CISC Frontiers in Scientific Computation Lecture “Community Software Ecosystems for High-Performance CSE: Opportunities and Challenges” by Lois Curfman McInnes, Argonne Thursday, January 18, 12:45 PM in LS 111 (Robert A. Pritzker Science Center Auditorium)

While high-performance computers provide unprecedented resources for scientific discovery, the computational science and engineering (CSE) community faces daunting productivity and sustainability challenges for parallel application development. Difficulties include the increasing complexity of multiscale and multiphysics applications, the imperative of portable performance in the midst of disruptive architectural changes, and the demand for greater reproducibility of simulation and analysis results for predictive science.  These challenges create the unique opportunity for the CSE community to fundamentally change how scientific software is designed, developed, and sustained, while explicitly acknowledging that next-generation applications increasingly require the combined use of independent packages, which have diverse sponsors, priorities, and processes for development and release.

This presentation will introduce the xSDK, or Extreme-scale Scientific Software Development Kit, which has the vision of providing a collection of complementary software elements as the building blocks for efficient development of high-quality applications. We will introduce xSDK community software policies (, which are increasing the quality, sustainability, and interoperability across independently developed packages.  We will also discuss complementary efforts to increase scientific software productivity and sustainability.

Lois Curfman McInnes is a senior computational scientist in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory. Her research focuses on numerical algorithms and software for the parallel solution of PDE-based applications and related optimization problems using the PETSc/TAO library.  Lois co-leads work on the Extreme-scale Scientific Software Development Kit (xSDK) and the IDEAS software productivity project, dedicated to engaging scientific software teams to identify and adopt practices that improve productivity and sustainability. McInnes received a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Virginia in 1993. She was named a SIAM Fellow in 2017. She won the 2015 SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering (with collaborators).  She won an Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in 2011 for outstanding contributions in research and development supporting the Department of Energy and its missions.  She served as chair (2015-16) and program director (2013-14) of the SIAM Activity Group on Computational Science and Engineering; she is co-chair of the 2018 SIAM Annual Meeting and serves on the SIAM Education Committee and the editorial board of SIAM News.

Light refreshments will be served after the lecture.

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