Published October 2022

Dear SDSC Staff, Collaborators, Partners, and All Friends:

As usual, there are many activities and projects underway at SDSC. One of the main events in which we participate each year is the Supercomputing Conference. For this year’s event, members of our executive team, division leaders and several staff members will make the trip to Dallas, Texas, where we will host a booth to gather with our academic collaborators, industry partners and other interested parties in attendance.  We will also feature a handful of talks and presentations to share information about SDSC, our resources and the work we do here.

Among the dynamic goings-on during SDSC is the Student Cluster Competition. An SDSC-sponsored team of students has been chosen to participate for the past few years, placing as high as fourth overall from a selective pool of 10 teams. This year’s SDSC team includes six UC San Diego undergraduate students— Edward Burns, Stefanie Dao, Longtian Bay, Yuchen Jing, Davit Margarian and Matthew Mikhailov—who will compete in the nonstop, 48-hour contest to complete a real-world scientific workload. To do so they must design and construct a small cluster, plus hardware and software (with guidance from their SDSC mentors and industry partners) and keep the cluster running to demonstrate to the judges their HPC knowledge and skills. In preparation they must learn and apply related science and optimization techniques for their particular computer architecture. It’s a fascinating process and a clever way to prepare students for their professional experiences. Special thanks to SDSC’s Mary Thomas and to Bryan Chin, from computer science and engineering on campus, who are the team’s mentors. SDSC’s Andreas Goetz, Mahidhar Tatineni and Bob Sinkovits also provide assistance.

As part of our ongoing divisional feature series, this issue highlights the Sherlock Division led by SDSC’s Sandeep Chandra. Another SDSC leader, our Chief Data Science Officer Ilkay Altintas—who incidentally has been elected to the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors—is also highlighted under Researcher Spotlight. 

Another recent announcement was made by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, who have appointed Christine Kirkpatrick, director of SDSC’s Research Data Services Division, to the Board on Research Data and Information.  

Last month, during a general staff meeting we announced SDSC’s annual Pi Person of the Year Award winner. It is Ilya Zaslavsky whose consistent application of geospatial data and analysis has had real-world impact—including during the pandemic.

This issue of Innovators also recaps some notable news highlights – including new funding from the NSF to Alex Marder, Kimberly Claffy and Ka Pui Mok at CAIDA to help enhance end devices and augment 5G infrastructure while meeting security and resilience requirements. The issue also provides an Industry Partnerships update for curious minds.

As always, I thank you for your interest in and support of SDSC as we continue working to make this academic year a memorable one.

Best wishes,  
Frank Würthwein
SDSC Director