US space agency NASA is calling on developers to help it improve the performance of its 30-year-old Fortran code - and offering $15,000 bounty as an incentive. However, the offer is only open to US-based developers.
NASA's newly-launched High-Performance Fast Computing Challenge (HPFCC) is looking for the developers to try to make its FUND3D design software, which is written in Modern Fortran, 10 to 10,000 times faster on its Pleiades supercomputer without any decrease in accuracy.
NASA hopes that the HPFCC, touted as "the ultimate 'geek' dream assignment", will help to speed-up and streamline the process that it uses to build computational fluid dynamics models and analyse potential aircraft designs before testing.
"Examples of modifications would be simplifying a single subroutine so that it runs a few milliseconds faster," NASA explained. "If this subroutine is called millions of times, this one change could dramatically speed-up the entire programme's runtime."
It is offering $15,000 and $10,000 prizes to the top two contributors, and is also offering another bounty for more general optimisation suggestions.
"This challenge is specifically targeted to speed-up the CFD portion of our aerospace research," said Michael Hetle, TACP program executive.
"Some concepts are just so complex, it's difficult for even the fastest supercomputers to analyse these models in real time. Achieving a speed-up in this software by orders of magnitude hones the edge we need to advance our technology to the next level!"
If you're a developer based in the US and aged 18 or over, you can give the challenge a crack over at https://herox.com/HPFCC.
Submissions must be received by 5pm EDT on 29 June, and winners will be announced August 9.
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