NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

Gerber Tapped to Oversee NERSC’s High Performance Computing Department

January 17, 2017


Richard Gerber

Richard Gerber has been named head of NERSC’s High-Performance Computing (HPC) Department, formed in early 2016 to help the center’s 6,000 users take full advantage of new supercomputing architectures – those already here and those on the horizon – and guide and support them during the ongoing transition to exascale.

For the past year, Gerber served as acting head of the department, which comprises four groups: Advanced Technologies, Application Performance, Computational Systems and User Engagement.

“This is an exciting time because the whole HPC landscape is changing with manycore, which is a big change for our users,” said Gerber, who joined NERSC’s User Services Group in 1996 as a postdoc, having earned his PhD in physics from the University of Illinois. “Users are facing a big challenge; they have to be able to exploit the architectural features on Cori (NERSC’s newest supercomputing system), and the HPC Department plays a critical role in helping them do this.”

The HPC Department is also responsible for standing up and supporting world-class systems in a production computing environment and looking to the future. “We work with complex, first-of-a-kind systems that present unique challenges,” Gerber said. “Our staff is constantly providing innovative solutions that make systems more capable and productive for our users. Looking forward, we are evaluating emerging technologies and gathering scientific needs to influence future HPC directions that will best support the science community.”

In addition, NERSC is working to acquire its next large system, NERSC-9, and prepare users to make effective use of it and exascale architectures in general, Gerber noted.

“The challenge really is getting the community to exascale, and there are many aspects to that, including helping users explore different programming models,” he said. “Beyond that we are starting to think about how to prepare for a post-Moore’s Law world when it arrives. We want to help move the community toward exascale and make sure they are ready.”

About NERSC and Berkeley Lab
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility that serves as the primary high-performance computing center for scientific research sponsored by the Office of Science. Located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the NERSC Center serves more than 6,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities researching a wide range of problems in combustion, climate modeling, fusion energy, materials science, physics, chemistry, computational biology, and other disciplines. Berkeley Lab is a DOE national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the U.S. DOE Office of Science. »Learn more about computing sciences at Berkeley Lab.