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Uniting the World of High Performance Computing

dorian arnold

Dorian C. Arnold, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Emory University, specializing in Distributed Systems, Fault-Tolerance, and High Performance Computing (HPC). He holds a diverse academic background with degrees from prestigious institutions, reflecting his holistic approach to computing research.

Dr. Arnold boasts an accomplished career, that includes being recognized as an ACM Distinguished Speaker and an IEEE Senior member, with the honor of receiving two R&D 100 Awards. Dr. Arnold’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident through his roles as the General Chair for the 2017 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity and the co-founding of “The HPC Pipeline Workshop: Diversifying the HPC Workforce.”He is a researcher, that addresses the challenges of making extremely large computing systems accessible to experts from various domains. Dr. Arnold’s contributions, both academically and in advocacy, mark him as a leader in the field, pushing the boundaries of high-performance computing while ensuring that it remains inclusive and relatable to all. In his role as SC23 General Chair, he has been pivotal in making the Supercomputing Conference (SC) more relatable and inclusive. Drawing inspiration from the “I am Tiger Woods” campaign, which conveyed the message that anyone, regardless of their background, could aspire to greatness just as Tiger Woods did in golf, the “I am HPC” tagline aims to humanize the field of High Performance Computing and ensure it’s accessible to all.”

SC23 General Chair

Now, let’s delve deeper into the world of Dr. Dorian C. Arnold and learn more about his journey, perspectives, and contributions in the realm of High Performance Computing as he answers insightful questions about his career, experiences, and the future of the HPC community.

Dorian C. Arnold

Associate Professor of Computer Science, Emory University

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

Arnold: While studying for my master’s degree at the University of Tennessee, I took a course from Dr. James Plank; his engaging, fun, and effective teaching style sparked my curiosity in computer systems. Dr. Plank later became my M.S. research advisor. While at UTK during a department-wide event, Dr. Jack Dongarra who was already renown at the time, introduced himself to me, a lowly student, and asked me about my interests. I was struck by his humble, welcoming demeanor. My data points were computer systems are cool, HPC is cool, and the people are cool; what more could I ask for!

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

Arnold: I don’t know if it’s my biggest contribution, but perhaps the one that has had the biggest practical impact: during my PhD, I wrote the code for two software systems: MRNet, a highly-configurable software overlay network for large scale data communication and aggregation, and STAT a debugging tool that is built on top of MRNet. Both these codes have been used and still are in use in production mode on supercomputers across the world.

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

Arnold: Overlooked? Perhaps high-level programming languages and environments, coupled with compilers, that have helped to make HPC admissible and accessible to a broad range of scientists and engineers, who no longer have to understand all the low-level nuances of these complex systems to develop correct and efficient codes.

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

Arnold: More access, more diversity, more equitable opportunities, more inclusivity — for all definitions of those terms.

i am hpc

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