Second Place: “Efficient Multiscale Platelets Modeling Using Supercomputers” by Na Zhang, Stony Brook University.
Third Place: “High Performance Model Based Image Reconstruction” by Xiao Wang, Purdue University.


Scientific Visualization and Data Analytics Showcase
The Scientific Visualization and Data Analytics Award went to “Visualization of Ocean Currents and Eddies in a High-Resolution Ocean Model l” by Francesca Samsel, The University of Texas at Austin; Mark Petersen, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Terece Turton and Gregory Abram, both of The University of Texas at Austin; and James Ahrens, and David Rogers, Los Alamos National Laboratory. 


SC15 Student Cluster Competition
The Student Cluster Competition, a non-stop, real-time, 48-hour challenge where students race to assemble a small cluster at SC15, comprises of two awards: the Overall Winner and the Highest LINPACK Benchmark.


The Overall Winner Award went to Team Diablo from Tsinghua University in China. The Highest LINPACK Benchmark went to Team TUMuch Phun, from the Technische Universität München in Germany.


ACM/IEEE George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowship
The George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowship honors exceptional Ph.D. students. The 2015 recipients were Maciej Besta from ETH Zurich for his project on “Accelerating Large-Scale Distributed Graph Computations” and Dhairya Malhotra from The University of Texas at Austin for his project on “Scalable Algorithms for Evaluating Volume Potentials.”


Career Awards


The SC Conference Series also serves as the venue for recognizing leaders in the HPC community for their contributions during their careers. Here are the career awards presented at SC15:


IEEE-CS Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award
The IEEE-CS Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award recognizes innovative contributions to high performance computing systems that best exemplify the creative spirit demonstrated by Seymour Cray. The 2015 IEEE-CS Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award was presented to Mateo Valero “in recognition of seminal contributions to vector, out-of-order, multithreaded, and VLIW architectures.” Valero is a a professor in the Computer Architecture Department at Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, and director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center.


ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award

Established in memory of Ken Kennedy, the founder of Rice University's nationally ranked computer science program and one of the world's foremost experts on high-performance computing, the ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award recognizes outstanding contributions to programmability or productivity in high-performance computing together with significant community service or mentoring contributions. The 2015 Ken Kennedy Award was presented to Katherine Yelick “For advancing the programmability of HPC systems, strategic national leadership, and mentorship in academia and government labs.” Yelick is the Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at the University of California at Berkeley.


IEEE-CS Sidney Fernbach Memorial Award
The IEEE-CS Sidney Fernbach Memorial Award is awarded for outstanding contributions in the application of high performance computers using innovative approaches. The 2015 IEEE-CS Sidney Fernbach Memorial Award was presented to Alexander Szalay “For his outstanding contributions to the development of data-intensive computing systems and on the application of such systems in many scientific areas including astrophysics, turbulence, and genomics.” Szalay is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy and Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University.


SC Conference Test of Time Award
The Supercomputing Conference Test of Time Award recognizes an outstanding paper that has appeared at the SC conference and has deeply influenced the HPC discipline. It is a mark of historical impact and recognition that the paper has changed HPC trends. The SC15 Test of Time Award recognized “The NAS Parallel Benchmarks - Summary and Preliminary Results” written by David H. Bailey, Eric Barszcz, John Barton, D. Browning, Robert L. Carter, Leonardo Dagum, Rod Fatoohi, Paul Frederickson, Tom Lasinski, Robert Schreiber, Horst Simon, V. Venkatakrishnan and Sisira Weeratunga from the SC91 conference.


IEEE TCSC Award for Excellence in Scalable Computing for Early Career Researchers
The IEEE TCSC Award for Excellence in Scalable Computing for Early Career Researchers recognizes individuals who have made outstanding and potentially long-lasting contributions to the field within five years of receiving their Ph.D. The 2015 awards were presented to Ilkay Altintas, San Diego Supercomputer Center, UC San Diego; Aydin Buluç, Computational Research Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Kurt B. Ferreira, Sandia National Laboratories.