Source: Inside HPC | July 1, 2020

As director of the Exascale Computing Project (ECP), Doug Kothe leads one of the United State’s most important strategic computing efforts, one that promises significant impacts on scientific research and national competitiveness. The position draws upon Kothe’s more than three decades of experience as a physicist and computer scientist at several of the Department of Energy’s national labs. In this interview with the late Rich Brueckner of insideHPC, Kothe talks about the objectives and principles guiding the ECP as well as his concerns for the future of HPC, including the need for a unified approach to containerization in an increasingly heterogeneous environment enabling, in Kothe’s words, “multiple machines running together in a coordinated fashion.”

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After the global pandemic forced Hyperion Research to cancel the April 2020 HPC User Forum planned for Princeton, New Jersey, we decided to reach out to the HPC community in another way — by publishing a series of interviews with members of the HPC User Forum Steering Committee. Our hope is that these seasoned leaders’ perspectives on HPC’s past, present and future will be interesting and beneficial to others. To conduct the interviews, Hyperion Research engaged Rich Brueckner, president of insideHPC Media. We welcome comments and questions addressed to Steve Conway, sconway@hyperionres.com or Earl Joseph, ejoseph@hyperionres.com.

This interview is with Douglas B. (Doug) Kothe, who has over three decades of experience in conducting and leading applied R&D in computational applications designed to simulate complex physical phenomena in the energy, defense, and manufacturing sectors. Kothe is currently the Director of the Exascale Computing Project (ECP). Prior to that, he was Deputy Associate Laboratory Director of the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate (CCSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Other prior positions for Kothe at ORNL, where he has been since 2006, include Director of the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors, DOE’s first Energy Innovation Hub (2010-2015), and Director of Science at the National Center for Computational Sciences (2006-2010).

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