The new seminar, open to ORNL staff members and beyond, includes topics such as technologies, science outcomes, and vendor tools

The Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility’s (OLCF’s) Advanced Technologies Section (ATS) is hosting a series of seminars on topics relevant to its section groups and beyond. On the second and fourth Mondays of each month, speakers from various research disciplines across the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and from organizations outside the laboratory are presenting on the latest technologies, tools, and science outcomes to help ATS fulfill its mission.

“We are focused on speakers and topics that will aid us in our day-to-day projects,” said Valentine Anantharaj, a computational scientist in the OLCF’s Data Lifecycle & Scalable Workflows Group (DLSW) and member of the seminar organizing committee. “We want people who can speak to our technology missions, the tools employed by our vendors, and the science being performed by our system users.”

The organizing committee, which consists of members from ATS, has identified target themes, topics, and speakers after receiving feedback from each of the groups within ATS, including members of Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Methods at Scale, DLSW, and Technology Integration (TechInt). The committee aims to recruit speakers from different backgrounds at regular intervals. For instance, the series features talks related to the broader mission of the National Center for Computational Sciences presented by thought leaders from various domains every 5–6 weeks. It also features talks by vendors who own specific technologies or tools that show promise for system users.

“We knew that we needed to bring in future technology and that we needed people to talk with us, whether that be vendors, academics, thought leaders, or principal investigators,” Anantharaj said.

As part of the ATS series, Illinois Institute of Technology Assistant Professor Anthony Kougkas, right, presented a seminar titled “How to Leverage Multi-Tiered Storage to Accelerate I/O” on July 12, 2021. Image Credit: Illinois Tech

The seminars have been well attended by members of various divisions across the laboratory. Initially, the team developed the idea of hosting talks that addressed ATS, but the audience quickly grew as talks with broader audiences and scope were added to the calendar.

The group has hosted six talks so far, which have covered topics such as leveraging multitiered storage to accelerate I/O, machine learning for COVID-19 variant predictions, and NVIDIA’s RAPIDS environment for interacting with data science and data-driven science.

The team has scheduled 12 speakers for the next 6 months, and they plan to continue the series into 2022, with 10 speakers already shortlisted.

“This will likely be tweaked over the coming months, and we may change the frequency, depending on staff interest and the outcomes of these talks,” said Anjus George, a high-performance computing systems software engineer in TechInt.

The ATS Seminar Series is described on its website as follows:

The Advanced Technologies Section (ATS) of the National Center for Computational Sciences at ORNL is a world leader in developing and deploying scientific and technical solutions for leadership-class computing environments. The R&D activities of ATS are organized around designing and deploying leadership class systems, developing artificial intelligence solutions for science and smart facilities of the future, and stewardship of data and workflows at scale to enable science. The ATS Seminar Series is a forum for learning from experts and engaging with collaborators to advance their scientific mission.

To view upcoming seminars, please visit

The organizing committee consists of Anantharaj, George, Arjun Shankar, Benjamín Hernandez, Bing Xie, Heather Aczel, and Katie Bethea.

UT-Battelle LLC manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory for DOE’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit