Last year at SC11 the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) launched its latest Special Interest Group (SIG). The new group, SIGHPC, is aimed squarely at the high performance computing community. We talked with John West, one of the founding officers of SIGHPC and Director of the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program, to get his view on what the new Special Interest Group is all about, how it’s doing since launch, and how this new organization will contribute to our community.
The Exascale Report: First off, can you tell our readers a little about SIGHPC and how it was started?
John West: SIGHPC really grew out of our community’s experience at the annual SC conference. SC provides an incredibly rich experience each year for attendees from all walks of HPC – from administrators and architects to students and teachers. And while the conference does have some elements that extend beyond the week of the show, these are managed as “special cases.” As the scope and influence of the conference has grown, its leaders found that they were missing a mechanism to engage with the international HPC community year round. This conversation evolved over a few years at the conference, culminating with a town hall meeting at SC10 to gauge interest and commitment for starting a new society.