Dan Reed is Microsoft's Director of Scalable/Multi-Core Systems Research and head of the
recently formed Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC): one at the University of California at Berkeley (UC-Berkeley) and a second at the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Since we've been focusing a bit recently on the Concurrency and Parallelism Software Revolution we figured Dan would be another great technical guru to talk to about Multi/Many-Core's impact
on the future of general purpose computing.
The angle of this conversation focuses attention primarily on the server-side parallelism problem which is distinct from the client problem (as addressed by Burton Smith here) but part of the same wide-angle general purpose solution to the complex (and arguably fractal) general problem that spans microblips in DRAM to massive data centers.
Certainly the computation Cloud of the future must not only be scalable and highly performant, but also adaptive and homeostatic in how it reacts to frequent perturbation.
What are some of the challenges on the server side with respect to concurrent processing and massive scalability? Clustered server computing environments have traditionally been very good at parallel computation (compared to the general purpose client) so what's Dan and Microsoft working on to ensure our Cloud scales to ManyCore? Is machine learning being incorporated into clustered computing software adaptation and evolution?
Dan has a very interesting biography:
I am also a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and chair of the Computing Research Association (CRA)"
Dan was the head of CS at Illinois during the birth of the web browser Mosaic which changed the way people interact with the Internet forever... We talk about where the web is today (including browsers) versus what Mosaic enabled when it arrived.
Enjoy. This is another great discussion with a supercomputing stalwart whose main focus these days is on ensuring we are prepared for the highly parallel future of general purpose computation in the sky.
Low res file here.