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From SC02 First-Time Attendee to SC23 Technical Program Co-Chair

rosa badia

With an impressive career spanning over 15 years, Dr. Rosa M. Badia, manager of the Workflows and Distributed Computing group at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), has garnered recognition as a trailblazing researcher in parallel programming models for multicore and distributed computing, particularly for her contributions to task-based programming models. Badia’s expertise extends to PyCOMPSs/COMPSs, a parallel task-based programming model designed for distributed computing, used to develop complex, heterogeneous workflows that seamlessly integrate high-performance computing, big data, and machine learning.

Badia has been recognized with the Euro-Par Achievement Award in 2019, noting her work on parallel task-based programming models, workflow applications, and systems; the Dona TIC Award 2019 (Academia/Researcher category); and the International Symposium on High-Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing (HPDC) Achievement Award in 2021. In 2023, she was invited to become a member of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans, a private academic, scientific, and cultural institution dedicated to researching Catalan culture, further solidifying her status as a distinguished academic in her field.

As a longtime SC Conference participant, Badia has held diverse roles, including as an exhibitor, tutorial presenter, panelist, workshop organizer, invited speaker, poster author, and Birds of a Feather session organizer. She also has contributed her share of technical papers as both an author and presenter. For SC23, Badia took an even bigger leap by serving as Co-Chair (with Kathryn Mohror of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) of the Technical Program. 

Researcher & Volunteer in Parallel

Notably, Badia’s substantial involvement with the SC Conference happens to coincide with her decision to pursue computing as a career. In her I AM HPC profile, Badia shares some of her journey thus far and where she still would like to see the computing research community evolve.   

Rosa M. Badia

Workflows and Distributed Computing Manager, Barcelona Supercomputing Center

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

Badia: One event significantly impacted me and made me want to belong and contribute more to the HPC community. I was already contributing to the European Center of Parallelism in Barcelona (CEPBA), the precursor of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. At that time, I had the opportunity to attend SC02 in Baltimore—my first SC! I enjoyed the event so much and was so excited about the Technical Program, the Exhibits, and all the components of SC that when I left, I told myself I wanted to be more involved with this community.

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

Badia: During the last 15 years, I have done research on task-based programming models for different target platforms: multicore processors, GPUs, and distributed computing. For example, in SC06, we presented a paper about CellSs, a task-based programming model for the Cell processor. Also, from BSC, we proposed the tasking model, which has been adopted in the OpenMP specification. My recent research focuses more on distributed computing through the PyCOMPSs/COMPSs programming environment and on the development of workflows that combine traditional HPC simulations with artificial intelligence and data analytics. 

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

Badia: I am not sure I can identify any overlooked breakthrough. However, multiple innovations have impacted the field in recent years. To mention a few, the appearance of the multicore chips posed large challenges on how applications should be programmed or the heterogeneous architectures (mainly GPUs but also FPGAs). More recently, artificial intelligence has been changing the field a lot and is opening a considerable controversy regarding its impact on traditional modeling and simulation. 

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

Badia: Ideally, I would like [to make] more international collaboration possible. While there are initiatives that try to foster this, in the end, it isn’t easy. I see groups in different regions (United States, Europe, Asia) working on similar topics and sometimes duplicating efforts because there are no common funding instruments that enable real international collaboration. Unfortunately, it is something challenging to achieve since even regions with good political relationships have no programs allowing this collaboration. Another aspect that I will be happy to see change is gender and diversity in general. SC is doing an excellent job promoting it, but, in fact, the numbers in the institutions still show that there is a lot of work to be done. 

Q: What are you most looking forward to at SC23?

Badia: For almost the last two years, I have worked with Kathryn Mohror as Co-Chairs of the SC23 Technical Program. This has involved a committee of more than 500 members in eight program components. Although this has required a great effort from all of us, we are very excited about the forthcoming SC23 and wish for a very successful event. 

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