Director’s Letter

Michael E. Papka directs the ALCF, a DOE Leadership Computing Facility providing computational resources, expertise, and training to the research community in support of major computational science campaigns.

Our continued success as a leadership computing facility will be guided by data—not only by its continued growth, but also by the many and varied sources that produce it, from simulation, analysis, experiments, and beyond. Our future is about the organization, sharing, and evaluation of data.

Developing new ways to interrogate and enhance scientific datasets presents exciting challenges and opportunities for advanced computing facilities like ALCF. HPC users are always making new demands of their data—from performing analysis in situ to supporting real-time collaborations—and scientific use cases are a great way to understand new ways of managing scientific data to discover things, faster.

To support this future, in 2021, ALCF deployed our two largest storage systems yet, Grand and Eagle, that will support new services and power data-driven research for years to come. We’ve also implemented production data sharing via Globus on Eagle and launched the ALCF Community Data Co-Op (ACDC), a platform for sourcing, exchanging, and preserving datasets to extend their utility and reach to other research groups and other areas of science.

We’ve also recently launched Polaris, a critical and powerful intermediate platform for both debugging and optimizing scientific codes for Aurora, our future Intel-HPE exascale system, and to support the needs of large, real-time experiments now being integrated with HPC resources.

Among the successes most recently afforded by our steady-state resources, Theta delivered over 20 million node-hours alone to 16 INCITE projects, advancing studies ranging from designing future fusion reactors, to finding druggable sites in SARS-CoV-2 proteins, to expanding the scale of urban building energy modeling. Argonne’s Joint Laboratory for System Evaluation supported more than 80 projects ranging from application portability to software development to tools and compiler development. And ALCF’s AI Testbed is now preparing to open advances in the accelerator space to the entire research community in 2022 after supporting Argonne-led researchers in 2021.

As we move into the exascale era, our facility will be shaped by all our activities, but especially by how we will meet the evolving requirements our users have related to scientific data. As a world-class user facility with a world-class staff, we welcome the challenges before us.