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Wanted: Supercomputer Programmers.

HPC Wire (01/03/12) Michael Feldman

The U.S.’s supercomputing labs are having difficulty finding software developers that can program its state-of-the-art machines, according to a recent Daily Beast article. High-performance computing (HPC) systems require engineers trained in the details of parallel programming, such as MPI, OpenMP, and CUDA. The problem is that most undergraduate computer science courses do not teach HPC techniques, and there are only a few specialized HPC curriculums in the country, most of which are associated with the U.S. Department of Energy or the National Science Foundation supercomputing centers. “It’s not that we’ve had a drop-off in enrollments, it’s that we need an increase,” says the University of Tennessee’s Jack Dongarra. “We need people who can build the applications and algorithms needed to effectively use the equipment.” Another problem is that other countries, such as China and India, are having more success in developing HPC talent. Other fast-growing application areas, such as mobile computing, cloud computing, and big data analytics, also are suffering talent shortages.