A cast of thousands: How the IDEAS Productivity project has advanced software productivity and sustainability

Series: HPC Best Practices Webinars

The US Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has been an unprecedented effort to establish a software ecosystem spanning 24 scientific applications, 6 co-design centers, and the supporting software technologies needed to enable leading-edge computational science and engineering research on the world’s first generation of exascale computers. ECP also presented an unprecedented challenge from the standpoint of developer productivity and the sustainability of all of that software, which led to the establishment in 2017 of the second instance of the IDEAS Productivity project, IDEAS-ECP.

Considering the scale of the ECP, involving nearly one thousand people in total, members of the IDEAS-ECP project had to think creatively about how to help so many software teams across the ECP “up their game” with respect to their software practices. This webinar will describe some of the strategies that the IDEAS team has used to pursue this goal and some of the impacts our work has had—as we are partnering with the ECP and the broader community to reduce technical risk, improve overall scientific productivity, and build a firm foundation for tackling even greater challenges in next-generation computation science.

We will wrap up with some “lessons learned” from the IDEAS experience about software stewardship and briefly consider some of the possible futures for the DOE scientific software community.


Presenter Bio

David Bernholdt is a Distinguished R&D Staff Member in the Computer Science and Mathematics Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His research interests, broadly speaking, are in making it easier and more productive to develop and use scientific software, particularly on high-performance computers. This includes work in programming models and programming languages, software design, software engineering, and related areas. He began his scientific career as a computational scientist before transitioning to a focus on computer science topics and has continued to work with computational science and engineering projects in various domains throughout his career to “ground” his other research.

David has leadership roles in multiple projects in ECP and the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program, and he leads the Programming Environment and Tools area for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF). He has served as the ORNL PI and Outreach Lead for both the IDEAS-Classic and IDEAS-ECP projects and is now active in several software stewardship projects under the developing DOE/ASCR Next-Generation Scientific Software Technologies (NGSST) program.