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Major conference programme at SC08

There are plenty of highlights in the comprehensive conference programme at SC08 in Austin, including keynote speaker Michael Dell, chairman of the board of directors and CEO at Dell. Dell kicks of the Technical Program opening session at 8.30am on Tuesday 18 November.

Additional speakers include: Kenneth H. Buetow, NCI associate director, bioinformatics and information technology, director, NCI Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (NCICBIIT), and chief, Laboratory of Population Genetics, National Cancer Institute; David Patterson, University of California Berkeley & Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pardee Professor of Computer Science, and director, UC Berkeley Parallel Computing Laboratory; Jeffrey Wadsworth, Battelle Memorial Institute; and Mary Wheeler, University of Texas at Austin.

Anniversary celebrations

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the SC event, and this will be commemorated with a lobby 'museum', featuring more than 100 artefacts and memorabilia from two decades of high performance computing. The exhibit will feature items loaned by private collectors, national laboratories, academic institutions, vendors and national museums. Also featured in the booth will be clips, including images and archive video from the past 20 years.

The exhibit also includes an oral history component, a 'story booth' for capturing attendee observations about the development and impact of both the conference and high performance computing and related technologies over the years.

Completing the anniversary celebrations will be a very special panel discussion on Friday 21 November, featuring six past chairs, who will examine the 20 years of SC, discuss its impact on our community then speculate about potential influences over the next 20 years. 

Technology Thrusts 

In an effort to broaden the scope of the SC programme, two Technology Thrusts - in Energy and Biomedical Informatics - have been added for SC08. The Energy Thrust will focus both on the use of high performance computing in renewable energy and energy efficiency research as well as the challenge of best practices and technology trends aimed at energy efficient data centers. The Biomedical Informatics Thrust will focus on the use of grid and high performance computing technologies to support translational biomedical research, computational biology, large-scale image analysis, personalised medicine and systems biology. 

Music via parallel computing

As part of the Music Initiative, Vizzytunes will become the first international collection of scientific compositions and visualisations with algorithmically-connected sound and music that aims to enrich the viewers understanding of the science both visually and aurally. ViSCiTunes (said as 'Vizzytunes') attendees submit into a library that attendees and viewers can browse and enjoy over SCinet at any time during the conference.

Disruptive Technologies Showcase

Ever wonder what computing technologies will change the world 10 or 20 years from now? The SC08 Disruptive Technologies Showcase will offer a peek at innovations that could revolutionise the computing landscape over the next two decades. This year, Disruptive Technologies focuses on: quantum computing, flash storage, cheap optical communications, and 3D chip stacking for 2015-2020. Disruptive Technologies will showcase these technologies in a panel session and in a competitively selected exhibit showcase.

Real-world applications

Masterwork sessions address real-world applications of HPC technologies in business, finance, the arts, biomedical informatics, energy and more. Masterworks show how HPC is driving innovation in a wide range of areas and how it plays a role in addressing many key issues of the 21st century, form the development of new materials to research into new medical procedures to finding new energy solutions and greener computing methods. Sessions include: Goodyear's Loren Miller on the application of teraflop computing to tyre design; Boeing's Doug Ball on the use of CFD to the fuel-efficiency of the 787; and Morgan Stanley's John Storm and Prashant Reddy will discuss HPC on Wall Street.

The SC08 conference programme  runs alongside one of the largest exhibitions of HPC products and services in the annual calendar. The event runs from 15-21 November at the Austin Convention Center, Austin, Texas, USA.

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