Columbia Lead Team Takes Home Best Student Paper Award at SC16

SC, the annual ACM/IEEE International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage Analysis, is the premiere venue for showcasing the revolutionary advances and leading-edge research of high performance computing (HPC). The six-day supercomputing event features internationally-known expert speakers, cutting-edge workshops and sessions, a non-stop student competition, the world’s largest supercomputing exhibition, panel discussions and much more. "For anyone in the world of computer science and high performance computing, the SC conference is one of the rare 'must-attend' events of the year," said SC16 General Chair John West from the Texas Advanced Computing Center. This year, SC drew more than 11,100 attendees from industry, academia and research organizations from around the world.

Each year, the SC Technical Papers Committee identifies one paper as the best paper written primarily by a student or students and presented in the Conference’s Technical Program. SC16 received 442 paper submissions, of which 81 were accepted (18.3 percent acceptance rate). Of those, 7 were selected as finalists for the Best Student Paper award. This year, the award went to “Flexfly: Enabling a Reconfigurable Dragonfly Through Silicon Photonics,” by Ke Wen, Payman Samadi, Sebastien Rumley, Christine P. Chen, Yiwen Shen, Meisam Bahadori, and Keren Bergman from Columbia University and Jeremiah Wilke from Sandia National Laboratories.

The work brings together two important areas: silicon photonics and supercomputing, and presents a viable path to reconfigurable interconnect topologies for future supercomputers — a feature desired by many HPC facilities as the applications running on top, together with their communication patterns, become more and more diverse. The new architecture, called Flexfly, showed up to 2X application speedup over the currently popular practice — Dragonfly with adaptive routing. And to the best of the Columbia team, this is the first work that demonstrates silicon photonic switching in a real HPC testbed.

For further information on the winning papers, please click here.


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