NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

Brian Austin

Brian Austin , Ph.D.
Advanced Technology Group
National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center
Phone: (510) 486-6702
Fax: (510) 486-6459
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
1 Cyclotron Road
Mailstop: 59R4010A
Berkeley, CA 94720 US

Biographical Sketch

Brian Austin is a staff member of the Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) in computational research at Berkeley Lab.  Prior to joining ATG, Brian was a Petascale postdoctoral fellow at NERSC.  He has earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. 

» Current Research

Journal Articles

Jack Deslippe, Brian Austin, Chris Daley, Woo-Sun Yang, "Lessons learned from optimizing science kernels for Intel's "Knights-Corner" architecture", CISE, April 1, 2015,

D.Y. Zubarev, B.M. Austin, W.A. Lester Jr, "Practical Aspects of Quantum Monte Carlo for the Electronic Structure of Molecules", Practical Aspects of Computational Chemistry I: An Overview of the Last Two Decades and Current Trends, January 1, 2012, 255,

D.Y. Zubarev, B.M. Austin, W.A. Lester Jr, "Quantum Monte Carlo for the x-ray absorption spectrum of pyrrole at the nitrogen K-edge", The Journal of chemical physics, January 1, 2012, 136:144301,

Erin LeDell, Prabhat, Dmitry Yu Zubarev, Brian Austin, Jr. William A. Lester, "Classification of Nodal Pockets in Many-Electron Wave Functions via Machine Learning", Journal of Mathematical Chemistry, January 1, 2012, 50:2043,

B.M. Austin, D.Y. Zubarev, WA Lester, "Quantum Monte Carlo and Related Approaches.", Chemical Reviews, January 1, 2011,

Jinhua Wang, Dominik Domin, Brian Austin, Dmitry Yu, Jarrod McClean, Michael Frenklach, Tian Cui, Jr. Lester, "A Diffusion Monte Carlo Study of the O-H Bond Dissociation of Phenol", J. Phys. Chem. A, January 1, 2010, 114:9832,

Naoto Umezawa, Brian Austin, "Self-interaction-free nonlocal correlation energy functional associated with a Jastrow function", Bulletin of the American Physical Society, January 1, 2010, 55,

Alex Sodt, Greg J. O. Beran, Yousung Jung, Brian Austin, Martin Head-Gordon, "A Fast Implementation of Perfect Pairing and Imperfect Pairing Using the Resolution of the Identity Approximation", Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, January 1, 2006, 2:300-305,

Gregory J. O. Beran, Brian Austin, Alex Sodt, Martin Head-Gordon, "Unrestricted Perfect Pairing: The Simplest Wave-Function-Based Model Chemistry beyond Mean Field", The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, January 1, 2005, 109:9183,

A. Aspuru--Guzik, R. Salom\ on--Ferrer, B. Austin, R. Perusqu\ \ia--Flores, M.A. Griffin, R.A. Oliva, D. Skinner, D. Domin, W.A. Lester Jr, "Zori 1.0: A parallel quantum Monte Carlo electronic structure package", Journal of Computational Chemistry, January 1, 2005, 26:856--862,

A. Aspuru-Guzik, R. Salomon-Ferrer, B. Austin, Jr. Lester, "A sparse algorithm for the evaluation of the local energy in quantum Monte Carlo", J. Comp. Chem., January 1, 2005, 26:708,

Conference Papers

Jialin Liu, Quincey Koziol, Houjun Tang, François Tessier, Wahid Bhimji, Brandon Cook, Brian Austin, Suren Byna, Bhupender Thakur, Glenn K. Lockwood, Jack Deslippe, Prabhat, "Understanding the IO Performance Gap Between Cori KNL and Haswell", Proceedings of the 2017 Cray User Group, Redmond, WA, May 10, 2017,

The Cori system at NERSC has two compute partitions with different CPU architectures: a 2,004 node Haswell partition and a 9,688 node KNL partition, which ranked as the 5th most powerful and fastest supercomputer on the November 2016 Top 500 list. The compute partitions share a common storage configuration, and understanding the IO performance gap between them is important, impacting not only to NERSC/LBNL users and other national labs, but also to the relevant hardware vendors and software developers. In this paper, we have analyzed performance of single core and single node IO comprehensively on the Haswell and KNL partitions, and have discovered the major bottlenecks, which include CPU frequencies and memory copy performance. We have also extended our performance tests to multi-node IO and revealed the IO cost difference caused by network latency, buffer size, and communication cost. Overall, we have developed a strong understanding of the IO gap between Haswell and KNL nodes and the lessons learned from this exploration will guide us in designing optimal IO solutions in many-core era.

