Penporn Koanantakool


penporn at google dot com

I have graduated. I am now a software engineer at Google Brain, working on optimizing TensorFlow's performance.

My research areas are High Performance Computing and Parallel Computing. I completed my Ph.D. in Computer Science at UC Berkeley, advised by Professor Kathy Yelick. My dissertation focused on avoiding communication in parallel, distributed N-body algorithms and matrix computations on supercomputers to achieve highly-scalable and energy-efficient implementations. Prior to my Ph.D., I enjoyed optimizing scientific applications on hardware accelerators such as GPU and Cell Broadband Engine.

During my time at Berkeley, I was part of the Berkeley Benchmarking and Optimization Group (BeBOP). I was also affiliated with the Dynamic Exascale Global Address Space Programming Environments (DEGAS) project at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

I was a Fulbrighter from Thailand. My first name is pronounced 'pen-pon' instead of 'pen-porn'.

Most recent projects


  • University of California, Berkeley
    Ph.D. in Computer Science, 2017
    Advisor: Prof. Katherine Yelick
    Dissertation: Communication Avoidance for Algorithms with Sparse All-to-all Interactions
  • Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand
    B.Eng. in Computer Engineering, 1st-class honor, 2010
    Advisor: Assoc. Prof. Putchong Uthayopas
    Thesis: PlayCloud: A Middleware System for PlayStation Grid

Graduate Courses

Semester Course Number Course Title Instructor
Fall 2011 CS262A Advanced Topics in Computer Systems Prof. Eric Brewer
CS294 Reordering Transformations for Parallel Architectures Dr. Randy Allen
Spring 2012 CS267 Applications of Parallel Computers Prof. James Demmel
CS270 Combinatorial Algorithms and Data Structures Prof. Satish Rao and Prof. Umesh Vazirani
Fall 2012 CS281A/Stat241A Statistical Learning Theory Prof. Martin Wainwright
Spring 2013 CS294 Distributed Computing Prof. Ali Ghodsi
Fall 2013 Math221 Advanced Matrix Computations Prof. John Strain
CS294 Modern Parallel Languages Prof. Katherine Yelick
Fall 2014 EE375 Teaching Techniques for Electrical Engineering Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu and Prof. Vivek Subramanian
Fall 2015 Math228A Numerical Solutions of Differential Equations Prof. Lin Lin
Spring 2016 CS294 Communication-Avoiding Algorithms Prof. James Demmel and Prof. Laura Grigori


  • Mesh-TensorFlow: Deep learning for supercomputers [Paper] [Supplemental] [arXiv] [BibTeX]
    Noam Shazeer, Youlong Cheng, Niki Parmar, Dustin Tran, Ashish Vaswani,
    Penporn Koanantakool, Peter Hawkins, HyoukJoong Lee, Mingsheng Hong, Cliff Young, Ryan Sepassi, and Blake Hechtman;
    32nd Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2018), Montréal, Canada, December 2018.
    Also arXiv e-print, November 2018.
  • Communication-Avoiding Optimization Methods for
    Distributed Massive-Scale Sparse Inverse Covariance Matrix Estimation
    [Paper] [arXiv] [BibTeX]
    Penporn Koanantakool, Alnur Ali, Ariful Azad, Aydın Buluç, Dmitriy Morozov, Leonid Oliker, Katherine Yelick, and Sang-Yun Oh;
    21st International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS 2018), Lanzarote, Spain, April 2018.
    Also arXiv e-print, October 2017.
  • Communication Avoidance for Algorithms with Sparse All-to-all Interactions [PDF] [BibTeX]
    Penporn Koanantakool
    Ph.D. Dissertation, UC Berkeley, December 2017.
  • Communication-Avoiding Parallel Sparse-Dense Matrix-Matrix Multiplication [Paper] [Slides] [BibTeX] [Webpage] [Code]
    Penporn Koanantakool, Ariful Azad, Aydın Buluç, Dmitriy Morozov, Sang-Yun Oh, Leonid Oliker, and Katherine Yelick;
    30th IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS 2016), Chicago, IL, USA, May 2016.
  • Write-Avoiding Algorithms [Paper] [TechReport] [BibTeX]
    Erin Carson, James Demmel, Laura Grigori, Nick Knight, Penporn Koanantakool, Oded Schwartz and Harsha Vardhan Simhadri;
    30th IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS 2016), Chicago, IL, USA, May 2016.
    Also UCB Technical Report: UCB/EECS-2015-163, June 2015
  • A Computation- And Communication-Optimal Parallel Direct 3-Body Algorithm [Paper] [Slides] [BibTeX]
    Penporn Koanantakool and Katherine Yelick;
    26th ACM/IEEE Supercomputing Conference (SC 2014), New Orleans, LA, USA, November 2014.
  • Scalable Multimedia Content Analysis on Parallel Platforms [Journal] [BibTeX]
    Ekaterina Gonina, Gerald Friedland, Eric Battenberg, Penporn Koanantakool, Michael Driscoll, Evangelos Georganas, Kurt Keutzer;
    ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications (TOMCCAP) 2013.
  • A Communication-Optimal N-Body Algorithm for Direct Interactions [Paper] [Slides] [Poster] [BibTeX]
    Michael Driscoll, Evangelos Georganas, Penporn Koanantakool, Edgar Solomonik, and Katherine Yelick;
    27th IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS 2013), Boston, MA, USA, May 2013.
    (First 3 authors contributed equally)
  • PlayCloud: A Middleware System for PlayStation Grid
    Penporn Koanantakool
    Bachelor's Thesis, Kasetsart University, 2010.
  • Implementation Issues in Developing a Fluid Flow Solver on Cell Architecture
    Penporn Koanantakool, Supakit Prueksaaroon, and Sornthep Vannarat;
    NECTEC-Annual Conference and Exhibition 2009 (NECTEC-ACE'09), Pathumthani, Thailand, September 2009.

Teaching Experience


Webpage designed by myself.
Last updated: 01/28/18