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Chapel: Parallel Programmability from Desktops to Supercomputers

Speaker:  Brad Chamberlain, Cray Inc

Abstract: Chapel is an emerging programming language whose design and development is being led by Cray Inc. with collaboration from academia, government, and industry. Chapel grew out of the DARPA-led High Productivity Computing Systems program (HPCS), with the goal of significantly improving programmer productivity on HPC systems.


Chapel's central philosophy is to support a multiresolution feature set in which both higher- and lower-level features are supported, permitting users to select between greater abstraction vs. control as required within a given context. Moreover, Chapel's highest-level features can be defined within the language itself by an end-user, providing a means for defining new parallel loop schedules or data distributions. Chapel is also designed for generality and portability -- in short, its overarching goal is to support any parallel algorithm on any parallel hardware.


In this talk, I will provide an overview of Chapel, from context and motivating themes to a high-level walkthrough of its primary features. I'll also mention collaborative efforts and areas for future work.

About the speaker: Bradford Chamberlain is a Principal Engineer at Cray Inc. where he works on parallel programming models, focusing primarily on the design and implementation of the Chapel language in his role as technical lead for that project.


Chamberlain is visiting BLDL Wednesday-Friday April 10-12. He will give a tutorial on Chapel Wednesday and a follow-up presentation Friday. For more information on the visit and registration for the tutorial or workshop see



NB: Refreshments will be served in the lobby before the seminar.