D Doerfler, B Austin, B Cook, J Deslippe, K Kandalla, P Mendygral, "Evaluating the Networking Characteristics of the Cray XC-40 Intel Knights Landing Based Cori Supercomputer at NERSC", Cray User Group (CUG) 2017, Redmond, WA, May 9, 2017,

Brian Austin, Eric Roman, Xiaoye Sherry Li, "Resilient Matrix Multiplication of Hierarchical Semi-Separable Matrices", Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Fault Tolerance for HPC at eXtreme Scale, Portland, OR, June 15, 2015,

Suren Byna, Brian Austin, "Evaluation of Parallel I/O Performance and Energy with Frequency Scaling on Cray XC30", Cray User Group Meeting, April 2015,

Brian Austin, Nicholas Wright, "Measurement and interpretation of microbenchmark and application energy use on the Cray XC30", Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Energy Efficient Supercomputing, November 2014,

Hongzhang Shan, Brian Austin, Wibe De Jong, Leonid Oliker, Nicholas Wright, Edoardo Apra, "Performance Tuning of Fock Matrix and Two-Electron Integral Calculations for NWChem on Leading HPC Platforms", SC'13, November 11, 2013,

Brian Austin, Matthew Cordery, Harvey Wasserman, Nicholas J. Wright, "Performance Measurements of the NERSC Cray Cascade System", 2013 Cray User Group Meeting, May 9, 2013,

Brian Austin, NERSC, "Characterization of the Cray Aries Network", May 6, 2013,

Hongzhang Shan, Brian Austin, Nicholas Wright, Erich Strohmaier, John Shalf, Katherine Yelick, "Accelerating Applications at Scale Using One-Sided Communication", The 6th Conference on Partitioned Global Address Programming Models, Santa Barbara, CA, October 10, 2012,

M. Reinsch, B. Austin, J. Corlett, L. Doolittle, P. Emma, G. Penn, D. Prosnitz, J. Qiang, A. Sessler, M. Venturini, J. Wurtele, "Machine Parameter Studies for and FEL Facility using STAFF", Proceedings of IPAC2012, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, May 20, 2012, 1768,

J.N. Corlett, B. Austin, K.M. Baptiste, J.M. Byrd, P. Denes, R. Donahue, L. Doolittle, R.W. Falcone, D. Filippetto, S. Fournier, D. Li, H.A. Padmore, C. Papadopoulos, C. Pappas, G. Penn, M. Placidi, S. Prestemon, D. Prosnitz, J. Qiang, A. Ratti, M. Reinsch, F. Sannibale, R. Schlueter, R.W. Schoenlein, J.W. Staples, T. Vecchione, M. Venturini, R. Wells, R. Wilcox, J. Wurtele, A. Charman, E. Kur, A.A. Zholents, "A Next Generation Light Source Facility at LBNL", PAC 11 Conference Proceedings, January 1, 2011,

Jerry Chou, Mark Howison, Brian Austin, Kesheng Wu, Ji Qiang E. Wes Bethel, Arie Shoshani, Oliver R\ ubel, Prabhat, Rob D. Ryne, "Parallel Index and Query for Large Scale Data Analysis", SC 11, Seattle, WA, USA, January 1, 2011, 30:1--30:1, doi:

B. Austin, A. Aspuru-Guzik, R. Salomon-Ferrer, Jr. W.A. Lester, "Linear-Scaling Evaluation of the Local Energy in Quantum Monte Carlo", Advances in Quantum Monte Carlo, American Chemical Society, January 1, 2006,


Brian Austin, Hardware Trends and Challenges the for Computational Chemistry, Pacifichem, December 18, 2015,

Brian Austin, Alex Druinsky, Xiaoye Sherry Li, Osni, A. Marques, Eric Roman, Incorporating Error Detection and Recovery Into Hierarchically Semi-Separable Matrix Operations, SIAM CSE 15, March 17, 2015,

Naoto Umezawa, Brian Austin, Jr William A. Lester, Effective one-body potential fitted for many-body interactions associated with a Jastrow function: application to the quantum Monte Carlo calculations, Bulletin of the American Physical Society, January 1, 2009,


K. Antypas, B.A Austin, T.L. Butler, R.A. Gerber, C.L Whitney, N.J. Wright, W. Yang, Z Zhao, "NERSC Workload Analysis on Hopper", Report, October 17, 2014, LBNL 6804E,


Alex Druinsky, Brian Austin, Xiaoye Sherry Li, Osni Marques, Eric Roman, Samuel Williams, "A Roofline Performance Analysis of an Algebraic Multigrid PDE Solver", SC14, November 2014,

Oliver Ruebel, Cameron Geddes, Min Chen, Estelle Cormier, Ji Qiang, Rob Ryne, Jean-Luc Vey, David Grote, Jerry Chou, Kesheng Wu, Mark Howison, Prabhat, Brian Austin, Arie Shoshani, E. Wes Bethel, "Scalable Data Management, Analysis and Visualization of Particle Accelerator Simulation Data", SciDAC 3 Principal Investigator Meeting, 2012,

Brian Austin, Ji Qiang, Jonathan Wurtele, Alice Koniges, "Influences of architecture and threading on the MPI communication strategies in an accelerator simulation code.", SciDAC 2011, Denver, CO, 2011,

Matthias Reinsch, Brian Austin, John Corlett, Lawrence Doolittle, Gregory Penn, Donald Prosnitz, Ji Qiang, Andrew Sessler, Marco Menturini, Jonathan Wurtele, "System Trade Analysis for an FEL Facility", Free Electron Laser Conference FEL 2011, Shanghai, China, January 1, 2011,

William A. Lester Brian Austin, "Fixed-Node Correlation Function Diffusion Monte Carlo: an approach to Fermi excited states", Bulletin of the American Physical Society, January 1, 2010,