Recapping SC13

By Marijke Unger
12/12/2013 - 12:00am

This year’s main supercomputing conference came to our local area, spanning the week of November 17 at the Denver Convention Center. NCAR and CISL had a strong presence, participating not only as an exhibitor, but also getting involved in the visualization showcase, the student job fair, BOF sessions, and helping out in partner exhibit booths.

One of the highlights was Warren Washington’s invited talk, which commanded a full auditorium as he discussed climate Earth system modeling, high performance computing, and the challenges of communicating the complexities of the science effectively.

Ben CashBen Cash gives a presentation on early results from Yellowstone.

NCAR’s exhibit booth at the conference showcased the organization’s activities related to supercomputing, including scientific advancements, education and outreach efforts, and facility and operations updates. Aaron Andersen gave a talk reviewing the NWSC’s first year of operations, complemented by Dave Hart’s analysis of Yellowstone’s contributions to the atmospheric and related sciences. Ben Cash and Rich Loft both presented on early science results from Yellowstone, with Cash’s presentation focusing on COLA’s utilization of the supercomputer in the Advanced Scientific Discovery Program. The presentations are available here:

In addition to booth presentations, three NCAR visualizations were featured in SC13’s Visualization Showcase:

Clustering of Inertial Cloud Droplets in Isotropic Turbulence. John Clyne (National Center for Atmospheric Research) and Peter J. Ireland and Lance R. Collins (Cornell University)

Meso-to Planetary Scale Processes in a Global Ultra- High Resolution Climate Model. Justin Small, Julio Bacmeister, David Bailey, Frank Bryan, Julie Caron, David Lawrence, Bob Tomas, Joe Tribbia, Allison Baker, John Dennis, Jim Edwards, Andy Mai, Mariana Vertenstein, Tim Scheitlin and Perry Domingo (National Center for Atmospheric Research)

Simulated Wave Propagation for the Mw5.4 Chino Hills, CA, Earthquake. Kim B. Olsen and William Savran (San Diego State University), Yifeng Cui and Efecan Poyraz (San Diego Supercomputer Center), Philip Maechling and Thomas H. Jordan (University of Southern California) and Tim Scheitlin and Perry Domingo (National Center for Atmospheric Research)


CISL and Spark! staff members collaborated with the Front Range Consortium for Research Computing (FRCRC), helping to staff their exhibit booth and answer questions about the Consortium and highlight the value of this type of collaborative partnerships. CISL also organized a tour of the NWSC for over 50 faculty, students, and members of the computing industry.

In addition to leading the NWSC visit, Rich Loft gave a talk at the Intel booth entitled “NCAR Experiences Optimizing for Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi” during the conference. On a related topic, Youngsung Kim presented at a BOF session on “Performance Tuning Techniques for Xeon Phi.

SC13 Student Job Fair
Rich Loft, director of technology development, and Stephanie Barr, diversity coordinator, speak with a student about potential opportunities in supercomputing.

CISL staff members were once again actively engaged in the SC Student Job Fair, reaching dozens of students interested in careers in computing and showcasing opportunities in computational science, scientific computing, and numerical analysis. They also introduced students to CISL’s summer internship program, SIParCS, and other NCAR programs for professional development.

SC13 boasted nearly 10,000 attendees in its 25th year. Next year’s conference will be held in New Orleans, November 14-21.

For more about SC13, visit