Scientific Computing in the Americas: the challenge of massive parallelism

A summer institute held 3–14 January 2011, Valparaiso, Chile


Thematic Focus

Scientific computing as a means of discovery offers the promise of solving some of the most enduring challenges in science.  Understanding global climate, unraveling the mysteries of turbulence, predicting natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, untangling the complexities of life by simulating the proteins that make its building-blocks —all these, and more, are being tackled by scientists today using high-performance computing (HPC).

More than ever, today presents an opportunity for tremendous discoveries through HPC, thanks to the advent of new computer architectures that bring huge increases in performance, at lower power consumption and much reduced prices.  It is a very exciting time indeed to be involved in scientific computing.  The whole community is buzzing with enthusiasm for scientific computing on the latest graphics processors, or GPUs, becoming available in the last couple of years.  Many early adopters have seen their scientific applications accelerate by 10 or 100 times when programmed to take advantage of GPUs.

The challenge of programming for these massively parallel processors are daunting, but the rewards considerable.  On the face of this challenge, international collaboration and advanced training of young scientists are the two most effective tools for success.

This PASI aims to be a catalyst for collaboration and provide training to a top-class set of young researchers throughout the Americas.



Funding for travel costs of the PASI lecturers, plus travel grants for 37 graduate students and postdocs to attend this institute were made possible by NSF award OISE-1036435.  Read more in the “About” page, and the links provided.

Additional support provided by the hosts, and sponsors.

Project leader


The Principal Investigator for the NSF grant, and leading organizer for this PASI is Professor Lorena A Barba, of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Boston University.



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