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The aim of this CIMI semester is to take advantage of the opportunity of an international conference in the field of high performance computing and linear algebra, that is organized about every ten years in St Girons (previous dates were July 1994 and June 2003), by organizing a series of satellite events, workshops, and visits that will benefit both applied mathematics and computer science research activities.
Solving sparse linear systems is often the most time-consuming computation in many large-scale computer simulations in science and engineering, such as computational fluid dynamics, structural analysis, and design of new materials in nanoscience. In recent years this has extended further to such diverse areas as life sciences and finance. If the solution of linear systems of order of a few million was a challenging task ten years ago, a linear system can today have more than a billion variables for the problems arising in many of the previously mentioned applications.
At the same time, the power and efficiency of computing systems have been growing very rapidly largely because of the introduction of new processor technologies such as multicore and accelerators such as GPUs. As a result, modern computers are characterized by complex architectures with deep memory hierarchies, extremely high degrees of parallelism and a heterogeneous mixture of computing devices.
Research in sparse linear algebra is thus naturally at the intersection between many fields of research such as numerical linear algebra, combinatorial science for large graph processing, and parallel computing. This diversity has been the main motivation for organizing, around the abovementioned international event, four satellite activities that will involve numerical issues, parallelism and combinatorial science.