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How's the Parallel Computing Revolution Going?

Kathryn McKinleyProfessorUniversity of Texas, Austin

Two trends changed the computing landscape over the past decade: (1) hardware vendors started delivering chip multiprocessors (CMPs) instead of uniprocessors, and (2) software developers increasingly chose managed languages instead of native languages. Unfortunately, the change to CMPs has disrupted the virtuous-cycle between portable performance improvements and software innovation. This talk first examines current progress towards power efficient scalable systems using performance and on-chip power measurements on diverse benchmarks executed on 130nm to 32nm processor technologies. We are not there yet. Establishing a virtuous cycle for the 21st century will require a combination of new programming models and algorithms with data and computational efficiencies that have not been required in decades. Since the Virtual Machines (VM) executes, schedules, monitors, compiles, optimizes, and garbage collects together with managed applications, the VM must be central to providing such efficiencies. This talk describes our mark-region Immix garbage collector that achieves space and time efficient garbage collection. The parallel computing revolution urgently needs many such innovations to create a new ecosystem.
Professor McKinley holds an Endowed Professorship in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her Ph.D. from Rice University working with Ken Kennedy. Her research interests include compilers, memory management, runtime systems, programming languages, security, reliability, and architecture. She and her collaborators have produced tools based on their research that are in wide research and industrial use: the DaCapo Java Benchmarks,
TRIPS Compiler, Hoard memory manager, MMTk garbage collector toolkit, and the Immix mark-region garbage collector. McKinley has graduated fourteen PhD students and is currently supervising four. Her service includes program chair for ASPLOS ཀ, PACT ཁ, and PLDI གྷ co-Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Programming Language Systems (TOPLAS) (2007-2010); and CRA-W board member (2009-present). McKinley received an NSF CAREER award, IBM Faculty awards, outreach awards, and best paper awards. She is an IEEE Fellow and an ACM Fellow.

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