[Beowulf] Is this the J. Dongarra of Beowulf fame?

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Dec 24 18:59:53 PST 2008

On Wed, 24 Dec 2008, Kyle Spaans wrote:

> Take that as you will, but for me it only means that Prof. Dongarra is only
> tengentially related to beowulf through NETLIB FORTRAN code. And thusly, probably is
> not a ``mad scientist'' of beowful fame.   ;-)

Dongarra was one of the primary people involved in the original
development of PVM, which was the original cross-platform
parallel/network programming support package.  MPI had very different
roots and was not originally designed to support network-based parallel

So in a sense, Dongarra was one of the real inventors of the commodity
cluster.  Post PVM, it was EASY to take existing workstations on a
TCP/IP network and write parallel code, and the beowulf design was
nearly inevitable as soon as Linux matured to where it could support it.

Dongarra is also one of the people who intiated the ATLAS project,
a linear algebra package that can yield as much as a factor of 2-3
performance edge over non-tuned linear algebra packages.  For people
with LA-intensive code, that's like doubling or trippling the size of
their clusters.

A bit of a mad scientist, sure.  Or at least, a Very Smart Guy.


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Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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