2018 SEA Conference Satisfies

By Brian Bevirt
04/27/2018 - 2:30pm

The 2018 SEA conference was held on 2-6 April at the Center Green campus. Multiple thought leaders, innovators, and rising stars in their fields spoke at plenary sessions and two all-day symposia. Plenary sessions on the first day focused on using and managing Big Data. Tuesday offered plenary sessions on high-performance computing (HPC), cloud computing, and improving HPC performance. The remainder of the conference included two symposia plus numerous breakout sessions and tutorials.

2018 SEA Conference participants
Most of the 121 conference participants gathered for a photo at the Center Green campus. (Photo by Brian Bevirt.)

The conference had a total of 121 attendees, with about 40 percent of them from NCAR. During the five days, the presentations included 31 talks, 14 tutorials, two symposia, and one panel discussion. The two symposia were regarded as the greatest success of the event, as they covered important topics not addressed anywhere else:

  • “Containers in an HPC environment” was for developers who write container code targeted to HPC systems and for HPC system administrators who deploy containers technology for end-users; plus numerous breakout sessions and tutorials.

  • “Overlapping communication with computation in parallel computing” offered strategies for scalable overlap in computation and communication, current parallel computing implementations using these and other strategies, and current and future computation and communication.

Anke Kamrath
CISL Director Anke Kamrath delivered the opening keynote address. (Photo by Brian Bevirt.)

Participants in both symposia asked that these topics be included every year, so the organizing committee is now planning to do this. Participants also requested more engagement with application developers, and this will also be included in future plans.

Due to the success of the symposia, the organizers will ask the community to recommend additional symposium topics next year, and they may replace part of the plenary session with another symposium.

Other feedback included requests for even more focused topics relevant to scientific computing. Many participants noted their satisfaction with the logistics of the event, and the organizers formally thanked all of the support staff who did excellent work to ensure that everything went smoothly.

The organizers are pleased to have provided travel scholarships again, this year for seven students to attend. All of these students attend minority serving institutions of higher education, and this year the group included one SIParCS alumnus. Scholarship recipients attended a luncheon with mentors from around CISL to learn more about careers in scientific computing and how CISL supports NCAR’s mission.

Student scholars
Scholarship recipients met with mentors for a networking luncheon. (Photo by Brian Bevirt.)