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HPC and AI: Helping to Solve Humanity’s Grand Challenges

From solving the global food security crisis, to preventing epidemics and understanding the impact of environmental health on our urban centers; high performance computing is revolutionizing how we address and manage global crises.

Simulation and modeling along with AI are being applied to some of our most challenging global threats and humanitarian crises. The SC18 plenary session will explore the capacity of HPC to help mitigate human suffering and advance our capacity to protect the most vulnerable, identify methods to produce enough food globally and ensure the safety of our planet and natural resources.

We encourage all HPC experts to join the discussion and be inspired to apply their expertise to these real world grand challenges:

  • Over the next two generations, we face an enormous human security challenge. We must adapt to rapid economic and climate change by creating a food system that provides adequate and appropriate nutrition for 9 billion people in a way that does not compromise the environment.
  • Infectious disease poses an ongoing threat to human populations, exacerbated by migration, urbanization and globalization dynamics. Many of the world’s epidemic diseases are known to be sensitive to climate. It is critical we have the ability to build accurate disease forecasting models for prevention.
  • Urbanization and population growth dynamics pose significant challenges to human health and safety. Analytical models of the interrelationship between transportation, air quality and other environmental conditions enable us to better understand risk but more importantly advance policies to mitigate impacts on the most vulnerable populations.

For extended bios see this post on the SC Blog.


Debra Goldfarb

Intel Fellow and Chief Analyst for Intel’s Data Center Group

Moderating the panel is Debra Goldfarb, who has spent most of her thirty-five year career in HPC driving science and technology policy initiatives in the U.S. and abroad, highlighting the impact and importance of HPC as a fundamental economic and innovation driver for a variety of high-profile companies. She is currently an Intel Fellow and Chief Analyst for Intel’s Data Center Group. Goldfarb has also held senior positions at IBM, Microsoft, and IDC. She is actively involved in STEM policy initiatives, mentoring and diversity programs and working with global organizations to advance economic development through access and use of leading-edge technologies.


Dr. Evan Fraser

Director of Arrell Food Institute and Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security

Dr. Evan Fraser leads a $100M program geared at developing the tools to promote the “digital agricultural revolution.” This involves work not only with technologists, but also policy makers, economists, politicians and private industry.

Robert S. Hart, Ph.D.

Vice President of Global Good and General Manager of the Institute for Disease Modeling at Intellectual Ventures (IDM)

IDM’s mission is to guide global efforts towards the eradication and control of infectious disease through the use and promotion of quantitative analysis. IDM has grown from a small project focused on malaria eradication to an independent center shaping strategies and building innovative tools to accelerate the eradication of infectious disease by the global health community.

Dr. Marguerite Nyhan

Research Scientist at United Nations Global Pulse

Dr. Nyhan’s work is focused on data science for humanitarian and sustainable development efforts, particularly in the area of environmental health.

HPC Inspires Plenary Schedule

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Monday, November 12th expand all · collapse all
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