Kothe new Associate Laboratory Director for Computing and Computational Sciences

Doug Kothe has been named Associate Laboratory Director for the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory Computing and Computational Science Branch, effective June 6.

Jeff Nichols, the current associate lab director for computer science and computational science, is set to retire July 1 after 13 years in the role, according to a news release.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege. I can’t think of a better job to have and a better place to have it,” Kothe said. “I am truly thrilled to be joining the best IT organization in the world, and CCSD is the best thanks to Jeff Nichols who has had an incredible journey leading management with vision, passion and commitment to being the best. And he certainly delivered. Jeff is an effective friend, mentor and role model with a positive attitude. »

Kothe has held his current position as Exascale Computing Project Manager since 2017 and has over 37 years of experience working in DOE National Laboratories. He joined ORNL in 2006 as Scientific Director of the National Center for Computational Sciences at CCSD. From 2010 to 2015, Kothe led the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors, DOE’s first Energy Innovation Hub.

Prior to joining ORNL, Kothe spent 20 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MS and PhD in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University.

The Computing and Computational Science Branch houses the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, a DOE Office of Science user facility that houses Frontier, the world’s fastest supercomputer and first exascale computer. Frontier is capable of calculating more than a quintillion floating point operations per second, or flops, which is a measure of the number of calculations a computer can perform in one second, according to a press release.

A priority for Kothe is to expand and improve the use of high performance computing and computer science at ORNL in key DOE mission areas such as clean power generation, energy security, biology and biosafety, national security, isotope production, manufacturing and earth systems. , to name a few. CCSD’s people, tools and technologies are critical to ORNL’s success. A close and codependent collaboration with all the other mission directions of ORNL is therefore essential.

“In computer science and engineering, there are also many opportunities to augment and accelerate our current application workflows by more tightly integrating data-driven models informed by various AI and machine learning approaches. “, Kothe said.

The management also actively engages in research and development in data science, applied mathematics, artificial intelligence and quantum information science. ORNL directs the Quantum Science Center, a national DOE quantum information science research center that conducts cutting-edge research to overcome key barriers to the development of quantum technologies.

Kothe hopes to increase collaborations between ORNL computing resources and other user facilities, such as the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, Spallation Neutron Source, High Isotope Flux Reactor, and Science Center. nanophase materials, as well as developing research on microelectronics.

Microelectronics, like computer chips and microprocessors, can be designed with specific computing and data science functions in mind. Amid nationwide demand for new microelectronics, Kothe hopes to see CCSD lead the design and development of devices designed to optimize certain arithmetic operations, such as chips specifically designed for use on trained neural networks.

“We have the skills, the people, and the leadership here at the lab to lead a major microelectronics initiative,” Kothe said.

Amid the celebration of Frontier’s debut as the world’s fastest on the Top500 list, Kothe is already thinking about the next generation of class-leading supercomputers.

“It’s typical supercomputing — you don’t let the grass grow under your feet. You have to keep moving,” he said. – Alexandra DeMarco

About Mariel Baker

Check Also

How they could drastically increase energy efficiency

Traditionally, “quantum supremacy” is sought from the point of view of raw computing power: we …