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Jeffrey K. Hollingsworth Is a Champion for HPC… and SC

Jeff Hollingsworth is busy. At his “day job,” he serves as the Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at the University of Maryland (UMD). There, he oversees the university’s overall technology environment, including steering its campus-wide strategies and policies for technology use. Hollingsworth also is a professor in UMD’s computer science department, who earned his doctorate and M.S. in computer sciences from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, Hollingsworth is the SC23 Panels Co-chair (with Scott Pakin from Los Alamos National Laboratory). He also was the SC12 General Chair, its first year held in Salt Lake City. Hollingsworth was also a co-founder and second Chair of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing, or ACM SIGHPC, a co-sponsor of the SC Conference.

Longstanding Dedication

Along with his longstanding dedication to the SC Conference and varied interests in parallel programming, operating systems, computer networks, and distributed systems, Hollingsworth has significantly invested in bringing students to HPC. In the past, he co-founded efforts such as the Experiencing HPC for Undergraduates Program to introduce more young people to HPC research and, in turn, the SC Conference. Today, after nearly 25 years of volunteer service to SC, Hollingworth continues to see computing as an exciting field and the SC Conference as a prime launchpad for those seeking to kick off their own I AM HPC story.

Jeffrey K. Hollingsworth

Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, University of Maryland (UMD)

Q: What single event most made you realize you wanted a career in HPC/computing?

Hollingsworth: Hearing that my undergraduate institution (Berkeley) was getting a Cray Supercomputer. I had seen a Cray computer on a visit to LLNL [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory] and was excited that Berkeley was going to get one.

Q: What do you consider your biggest contribution to the HPC/computing community?

Hollingsworth: Helping to make auto-tuning of software a reality. HPC professionals spend so much time tuning code to get it to run faster. Automating part of that process is a real game changer.

Q: In the past 35 years, what is the most significant overlooked breakthrough that has impacted the field in your eyes?

Hollingsworth: How much more reliable computers have become (especially at the board/device level) over that period of time. The scale of systems today has, in large part, been made possible by increased reliability of individual parts.

Q: What would you like to see change about, within, or among the HPC/computing community?

Hollingsworth: More young people to view HPC as an exciting field to join.

Panels at SC23

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