In his recent article featured in Desktop Engineering, “High-Performance Computing Needs to Be Simplified, Democratized”, Jamie Gooch opened with the bold assertion: “People are dying because scientists and engineers don’t communicate well.” He goes on to suggest that information and tools which could help solve many of humanity’s most pressing problems already exist. Gooch states that chief among these tools is high performance computing (HPC).
So what, then, is the biggest hindrance to solving problems like: cheap clean energy; the solution to the global water shortage; the cure for cancer? Communication, says Gooch. Communication of HPC’s potential, communication of the relevant information and data, communication between dissimilar fields of study (but which have similar approaches of problem solving).
EASA has long been used to exploit the power of HPC, because it helps reduce or eliminate key obstacles: lack of accessibility and lack of usability. This relates to the contribution from Intel’s Diane Bryan: “It’s still too hard to use, too hard to access,” she said of HPC. At EASA, we believe HPC can only grow if the demand to run software also grows. But the type of software tools which benefit from HPC are typically designed for experts in their field and are not well suited for non-experts. Increased demand will require that we enable practical accessibility for a far broader audience.
Core to this is again communication. How one communicates with software, or (equally important) the processes within which it is embedded is critical. Too many people are simply not prepared to utilize software due to complexity, lack of familiarity and insufficient in-built guidance or “design rules” – lack of “ease of use”, to use a tired expression. This is where EASA’s primary value lies, though it also communicates the availability of the tools (and their function) extremely well across an enterprise.
EASA tackles many other oft arising barriers such as IP protection, auditability, web and cloud access and deployment reliability, and these too impact usage and ultimately the demand for expanding HPC.
As a building block, EASA is providing critical support towards the fulfillment of Gooch’s and Bryant’s vision and we believe we are making a material impact on the growth of HPC. If this may ultimately save lives, then we must do everything we can to achieve this awe-inspiring vision.
Tags: CAE, communication, Desktop Engineering, engineering, HPC, scientists