A Ph.D. graduate at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Dr. Tariq Alturkestani, won the best paper award at the annual international conference Euro-Par 2020. The paper was selected out of 158 papers that were submitted by candidates from all around the world.
The submission was based on Alturkestani’s doctoral thesis project, which focuses on overlapping I/O and compute in large-scale scientific computation using multilayered buffering mechanisms.
“Ph.D. is about pushing limits. It takes years of designing, implementations, engineering and hard work,” said Alturkestani, who worked at KAUST’s Extreme Computing Research Center (ECRC). “To be recognized by the research committee in a prestigious conference at the finish line of my Ph.D. journey is an honor and inspiration for me to push the limits further.”
Alturkestani’s work utilizes new emerging storage technology such as node-local and remote-shared solid-state drive (SSD), non-volatile memory (NVMe) and high bandwidth memory (HBM).
The project reevaluates the computer-based method — reverse time migration (RTM) — used by geoscientists to explore seismic data for oil and gas explorations. This method requires storing huge amounts of data before calling it back in stages and correlating with later available data to create the desired output image. Making RTM run faster translates into an increase of capacity for seismic simulations and eventually obtaining subsurface images to characterize the presence of hydrocarbons with higher fidelity.
The paper is co-authored with Professor David Keyes, director of the ECRC and professor of applied mathematics and computational sciences, and Dr. Hatem Ltaief, principal research scientist at ECRC.
“Prof. David Keyes and Dr. Hatem Ltaief have always challenged my ideas and therefore helped to shape them. Working at the Extreme Computing Research Center has opened the doors for me to access world-class supercomputers and to collaborate with industrial partners to bring my research into reality,” said Alturkestani, who defended his thesis in July.
KAUST, which is home to the second most powerful supercomputer in the Middle East — Shaheen II — prides itself for being a hub for Saudi talents in the field of supercomputing.
The Euro-Par victory follows KAUST’s success at the German Gauss Center for Supercomputing (GCS) Award, which went to two Saudi women, Ph.D. graduate Dr. Noha Al-Harthi and candidate Rebab Alomairy.