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EDUCAUSE Southwest Regional Conference 2003

OU Supercomputing Center for Education & Research

24

Why is HPC Hard to Learn?

HPC software technology changes very quickly:

Pthreads: 1988 (POSIX.1 FIPS 151-1) [4]

1.

PVM:      1991 (version 2, first publicly released) [5]

2.

MPI:        1994 (version 1) [6,7]

3.

OpenMP: 1997 (version 1) [8,9]

4.

Globus:    1998 (version 1.0.0) [10]

Typically a 5 year lag (or more) between the standard and documentation readable by experienced computer scientists who aren’t in HPC

Description of the standard

Reference guide, user guide for experienced HPC users

Book for general computer science audience

Documentation for novice programmers: very rare

Tiny percentage of physical scientists & engineers ever learn this stuff

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