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Michela Taufer speaking at conference

Taufer Establishes Open-Access Program for International High-Performance Computing Event

Dongarra Professor Michela Taufer recently chaired one of the largest high-performance computing (HPC) events of the year.

More than 3,000 attendees and 160 industry exhibitors from around the world flocked to Hamburg, Germany, from May 12 to 16 for the 2024 ISC-HPC, formerly known as the International Supercomputing Conference.

Many sessions focused on expanding the reach, impact, and diversity of the HPC community, such as the panels on recent HPC advancements in Asia (led by experts from China, Singapore, and the US) and in Latin and South America (led by experts from Brazil and Chile).

Further panels led by women from Europe, South America, Japan, and the US—including Taufer—highlighted contributions from women in data science.

“These sessions foster a globally representative HPC community, underscoring the importance of diverse perspectives in driving innovation,” Taufer said. “Welcoming people from various backgrounds encourages innovation and lets us create versatile solutions to a broader range of problems.”

However, Taufer’s proudest achievement as chair of the ISC-HPC was making every paper accepted into the conference available for free online through the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Xplore Digital Library.

“We are the first HPC conference to make the technical paper program open access for anyone in the world,” Taufer said. “This is a significant step within our field.”

Inclusivity Fosters Technological Advancement

Usually, the results of research papers presented at technical conferences are restricted to people who can attend the presentations in person or have access to digital libraries through work, school, or personal subscriptions. A “basic” personal subscription to the IEEE Xplore library costs $20 per month.

In addition to financial costs, new HPC knowledge can also be restricted by the limited availability of advanced computing facilities and a lack of expertise necessary to effectively utilize HPC technologies.

Those barriers can significantly hinder HPC research and implementation at small organizations and in regions that have been historically underrepresented in computer science.

“Making the papers open access democratizes access to HPC’s latest research and technological advancements,” Taufer said. “It encourages a more inclusive scientific community, fostering innovation and collaboration across geographic and economic divides.”

Breaking Down Barriers in HPC

Thanks to Taufer’s intervention, the new applications for data science presented at ISC-HPC—like personalizing medical care, simulating and controlling fusion reactors, determining species richness in different ecosystems, and creating high-resolution simulations of the global climate—are available to anyone with internet access.

“Breaking down access barriers is vital for accelerating scientific discovery and technological innovation,” said Taufer. “This benefits not only the field of HPC, but every sector that relies on computational technologies.”

Taufer has a long history of bringing HPC experts together and helping them exchange ideas. In 2019, she chaired the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis (SC19).

She has also been involved in ISC leadership for many years, working to ensure that the conference reflects the current and future needs of the global HPC community.

“Leading these events has heightened my awareness of the importance of inclusivity in all aspects of my work, from academic research to teaching and community outreach,” Taufer said. “I am committed to advancing HPC as a scientific field and a tool for broader societal benefits, helping the community connect, collaborate, and innovate while becoming more inclusive.”


Izzie Gall (865-974-7203,