Director’s Letter

Michael E. Papka directs the ALCF, a DOE Leadership Computing Facility providing computational resources, expertise, and training to the research community in support of major computational science campaigns.

In 2022, the ALCF unveiled Polaris and Sunspot, revolutionizing the supercomputing landscape yet again. Both systems bolster research teams from DOE’s Exascale Computing Project and ALCF’s Aurora Early Science Program, facilitating path-breaking research in performance optimization, scaling, and porting for the exascale era. 

In addition, the ALCF AI Testbed is now accessible to the broader research community, and stands as a testament to our nation’s growing AI prowess – a mosaic of groundbreaking AI technologies. 

While Polaris provides a robust platform for integrating ALCF resources with large-scale experimental facilities, Theta, ALCF’s bedrock production system, has demonstrated remarkable endurance, offering over 20 million node-hours to INCITE projects in 2022 alone. 

Together, Theta and Polaris push the boundaries of knowledge across disciplines - be it unraveling the mysteries of black hole accretion flows and supernovae, architecting the batteries of the future, or conducting seismic ground motion modeling at an unprecedented scale. Their collaborative strength was also demonstrated in supporting the ACM Gordon Bell special prize-winning team, who revolutionized genomics by creating the first-ever genome-scale language models (GenSLMs) for understanding the evolution of pandemic-causing viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2.

With the monumental deployment of Aurora nearly done, we also proudly introduce the groundbreaking Nexus initiative, a visionary stride towards integrating scientific facilities, supercomputing capabilities, and cutting-edge data technologies to enable next-generation, large-scale science.

Nexus represents a synergistic approach to science, marrying the might of facilities like ALCF and Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) with AI, machine learning, and edge computing to enable real-time data analysis. Its ambitious vision extends to autonomous discovery and self-driving labs to streamline processes, conserve resources, and expedite the pace of discovery. Leveraging the Globus research automation fabric for data management and its cloud-hosted federating services, Nexus provides a framework for a unified platform to manage high-throughput workflows across the high-performance computing landscape.

Argonne researchers shape the future of inter-facility workflows by automating them and identifying ways to make these workflows reusable and adaptable for different experiments. Nexus, therefore, represents the future of research – a testament to the power of integration and automation in catalyzing scientific discovery.

These efforts, and a myriad of other pioneering projects, are reshaping the frontiers of technology and research and ensuring that the ALCF remains at the forefront of scientific advancement. Thank you for being part of our community.