@HPCpodcast: A Discussion with the Creators of HPC.social, the Online Gathering Spot for HPC-AI

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There’s a new online gathering spot for the HPC community, and it has quickly generated a large following. In this episode of the @HPCpodcast, Shahin and Doug speak with Vanessa Sochat and Alan Sill, creators of HPC.social as we discuss the broad HPC/AI community and their efforts to connect it digitally through a broad, multi-channel platform that includes Slack, Discord, Mastodon, GitHub, a jobs board and a community map.

Even as it has grown, the HPC community has maintained a special, tight-knit feel, as if everyone knows everyone else. While ISC, SC, and other conferences bring HPC (and increasingly AI) practitioners together in person, the digital community has been scattered and evolving. The work led by Sochat and Sill puts a welcome focus on this digital aspect of HPC community building.

Sochat and Sill discuss how HPC.social came to be, the various forums and offerings it provides and how large a following it has developed.

Sochat is a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. She is a software engineer working with the converged computing team mapping out the space between cloud and HPC, both technologically and culturally. Previously, she worked in research computing at Stanford, where she earned a PhD in biomedical informatics, and she was a researcher at Duke University, where she earned a degree in psychology and neuroscience.

Sill is managing director of the High Performance Computing Center at Texas Tech University, where he has also been a professor of physics and where he has been for 31 years. He is also co-director of The National Science Foundation’s Cloud and Autonomic Computing Center and is president of the Open Grid Forum. He has an extensive background in distributed and grid computing.

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