BoF@ISC13: High Performance Communications for High Performance Computing

On Wednesday, June 19, 2013 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM join us at ISC13 for the BoF session 22 on

High Performance Communications for High Performance Computing

The BoF will be introduced and moderated by Michele De Lorenzi (CSCS),  Angela Detjen (CSCS), Helen Gardiner (Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative), Nages Sieslack (Prometeus), and Jack Wells (ORNL)

The challenges of communication and outreach for modern supercomputing centers are considerable. First there are a number of elements that need to be communicated from building infrastructure and computer hardware, right through to scientific results and their societal impacts. Second, there is the need to explain the investments associated with running a modern supercomputing service. A supercomputer today involves an initial investment of many millions of dollars, consumes as much electricity as a small town, but has a life expectancy of only three to four years. And often new facilities are needed to house the new systems and staff. Finally, different audiences need different types of information on different timetables. All of these efforts are typically handled by a small team (often a team of 1), which requires close interaction with senior management to avoid political land mines.

This Birds of a Feather session will bring together communications specialists from leading supercomputing centers and other associated fields like science journalists and outreach specialists from industry, to discuss the challenges of communication of HPC today and in the future. We will analyze the range of topics that need to be communicated, identify their respective audiences (not forgetting internal communication), and discuss possible strategies and techniques for achieving the highest impact. The BoF will focus mainly on a lively discussion in which attendees will be encouraged to share their ideas and experiences.