The System Science and Engineering (SSE) Focus Area addresses the challenges and opportunities for advancing computer system concepts and design. SSE explores the domain of the classical computer system enabled by underlying electronic technologies and driven by application requirements. As Moore’s Law continues towards nano-scale technology, revolutionary computer system hardware and software will be developed to deliver Exaflops and Petagrops performance beyond the end of the next decade. New classes of applications such as sparse multidiscipline STEM problems and knowledge management  for informatics problems will force performance demands to embrace dynamic directed graph processing as well as more conventional numeric computations. Research and development projects at SSE will investigate many factors that will contribute to the cross-cutting goals of:

•    performance,
•    efficiency,
•    scalability,
•    programmability,
•    power consumption,
•    reliability, and
•    machine intelligence.

One way of characterizing the intellectual scope of investigation researchers in the SSE is to imagine all of the issues that relate to the operational properties of a computer system contained within the enclosing walls of a large room. Such a system connects to a source of power, a fluid channel for heat extraction (cooling), and a high bandwidth channel(s) to the Internet and other I/O devices. Everything within that room, whether hardware or software, conceptual or implementation is compliant with the SSE research agenda. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Computer core and system architecture
  • High performance computer systems and parallel scalability
  • Parallel operating systems
  • Parallel execution models
  • Parallel programming models
  • Compiler strategies and technologies
  • Runtime systems for user domains
  • Digital electronic technologies and design
  • Performance models, monitoring, measurement techniques, and optimization
  • System area networks and protocols
  • High speed networks and optical network technology
  • Secondary storage
  • User interfaces
  • Graph processing for numeric and symbolic processing models, methods, and mechanisms

The SSE engages the leadership, expertise, and intellectual objectives of LSU faculty, research scientists, and graduate and undergraduate students from a number of departments and colleges at LSU in collaboration with their colleagues across the nation and internationally.  SSE manages a number of resources including a laboratory for hardware system development and experimentation and multiprocessor testbeds for research and education. The SSE also supports LSU forums and community-wide initiatives. Projects conducted by the SSE are supported by agencies, national labs and centers, and industry as well as by LSU including: NSF, DoD, DARPA, NASA, DOE, Sandia National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Microsoft.