Graduate Student / Postdoc Seminar

Computational Methods in the Age of the Free Flop

Speaker: Andreas Kloeckner

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: Friday, April 26, 2013, 1 p.m.


The landscape of computational methods is currently undergoing a dramatic change. Modern computing affords an abundance of floating point operations, but, by comparison, little data motion. This has the potential to affect anyone using computers to carry out moderate-to-large-scale experiments, and making use of these advances has the potential to necessitate changes to algorithms, methods and tools.

After working out the basic changes in computer architecture, we will be examining an adaptation of an existing high-order finite element method to massively parallel many-core architectures as a motivating example. Working forward from this, we will discuss the arising challenges and some potential solutions, in the form of computational tools that support and generalize the approach taken. All of the tools I will be describing are embedded in the high-level programming language 'Python' and aim to support a seamless transition from prototype to full-scale application. They provide a range of capabilties from low-level machine access, through flexible parallel primitives, to parallelizing code generators for array-based codes in a polyhedral framework.