Technical Computing: Past, Present, Future
In science and engineering, a tsunami of new experimental and computational data and a suite of increasingly ubiquitous sensors pose vexing problems in data analysis, transport, visualization and collaboration. Supercomputers of unprecedented scale now allow us to mode phenomena with a resolution heretofore unimaginable. Cloud computing and “big data,” together with our experiences with clusters and grids, are extending our notions of computational science and engineering, bringing technical, political and economic challenges.
What are the software structures and capabilities that best exploit these capabilities and economics while providing application compatibility and community continuity? What are the appropriate roles of public clouds relative to local computing systems, private clouds and grids? How can we best exploit elasticity for peak demand? How do we optimize performance and reliability? How do we provide privacy and security? How do we balance traditional HPC investments against distributed systems and big data opportunities and avoid past research infrastructure pitfalls? How do we integrate the emerging Internet of Things and ubiquitous sensors for multidisciplinary fusion, while also managing security and privacy?
Daniel A. Reed is Vice President for Research and Economic Development, as well as University Chair in Computational Science and Bioinformatics and Professor of Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Medicine, at the University of Iowa. Previously, he was Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Technology Policy and Extreme Computing, where he helped shape Microsoft's long‐term vision for technology innovations in cloud computing and the company's associated policy engagement with governments and institutions around the world. Before joining Microsoft, he was the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor at UNC Chapel Hill, as well as the Director of the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) and the Chancellor’s Senior Advisor for Strategy and Innovation for UNC Chapel Hill. Prior to that, he was Gutgsell Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana‐ Champaign (UIUC) and Director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). He was also one of the principal investigators and chief architect for the NSF TeraGrid. He received his PhD in computer science in 1983 from Purdue University. Dr. Reed served as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and the the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC).