Porting a Solar Physics Code to Large-Scale Systems

Sunita Chandrasekaran, Ph.D., presented an interdisciplinary collaborative project

On July 22, Sunita Chandrasekaran, Ph.D., presented an interdisciplinary collaborative project with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), MPS (Max Planck Solar Society) and the University of Delaware. Throughout the seminar, Chandrasekaran took listeners on a journey of challenges faced and solutions obtained while porting a solar physics code called MURaM (Max Planck University of Chicago Radiative MHD) to large-scale heterogeneous systems.

MURaM is the primary solar model for simulations of the upper solar convection zone, solar photosphere and solar corona. It was jointly developed by HAO, the Max Planck Institute and the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory.

“It’s so interesting to see how we as people can apply computer science-based, compile-and-run type programming model concepts in real-world applications,” said Chandrasekaran. “It really opens your eyes to the hurdles you may face when migrating this real-world code onto a large-scale system.”

The talk highlighted the usage of OpenACC, a directive-based programming model for the porting process, and explained how the programming model and the application have evolved over a period of three years. The seminar was not only informative regarding the collaborative project, but it highlighted best practices that can be applied to any type of research as well.

Sunita Chandrasekaran is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Delaware. She received her Ph.D. in 2012 on Tools and Algorithms for High-Level Algorithm Mapping to FPGAs from the School of Computer Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. Her research spans High Performance Computing, interdisciplinary science, machine learning and data science. She is a recipient of the 2016 IEEE-CS TCHPC Award for Excellence for Early Career Researchers in High Performance Computing. Chandrasekaran has been involved in the technical program and organization committees of several conferences and workshops including SC, ISC, IPDPS, IEEE Cluster and IEEE/ACM CCGrid among others.


Julia Chamon

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HPE Data Science

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