2018 Winner Dhairya Malhotra

Dr. Dhairya Malhotra, graduate of UT Austin

Recognized for his dissertation "Fast Integral Equation Solver for Variable Coefficient Elliptic PDEs in Complex Geometries"

ACM's Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing (SIGHPC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Dhairya Malhotra has won the first SIGHPC Doctoral Dissertation Award. This award is given each year for the best doctoral dissertation completed in high performance computing (HPC) in the previous year, and includes a $2,000 cash prize, a plaque, and recognition at the International Supercomputing Conference (SC’XY) in November. Nominations were evaluated on technical depth, the significance of the research contribution, the potential impact on theory and practice, and overall quality of work.

Dr. Malhotra’s dissertation, entitled “Fast integral equation solver for variable coefficient elliptic PDEs in complex geometries,” presents a parallel software framework applicable to a wide range of problems in fluid mechanics and electrostatics, offering up to an order of magnitude speed-up over the state of the art for solving complex fluid problems. In his research, Dr. Malhotra worked on all aspects of developing high quality mathematical software: novel mathematical formulations, convergence analysis, algorithm design, performance analysis, single-core and node optimization, correctness, robustness, and software dissemination for truly challenging problems.

 “We are excited to grant the first Dissertation Award to Dhairya. His work exemplifies the kind of HPC research that SIGHPC supports, and helps to raise the standards of the profession,” said Dr. Jeffrey Hollingsworth, SIGHPC Chair. “It’s encouraging that the submissions for this first award were of such a high caliber. It would be great to be inundated with quality submissions in the future.” 

Dr. Malhotra received his PhD in Computational Science Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. He is also a past recipient of the ACM-IEEE George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowship, honoring exceptional PhD students throughout the world whose research focus areas are in high performance computing, networking, storage, and large-scale data analysis.

“I am grateful to SIGHPC for the recognition of my efforts,” said Dr. Malhotra. “The technologies and the software tools that I have developed with my advisor Dr. Biros, like our parallel fast multipole method library, are being used by other researchers and will continue to be a great resource for many computational scientists.”

Dr. Bilge Acun, graduate of UIUC

Recognized for her dissertation “Mitigating Variability in HPC Systems and Application for Performance and Power Efficiency"

Honorable Mention

The committee also recognized the accomplishments of Honorable Mention Bilge Acun for her dissertation, “Mitigating Variability in HPC Systems and Application for Performance and Power Efficiency." Acun, who graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, now works at IBM's TJ Watson Research Center.

Supercomputers consume tens of megawatts of power leading to millions of dollars in energy bills, significant power strains on energy grid systems, and environmental impact on natural resources. Therefore, in parallel computing metrics beyond execution time are becoming increasingly important, including energy, power and temperature. Building upon the previous work of her coworkers, Acun envisions a framework for future HPC data centers, including a smart resource manager for the whole machine, and an adaptive runtime for each parallel job, which cooperate to optimize these metrics by controlling power, frequency, fan speeds, and load balancing.