International Supercomputing Conference Sessions to Feature Lively Exchanges of Ideas

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When 2,300 experts from around the world convene to discuss the latest developments in high-performance computing, the conversations are bound to be interesting. But the 2011 International Supercomputing Conference (ISC’11) will take this a step further with a series of sessions designed to ensure lively exchanges.

Now in its 26th year, ISC’11 will be held June 19 – 23 at the Congress Center Hamburg, Germany. While international in scope, all proceedings are conducted in English.

New to the conference program this year will be the “Analyst Crossfire” session on Thursday, June 23. HPC industry analyst Addison Snell of Intersect360 Research will engage four forward-thinking leaders of the supercomputing industry in a lively panel discussion on a range of thought-provoking topics, providing a fast-paced conclusion to the ISC conference. As the analyst-moderator, Snell chooses panelists and topics designed to generate opinions and possibly controversy between the HPC vendors and users. The user panelists are Satoshi Matsuoka of the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Michael Resch from HLRS, the High Performance Computing Center in Stuttgart. The vendor panelists are Jean-Marc Denis of Bull and Andrew Jones from NAG.

Returning in 2011 will be the “Hot Seat Sessions,” a unique feature of ISC consisting of two afternoons of to-the-point presentations by industry powerhouses in computing, networking, data and storage, and supercomputing centers in Europe, Asia and North America. Each speaker has 10 minutes to present their organization’s newest strategy, product or research developments. A panel of expert “inquisitors” then asks each speaker two in-depth, follow-up questions. The speakers have only five minutes to offer their responses on the spot. The ISC’11 Hot Seat Sessions will be held in two parts, from 2:30 – 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21, and Wednesday, June 22.

On a slightly more relaxed note, representatives of leading HPC vendors will provide overviews and answer questions during the Exhibitor Forum sessions from 9:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 22 – 23 . With seven or more speakers in each of three concurrent sessions, the information will be fast flowing.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, a series of six Birds-of-a-Feather sessions will be held each afternoon in which ISC’11 attendees with common interests can meet and discuss topics submitted by attendees themselves. Read the schedule of BoF topics and times.

Finally, the discussions don’t stop at ISC when the formal program sessions end. The conference is well-known for its engaging social events in the evening. On Monday, June 20, the ISC’11 Welcome Party will begin at 6 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall, where 150 exhibitors will be joined by musicians and performers in an event featuring German hospitality, drinks and food.

On Wednesday evening, the after-hours festivities will take a more formal turn with a reception in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg’s stock exchange building, where representatives from the city and chamber of commerce will welcome attendees. Hamburg’s history as a world trading center dates back to the 12th century and the formative days of the Hanseatic League. The city’s stock exchange is a more recent development, having been established in 1558.

“It is fitting that we have greatly built on the success of ISC during our three years in Hamburg, as both the city and our conference provide the setting and the atmosphere for trading ideas, creating business relationships and working toward mutual benefits,” said ISC General Chair Prof. Hans Meuer.