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SC11: Everything you wanted to know about supercomputing

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This year the supercomputing community gathers in Seattle on November 14-17 for SC11, the conference to learn and talk about how they design and build and code the biggest computers in the world.

So what can you expect? Who better to ask than the chair of SC11, Scott Lathrop? In a wide-ranging conversation, we explore how the show focuses on reaching out to HPC newbies and non-traditional fields of science, while continuing to serve as a forum and meeting place for scientific and computing communities.

We also discussed the 2011 technical program and the record number of paper submissions (352 submitted, 74 accepted). The technical program will include a large and varied slate of workshops, tutorials, showcases, posters, and panel discussions.

SCinet (the network fueling the show) is bigger and faster than ever, using more than 100 miles of fiber to drive the first production 100Gb production network. According to organizers, SCinet will be the world’s highest bandwidth network while its supporting the show.

Non-traditional science will not include phrenology this year (I asked). Scott was referring to the use of HPC in humanities and social science research. To me, I think the time is right to finally give phrenology (the science of examining the bumps on human skulls) the attention it deserves, but it looks like that will have to wait until next year.

Give the video below a listen and, while you’re at it, dash off an email to your boss asking him to approve a trip to Seattle this November – it will be quite a show.

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