Berkeley Lab scientist Erich Strohmaier created the first TOP500 list of supercomputers in June 1993 with Professor Hans Meuer. Updated twice annually, the list serves as the industry inventory of the fastest supercomputers in the world. Currently, Dr. Strohmaier is the head of the Future Technologies Group at Berkeley Lab, where his team studies the design and development of hardware and software systems that allow application scientists to more effectively use high-end machines. In this “10 Questions,” Dr. Strohmaier discusses the evolution of the TOP500 list, his own career and where the field of high performance computing is going next.
In this age of big data, would it surprise you to learn that supercomputers are on track to predicting wars, revolutions and other societal disruptions? Data scientist Kalev Leetaru is one of the foremost proponents in the emerging field of predictive supercomputing. His research helped usher in the era of "petascale humanities," where computers can identify useful or interesting patterns if provided with sufficiently large data repositories.