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Jeff Larkin
Works at NVIDIA
Attended Furman University
Lives in Knoxville, TN
268 followers|595,400 views
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Jeff Larkin

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More stories of GPUs enabling breakthrough science.
Solar wind is stripping Mars' atmosphere. GPUs help scientists understand why and gain insights into how solar wind could affect Earth.
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Bring it on!
The whir of the computer room, discernible even with ear protection in place, is the background music for success at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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Thanks for the shout out kmmankad!
 
kmmankad on Github recently published a great blog post about his first experience using OpenACC.
Whats OpenACC? From http://developer.nvidia.com/openacc: OpenACC is a directive-based programming model designed to provide a simple yet powerful …
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The loss of a truly great person.
 
Activist Van Jones reveals a side of Prince unknown to many: secret philanthropist.
Activist Van Jones breaks down how the artist helped encourage urban youth to learn technology, live green and slyly bring politicians together
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Another nice write-up on the P100.
HotHardware delves into the NVIDIA Pascal GPU architecture and the GP100 GPU powering the Tesla P100 data center accelerator.
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This article makes many of the same arguments I made during a recent talk on writing performance portable code via a descriptive parallel programming model.
The term performance portability has appeared many times in the past few years. What does it mean? When did we first start worrying about performance portability? Why is it more relevant now than before? Why are so many discussions about performance portability so depressing? Is there any hope? Michael Wolfe addresses these questions and more in this article.
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Jeff Larkin

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When the “Summit” supercomputer comes online at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the next couple of years, there’s a chance it’ll be world’s fastest computer with a peak capability up to 300 million billion calculations per second. But the supercomputer under development by IBM, NVIDIA and others may also be known for its energy efficiency.
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I get a bit tired of people assuming that the fact that they have a preference on a matter is justification enough to draw strong conclusions. I like this better, therefore it is better for everyone is not a valid conclustion. That's why I'm sharing my response to this article, rather than the article itself, which I find completely void of content. Arguably, I should have just ignored the article, but I wanted to take the opportunity and try, just try, to help the author not make the same mistake again.

I'm sorry, but this article lacked any sort of justification for its conclusions. The author seems to have predetermined that his preference is Python, therefore Python must be the winner. Both are high-level languages that have advantages and disadvantages. Fortran started life essentially as a DSL for math, much like Matlab is today. It's the FORmula TRANslator and is designed with the necessary rules built into the language to make it useful for that task and easy to compile into fast execution. Python is an interpreted language that brings along many modern conveniences and conventions, making it well-suited for the high-level plumbing of a scientific application, but requires calling into libraries like numpy to obtain high performance on numerical kernels because the rules of the language are less friendly to building high performance machine code. It's also very well-suited for building DSLs, but again, those are generally translated down to libraries that are written in lower-level, compiled languages (sometimes Fortran!).

Arguing that one language is "easier to learn" than another is a bogus argument. Easier to whom? I work with a lot of developers who have a mathematics or domain science background first and to them the FORmula TRANslator is generally much easier to learn. To someone leaving a CS program now, where they may have only been taught dynamic, interpreted languages such as python, maybe python is easier to learn. I have a CS background, but learned static typed, compiled languages first, so to me Fortran was dramatically simpler to learn than python. "Easy" is in the eye of the beholder, so one can't make blanket arguments like "A is easier to learn than B."

I think a far more useful discussion than "this language is better than that" is a discussion on how to choose a language that fits the needs of your project. Every programming language has tradeoffs. I do think that Python is a viable language for HPC and scientific computing because it's high level, interfaces well to other languages, makes writing DSLs fairly straightforward, and even takes some inspirations from Fortran. It's downsides are scalability and raw speed, so it's best suited for prototyping and plumbing. Fortran has native support for arrays, unlike C/C++, and many mathematical built-ins that make it very straightforward to use and obtain good performance on math-heavy operations. It's primary failings are that compilers often lack recent language features and it's taught less frequently now in favor of Matlab and sometimes python. Given those pieces of information I can look at the needs of my project and determine whether either language meets my requirements and which meets them better.
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NVIDIA's Advanced OpenACC course. Sign up now.
 
NVIDIA is offering a follow-up to their OpenACC course last fall. Be sure to sign up!
Join our OpenACC experts for a free online course. This course is comprised of two instructor-led classes that include interactive lectures, hands-on exercises, and office hours with the instructors. You’ll learn advanced OpenACC techniques to further accelerate your code. The course will cover code optimization with profiling tools and advanced multi-GPU programming including the use of Multi-Process Service (MPS).
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Supercomputer maker Cray might not roll out machines for deep learning anytime in 2016, but like other system vendors with deep roots in high performance c
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Nvidia made a lot of big bets to bring its “Pascal” GP100 GPU to market and its first implementation of the GPU is aimed at its Tesla P100 accelerator for
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This week I gave a talk at the DOE workshop on performance portability promoting descriptive parallel programming as a way to handle performance portability to a variety of parallel architectures.
This is a talk from the 2016 DOE Performance Portability workshop in Glendale AZ. The purpose of this talk is to explain the concept of descriptive parallel pr…
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Education
  • Furman University
    B.S. Computer Science, 1998 - 2002
  • Berkmar High School
    1994 - 1998
  • University of Tennessee
    M.S. Computer Science, 2002 - 2005
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
  • Crossy Road
  • Pac-Man 256
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Story
Tagline
Christ-follower, Husband, Father, Supercomputer Jedi, Bass Player, Techno-Weenie
Work
Occupation
Software Engineer
Skills
High Performance Computing, Parallel Programming, CUDA, OpenACC, MPI, C, Fortran, Performance Analysis, Performance Optimization, JavaScript, Ruby
Employment
  • NVIDIA
    Developer Technology Software Engineer, 2013 - present
  • Cray Inc.
    Performance Engineer, 2005 - 2013
  • Innovative Computing Laboratory, UT
    Graduate Research Assistant, 2002 - 2005
  • TGAPO, llc
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Knoxville, TN
Previously
Lilburn, GA - Trenton, NJ - Lilburn, GA - Greenville, SC - Bonn, Germany - Knoxville, TN
We were very impressed by the cleanliness of our room and how nice the service staff were. We had a family suite, which is laid out nicely with the bunk bed in an alcove so that parents can stay up in the main part of the suite after the kids go to bed. Although breakfast is not included, the restaurant breakfast was priced in line with other hotels and I was satisfied with what we got for the price. We'd definitely stay here again.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
The food was excellent and my large group had very good service.
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
Great customer service. I'd definitely call them again.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
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The food was quite good, but the volume of choices is intimidating to first timers. Be sure to walk down the whole food line before getting a tray so that you know what to expect later down the line, otherwise you'll either end up with more food than you want or passing on something good.
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
Every time I have to go into this store I remember why I only go there as a last resort. Customer service is consistently poor and the prices are 10% more than other places. I prefer the advanced auto just a few minutes up the road.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago