Together We’ll Be “More Than HPC” at SC20 in Atlanta

SC20 General Chair Christine Cuicci
SC20 General Chair Christine E. Cuicchi

SC20 marks the first time that SC will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, a vibrant city that – home to the busiest airport in the world – will be an easily reached destination for many of our national and international attendees and exhibitors.

Like you, I am passionate about all aspects of HPC: the operation of supercomputers themselves, the education of students and future leaders about the opportunities available to them in the field of HPC, and the transformation of algorithms, mathematics, programs, and computational power into once-impossible scientific discoveries.

By bringing that passion to my role as SC20 General Chair, my goal is to ensure that SC focuses on the entire world of HPC: applications, systems, storage, networks, and the people who bring it all to life.

As a community we broaden the impact of HPC by increasingly collaborating with researchers, scientists, and influencers who have a major impact on our industry, but who are not operating directly in the HPC sphere. Together, we’re more than HPC.

SC20 Focus

SC attendees interpret the annual conference tagline each year according to their own experiences in the world. Here’s what “More Than HPC” means to me, as we continue to prepare for next year’s conference.

“More Than HPC” is meant to evoke our view of the expanding impact of HPC on our daily lives, and the increasing degree to which scientific advances are the result of deep partnerships between HPC providers and science teams. From targeting disease mechanisms leading to more effective treatment, to creating the neural networks for driverless cars, to refining the vehicles that will take the general public into space, our impact is growing daily.

It’s “More Than HPC” when we use machine learning and data analytics to improve the forecasting and tracking of natural disasters, bringing together previously unrelated disciplines to help keep natural disasters from becoming humanitarian catastrophes.

It’s “More Than HPC” when we target disease mechanisms for more effective treatment by blending molecular dynamics, the latest advances in microbiology, and new approaches to scientific software.

When we apply artificial intelligence to address socially relevant issues like poverty and homelessness, and learn how to grow more crops in a smaller space with less resources, we’re employing “More Than HPC” to find those answers.

The Details

HPC Immersion

I’m especially excited about the tremendous potential of our new HPC Immersion program. Designed to create a pathway to conference engagement and HPC community involvement for undergraduate students traditionally underrepresented in HPC and HPC-related fields, the program will specifically target students majoring in electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science.

Participants will be fully involved in the existing Students@SC program, and will be guided by experienced HPC leaders and mentors through technical program sessions, including post-session discussions to further illuminate the session topics and how the participants can become involved in those specialties.

State of the Practice

SC20 also features a renewed focus on the state of the practice. Those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to design, install, house, secure, network, and operate supercomputers and the supporting infrastructure have a wealth of knowledge to share, but few opportunities to reach fellow practitioners directly and relate their experiences.

To bridge that gap, SC20 will feature three full days of dedicated State of the Practice Talks as a venue to deliver practical, up-to-the-minute improvements in all areas of interest to SC attendees. Presentations will cover best practices across a broad range of topics at the forefront of HPC including system management, networking, education, and data management.

HPC in the City

We are also launching HPC in the City, an initiative to engage leaders, decision-makers, educators, and students in the greater Atlanta area to work together and combine our collective talents to address problems that are both relevant to the local community and suitable for HPC. One notable such issue is environmental justice, which aims to address complex issues such as adequate access to healthy food, clean air and water, transportation, and safe living areas.

HPC in the City will also tackle health disparities to provide potential solutions to eliminate preventable differences in the burdens of disease, injury, violence, and access to care, offering all people the ability to achieve optimal health. We hope this collaborative experience will engage all voices to bring the power of HPC to make a lasting impact in these issues.

Technical Program & More

And as always, SC20 will feature an extensive Technical Program featuring those who know HPC best – you. Add to that a dynamic Students@SC program and Exhibits featuring the freshest technologies and capabilities developed all over the world, and you’ll find just about everything you need to enhance your HPC involvement.

Spread the Word

In his SC15 keynote address in Austin, Alan Alda – author and six-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner – asked us to try harder to communicate our scientific discoveries clearly with the public. Our community thrives when we bring people together and share what we’re learning, and when we work together to change the world.

I encourage you to watch for exciting developments about the conference throughout the year as we prepare to help you get the best out of Atlanta, SC20, and everything about HPC. Get involved – sign up to receive the SC20 newsletter and read articles in the blog, consider submitting a paper, speaking, or volunteering. It will be a rewarding experience no matter how you choose to engage.

Bring your passion and energy for HPC to Atlanta, where together we can be more than HPC.

Christine E. Cuicchi, SC20 General Chair

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