“From Exascale to Quantum and Beyond: The Future of Federal HPC R&D”



  • Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2021
  • Time: 12:15-1:15 (CST)
  • Location: 240-241-242, America’s Center, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Event Type: Birds of a Feather
  • Video Recording:



In the 30 years since the passage of the HPC Act of 1991, supercomputers have been integrated into every facet of our daily lives. Supercomputers transformed industries producing pharmaceuticals, chemicals, consumer products, and financial services. From agriculture to auto manufacturing, from drug design to the cell phone, HPC is a necessary and accepted part of research, design, and production. With HPC being ubiquitous, we need to be researching today to prepare for that next big impact. What’s the future of HPC R&D and what will we achieve when we get there?
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Questions before the HPC community continue to include “how science and technology can be applied to benefit the nation’s health, economic prosperity and national security?” which we have faced many times before. But now that we have arrived at the exascale era and the debate on the continuation of Moore’s Law rages, we need to re-examine where we go from here and how we get there. How do advances in data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, advanced networking, and cybersecurity impact HPC, and our progress toward the future? These issues will have a global impact, including how we handle pandemics, climate change, supply chains, and harness the talents of all Americans and bring new ideas to the table.
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The BoF will be organized as a Town Hall meeting. The Session Leader will present questions to the panelists to get their respective viewpoints on, “what’s the future of HPC R&D?” The panelists are expected to present their opinions on future investments and programmatic activities. This discussion is expected to encourage community input to future R&D efforts.
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Kamie Roberts


Director, National Coordination Office
Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program

Ms. Kamie Roberts is the Director of the National Coordination Office (NCO) for the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program. As the Director, Ms. Roberts coordinates the Nation’s primary source of federally funded research and development (R&D) in advanced information technologies (IT) in computing, networking, and software. NITRD is among the oldest and largest of formal Federal programs that coordinate the activities of multiple agencies to tackle multidisciplinary, multitechnology, and multisector R&D needs. The 24 NITRD member agencies currently invest approximately $6.5 billion annually in R&D programs that identify, develop, and transition to practical use the advanced networking and IT capabilities needed by the Federal Government and the Nation. Ms. Roberts joined the NCO in October 2017 as the Deputy Director. Ms. Roberts is on detail to the NITRD NCO, from the National Institute of Standards and Technology/Information Technology Laboratory.

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Jerry Sheehan


Assistant Director for Scientific Integrity & Data Access

Jerry Sheehan is Assistant Director for Scientific Integrity & Data Access at the White House Office of Science and Technology. He leads US Government-wide initiatives to advance open science and protect against undue interference in the conduct, communication, and use of Federal science. Sheehan joined OSTP from the National Institutes of Health, where he served as Deputy Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) since 2017. In that role he shares responsibility with the Director for leading NLM staff in developing advanced biomedical information services, conducting and funding research and research training in biomedical informatics, promulgating health data standards, and performing health information outreach across the nation. He leads national efforts to enhance public access to the results of Federally funded research, including scholarly publications, preprints, and research data. From 2015-2017, Mr. Sheehan served as Assistant Director for Scientific Data and Information at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he led government-wide efforts to advance open science, management of scientific collections, scientific integrity, and medical imaging. Previously he led work on international science and innovation policy at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and on computing and Internet policy at the National Academy of Sciences. Mr. Sheehan is co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Open Science and its Fast-Track Action Committee on Scientific Integrity; vice-chair of the OECD Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy, Executive Board Member of the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information, and U.S. delegate to the G7 Open Science Working Group. He holds an S.M. degree in Technology & Policy and an S.B. degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT.

Dan Stanzione


Associate Vice President for Research
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Dan Stanzione, Associate Vice President for Research at The University of Texas at Austin since 2018 and Executive Director of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) since 2014, is a nationally recognized leader in high performance computing. He serves on the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Task Force, formed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). He is the principal investigator (PI) for an NSF grant to deploy Frontera, the fastest supercomputer at any U.S. university. Stanzione is also the PI of TACC’s Stampede2 and Wrangler systems, supercomputers for high performance computing and for data-focused applications, respectively. For six years he was co-PI of CyVerse, a large-scale NSF life sciences cyberinfrastructure. Stanzione was also a co-PI for TACC’s Ranger and Lonestar supercomputers, large-scale NSF systems previously deployed at UT Austin. Stanzione received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and his master’s degree and doctorate in computer engineering from Clemson University.

Talitha Washington


Director of the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative
Clark Atlanta University

Dr. Talitha Washington is the Director of the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative and a Professor of Mathematics at Clark Atlanta University. As Director, she oversees and provides strategic direction of data science across Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College to increase the number of African Americans with expertise in data science. Washington is a former Program Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and the Association for Women in Mathematics.


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