The new Frontiers in Computing Systems group,  part of Columbia’s Data Science Institute, is hosting an inaugural full-day symposium, with leading speakers and panelists, to highlight the advances and grand challenges in Big Data infrastructure:  extreme-scale computing systems (hardware, parallel computing, software, databases) and their application to solve diverse cutting-edge problems in climate and ocean science, population-scale biomedical informatics, genomics, materials science, neuroscience, astrophysics and engineering.

The symposium includes an exciting keynote by Ruchir Puri, the chief architect of IBM’s Watson system, on "Engineering the Future of Cognitive Systems."  Other speakers include those developing state-of-art high-performance parallel computers and large-scale Python-based software platforms, as well as experts on computational problems in climate science, astrophysics, and protein folding simulation.

The event will include a keynote talk, lunch, two talk presentation sessions, a networking and poster session, and a panel of experts with audience participation.


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Friday, March 24 • 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Presentation Session II: Applications

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Session Chair:
Nicholas Tatonetti, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Columbia University

  1.  "Climate Science in the Age of Big Data"
    Gavin Schmidt
    Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

    The amount of data from satellite observations, weather model reanalyses and climate model output is increasing rapidly and is now measured in 100’s of Petabytes and will soon reach Exabyte levels. The need to integrate these datasets and to evaluate and improve our models and our predictions has never been more acute, but our ability to query, test, and extract useful information from these datasets is actually decreasing. Neither bandwidth nor computer architectures are keeping up with the data flows and methods required to focus on the process-based diagnostics that are needed to improve models and provide better predictions. It remains an enormous challenge to come up with the next generation of tools and techniques that will be able to tame the climate science big data monster.
  3. "How to Make a Galaxy from Scratch:  Challenges in Computational Galaxy Formation"
    Rachel Somerville
    Co-Lead, Galaxy Formation Group, Center for Computational Astrophysics, Simons Foundation
    Downsbrough Chair in Astrophysics, Rutgers University

    Understanding the formation of galaxies in a cosmological context is one of the great challenges of modern astrophysics. Galaxies form within a vast 'cosmic web' of filaments of dark matter, and are shaped by the energy released by the stars, supernovae, and supermassive black holes they harbor. As a result, large-scale numerical simulations of galaxy formation are extremely computationally demanding. They require not only grappling with approximately nine orders of magnitude in dynamic range, but also require the inclusion of a broad range of physical processes. I will discuss some of the recent progress in the area of computational galaxy formation, and some of the challenges that we face in the years to come.

  4. "Exploiting Hardware-Software Co-Design in a Special-Purpose Supercomputer to Speed Up Molecular Dynamics Simulation"
    Mark Moraes
    Head of Engineering, D.E. Shaw Research

    Anton 2 is the second generation of a family of massively-parallel special-purpose supercomputers for molecular dynamics simulations of proteins and other biological macromolecules.  The embedded software that runs on the Anton machines is co-designed with the underlying hardware, allowing the code to exploit unique capabilities of the hardware, and the hardware to make careful trade-offs for maximum performance, while preserving flexibility and programmability.  This closely coupled co-design is a major reason for Anton's large performance improvement -- as much as two orders of magnitude -- over commodity clusters and general-purpose supercomputers. This speedup enables the study of the structural changes underlying biological phenomena that occur on time scales far in excess of those previously accessible to computational study, with the ultimate aim of significantly advancing the process of drug discovery.

avatar for Mark Moraes

Mark Moraes

Head of Engineering, D.E. Shaw Research
MARK MORAES is Head of Engineering at D.E. Shaw Research (DESRES), where he both leads and contributes directly to a large part of the engineering and systems development work.  He returned to the D.E. Shaw group in 2004 after spending several years designing systems management products... Read More →
avatar for Gavin Schmidt

Gavin Schmidt

Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
GAVIN SCHMIDT is a climate scientist and Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, as well as an adjunct researcher at the Columbia University Earth Institute. He works on understanding past, present and future climate change and on the development... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Somerville

Rachel Somerville

Co-Lead, Galaxy Formation Group, Center for Computational Astrophysics, Simons Foundation, Downsbrough Chair in Astrophysics, Rutgers University
RACHEL SOMERVILLE is a Distinguished Professor and holds the George A. and Margaret M. Downsbrough Chair in Astrophysics in the Rutgers University Department of Physics and Astronomy. She is jointly co-leading the Galaxy Simulations group at the Center for Computational Astrophysics... Read More →

Friday March 24, 2017 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Davis Auditorium 530 West 120th Street New York, NY 10027 USA

Attendees (6)