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NCSA booth at SC16 to highlight depth, capabilities

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is exhibiting at The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis—commonly called “Supercomputing” or “SC”—November 13-18 in Salt Lake City.

NCSA, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, will host in-booth events (#2501) throughout the week. Events and demonstrations will highlight NCSA’s impact on science, education, and innovation over the last 30 years, and allow attendees to experience the ground-breaking work being done at NCSA today. A full list of demos and events is listed here, along with all NCSA researchers and experts who are participating in the official SC16 Technical Program:

“We are excited to highlight how NCSA is using supercomputers, advanced digital technologies and data to impact science and education in areas such as astronomy, bioinformatics, materials and manufacturing, culture and society, earth and environment, and computation and data-enabled science,” said Bill Gropp, acting director of NCSA. “Most importantly, we are excited to connect with and celebrate the scientific achievements of our collaborators in this community.”

Below are a few featured events taking place during the week’s activities:

Gropp to accept major award

Acting Director Dr. William “Bill” Gropp will accept the 2016 ACM/IEEE Computer Society Ken Kennedy Award for highly influential contributions to the programmability of high performance parallel and distributed computers. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society will present Gropp the award. Gropp has been Acting Director of NCSA since August 2016 and been NCSA’s Chief Scientist since 2015. Gropp is also a professor Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign holding the Thomas M. Siebel Chair of Computer Science.

For job seekers

NCSA will participate in the SC16 Student/Postdoc Job Fair on Wednesday, November 16 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. There, students and postdocs attending SC16 can meet with NCSA representatives to learn more about working at NCSA and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Science impact made by many NCSA-led projects

NCSA participates in, and leads, a number of collaborative projects that regularly produce major science impact results. A number of demos and talks will take place in the NCSA booth (#2501) to highlight some of these, including a talk about the LIGO and gravitational waves discovery on Monday, Nov. 14 from 7-9 p.m.; multiple talks about the Dark Energy Survey (DES) on Tuesday, Nov. 15 and Wednesday, Nov. 16; a Blue Waters software talk at 4 p.m. on Nov. 15; an XSEDE 2.0 update from project director John Towns; a talk from Blue Waters project director Bill Kramer at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 16; and an NCSA Industry talk by Ahmed Taha. For the full list of talks and demos in the NCSA booth, visit

Donna Cox, visualization expert and historian

On Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 12 p.m., Donna Cox will give a talk titled “The Unofficial History of Visualization,” which will recap her influence of scientific visualization over the past 30 years. Cox is the Director of NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL), which communicates science by working with domain scientists to create high-resolution, cinematic, data-driven scientific visualizations.

30th anniversary birthday party!

Throughout 2016, NCSA has celebrated 30 years of research, education and innovation through a series of initiatives and events. At SC16, we’ll blow out the candles: come by the NCSA booth at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16 to celebrate and recognize NCSA’s 30 years of leadership in academic supercomputing. Come by for cupcakes and a few special presentations and videos, including a live Q&A with NCSA Acting Director Bill Gropp.

“On-Demand Infrastructure for Data Analytics and Storage” BoF and related in-booth demo

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, NCSA Associate Director for Research Gabrielle Allen and Franck Cappello will present a BoF session from 12:15-1:15 p.m. called “On-Demand Infrastructure for Data Analytics and Storage,” which will address the improvements needed to access data from extreme-scale simulations and experiments. At 11 a.m. the next day, Cappello will be in the NCSA booth to demonstrate how data analytics and storage can be utilized “on demand,” using a cosmology simulation as an example. Cappello is a senior computer scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.

Student Cluster Competition

For the first time, NCSA and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been accepted into the 14-team Student Cluster Competition. This real-time, non-stop, 48-hour challenge asks teams of undergraduate and/or high school students to assemble a small cluster on the exhibit floor and race to complete a real-world workload across a series of applications and impress the HPC industry judges. The “HPC Illini” and other teams will work with their advisor and vendor partners to design and build a cutting-edge, commercially available cluster constrained by the 3,120-watt (26-amp) power limit. View the schedule and follow the competition on Twitter @StdntClstrCmptn.

As always, stay tuned to NCSA’s activities on social media throughout the week. Follow NCSA on Twitter (@NCSAatIllinois), Facebook (/NCSAatIllinois), and Instagram (ncsa_at_illinois).

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