10 Things Not to Miss at ISC 2017 in Frankfurt

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In this special guest feature, Kim McMahon checks in from Frankfurt to give us a preview of ISC 2017.

Kim McMahon is Kim McMahon is the CEO of McMahon Consulting and the Diversity Chair for ISC 2018

It’s June, so it must be Frankfurt and the ISC High Performance conference. As I have done for every ISC and SC for the past four years, here is my list of the Top 10 things I’m looking forward to as the week begins at ISC. Now, where to start…?

  1.  ISC Steering Committee and Diversity Chair for ISC18

ISC has named me the Diversity Chair for ISC18. With this comes a position on the Steering Committee. While this is really cool in and of itself, I am very excited about the industry luminaries, experts, and innovators that I’ll get to meet and work with. The list of people on the ISC Steering Committee is a Who’s Who of the HPC industry! I am deeply honored with the trust ISC has placed in me and look forward to the upcoming year’s activities.

  1. The ISC-HPCAC Student Cluster Competition

The Student Cluster Competition, a collaboration with the HPC Advisory Council (HPCAC) and the ISC High Performance Conference, is led by Dan Olds of Gabriel Consulting and Pak Lui of HPCAC, who are the chief evangelists. This is one of the highlights of the show, featuring 12 teams showcasing their expertise, building clusters, and solving problems. I heard one of the problems they will be challenged with is to create a machine learning application to solve a Captcha. Think about it – what happens when machine learning is used for bad.

  1. STEM Student Day

This is a new program for the ISC Conference this year. It was created to welcome STEM students into the world of high performance computing and allow them to experience the conference first hand. Once they get bitten by the HPC bug, they won’t be able to turn away! I am the honorary sponsor for the program and host for the evening event.

  1. Deep Learning Day

Also referred to as Machine Learning Day or AI Day. Whatever you call it, it’s a full day dedicated to the discussion of recent advances in artificial intelligence based on deep learning technology. AI is all the rage right now, and I think the HPC industry is at a point where we’re all trying to figure out how it will ultimately be defined. Implementing Deep Learning at scale, how offloading of RDMA is dramatically improving machine learning applications, solving the massive computational challenges in the race to build larger artificial neural networks…we are at such an interesting time.

  1. TOP500 Announcement

Mark your calendar for Monday at 9am CET for the announcement of the 49th edition of the TOP500 list. Will China maintain its dominance and the top spot? Will the US maintain possession of the most systems in the Top 10? Will we see the emergence of new systems from new countries? We all have to wait until Monday!

  1. Women in HPC Activities

In my position leading Marketing, Communications, and Strategy for Women in HPC, I know their ISC activities – I’ve been planning them for months – and oh yeah, I’m going to enjoy them! On Tuesday, we have our Networking Luncheon. On Wednesday, I am chairing the BoF “Practical Steps to Diversifying the HPC Workforce.” On Thursday, I am chairing a panel in the WHPC Workshop on Diversifying the Workforce. I love working with this group and helping share the message that a diverse workforce enables better science. It’s all about the science!

  1. Keynotes

A Keynote each day! Dr. Jennifer Tour Chayes is doing the conference keynote on network science and use in cancer genomics. Dr. Peter Bauer will talk on Tuesday about the future role of HPC in weather and climate prediction. On Wednesday, Prof. Dr. Thomas Sterling will talk about HPC achievements and impact. Don’t skip the keynotes —they get you ready for the entire day!

  1. HPC for Life Sciences

I have been watching (and will continue to watch) the progress in precision medicine, genomics, and life sciences, and how HPC is enabling advances in these industries. Add in a little machine learning, more data, and improved data analysis techniques, and I hope to see significant changes in my lifetime.

  1. Diversity Q&As with DDN, Lenovo, and Intel

DDN and Lenovo will host Women in HPC co-founder Dr. Toni Collis for a Diversity Q&A, and Intel will host a diversity panel that both Toni and I will sit on. A big thank you to DDN, Lenovo, and Intel for making the time for these events and creating an opportunity to talk about diversity in HPC.

10: Xand McMahon Booth

Xand McMahon will once again have a booth at ISC (L-418). I’ll be providing free social media consultations throughout the show and on Wednesday at noon, we’ll have an hour with three presentations: A Q&A with the Women in HPC, Marketing for Startups with Brent Gorda, and a talk about marketing in academia (speaker TBA). If you’d like a social media consultation just sign up here or pop by the booth. And stop by on Wednesday at noon to hear our talks (don’t make my presenters speak to an empty house!)

For those in Frankfurt for ISC, I look forward to seeing you! For those who can’t make it to Germany, I’ll do a post-Top 10 writeup so you can catch up on what you missed.

About the Author:

Kim McMahon is the CEO of McMahon Consulting, a full service marketing firm with over 15 years of experience in HPC, Enterprise Technical Computing, and the high-end IT space, working with clients around the globe. Kim has performed sales and marketing for more years than she cares to count. She writes frequently on marketing, life, the world, and how they sometimes all come together.

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