The PASC21 Organizing Team was pleased to welcome 476 participants from 28 countries to its first digital event hosted from July 5 to 9, 2021 in Virtual Geneva.
We hope that participants enjoyed the rich program offered over these 5-days of conference and will continue to do so in the following days and months. The video recordings of the sessions are on the platform and available to registered attendees to watch and re-watch at their own leisure. We are pleased to see that some of you have already taken benefit of these recordings!
The theme of the conference was “New Challenges, New Computing Paradigms” and it was mirrored in the various invited plenary presentations.
Viv Kendon showed how Quantum Computing is almost here – if not already here – and how science must adapt to this disruptive new technology and the new paradigms that it brings along. This will also require innovation in the way that we tackle and think about computing.
Jeronimo Castrillon talked about the importance of adapting to the new competing landscape: the complexity and heterogeneity of these innovative machines can prevent efficient use unless we develop new languages and ways of thinking about computation. This is particularly important as HPC becomes more widely used beyond the traditional communities.
As an example of this democratization of HPC, a fascinating Public Lecture by Dalia Condeemphasized how computing, HPC, and ML are needed to tackle global challenges in disciplines where they have not traditionally been employed before – such as rescuing animal species from extinction. She explained how the cooperation and collaboration between scientific computing disciplines and new emerging disciplines is really crucial today. This is a message that is particularly dear to the PASC Conference Organizing Committee, and that was beautifully conveyed by Dalia who also shared impressive pictures and stories of her time spent fighting biodiversity loss on the field in the Mayan jungle and in other unexplored territories.
That thread of communication between disciplines was again skillfully illustrated in the engagingdialogue between Erik Lindahl and Peter Coveney about how two very different communities can work together and break down artificial barriers between these disciplines. They left us with a thought-provoking question: are we simply applying the old traditional methods to new emerging challenges and expecting them to work as well as they have done in the past, or perhaps will we need to rethink them as we address the new computing landscape?
Finally, we were delighted to host a stimulating panel discussion exploring the question “how do we harness AI for the benefit of humankind?” The panel portraying Maria Girone as a moderator, and Trilce Estrada, François Fleuret, Nikos Konstantinidis, and Jibo Sanyal as panelists discussed what it means to have a green AI, an ethical AI and, in essence how these new paradigms require users to trust the results, which in turn means that we have to understand biases. The panel discussion ended on a positive note where AI was jointly regarded as a powerful tool to advance humanity but not as a replacement for human ingenuity.
We thank all minisymposium organizers and speakers, as well as paper, and poster presenters for contributing to a very strong technical program. We were pleased to be testimony of the breadth of application areas represented in this edition of the event. This variety positions the PASC Conference yet again as a platform that offers incredible opportunities to learn from what other communities are doing. We are grateful to all of you for contributing to the maintenance of this tradition.
Among our presenters, we were pleased to award the PASC21 Best Poster to Sara Faghih-Naini (University of Bayreuth, Germany) for her contribution entitled “Quadrature-Free Discontinuous Galerkin Method for Shallow-Water Equations.”
The PASC20 Best Paper to Md Bulbul Sharif (Tennessee Tech University, US) for his contribution “Performance Evaluation of a Two-Dimensional Flood Model on Heterogeneous High-Performance Computing Architectures.”
And last but not least, the PASC21 Best Paper to Rahul Bale (RIKEN, Japan) for his very timely contribution “Simulation of Droplet Dispersion in COVID-19 Type Pandemics on Fugaku.”
The PASC21 papers will be published in the Proceedings of the Platform for Advanced Scientific Computing Conference within the next two weeks. These will be available for download via theACM Digital Library.
Beyond the Technical Program
But not just science! We were happy to meet old and new friends on the PASC21 Community Space and hear about impressions and wishes for the future of the conference – all these encounters could take place in beautiful virtual Geneva in the summertime.
In the same spirit, we were pleased to host one additional opportunity to play with reality on Thursday night with a virtual mentalism show by internationally acclaimed Federico Soldati. We enthusiastically welcomed Federico to PASC21 and let him charm us with its magic tricks and extraordinary mind-reading demonstrations.
We truly hope that attendees enjoyed these fun moments and discussions as much as we did!
We encourage minisymposium presenters to share the slides of their talks. Please upload them in pdf format to the submission portal by July 31, 2021. The slides will be publicly accessible from the conference online program, which will be updated periodically.
Thank You to the PASC21 Parallel Sessions Support Team
We would like to take this occasion to thank the PASC21 volunteers who made themselves available to support the chairs and speakers in the parallel sessions.
Dear Rémy, Jonathan, Pedro, Karthik, Kalman, Aditya, Shalini, Tim, Lisa and Anthony, we would never have made it without you, and it was a great pleasure to work with you all!
Thank You to PASC21 Partners in Geneva
We would like to thank our incredible partners in Geneva who helped with the recording and streaming of plenary hybrid sessions, and the digital platform providers who supported us also throughout the event.
Dear Myke, Massaki, Bryan, Robinson, Mathias, Hélène, Vincent and Rudolphe, we are immensely grateful for your professionalism, great care, friendly attitude and collaborative spirit, which were crucial for a smooth navigation into the new waters of this first digital PASC Conference!
Thank You to Our Sponsors and Institutional and Event Partners
A big thank you to our generous sponsors! We extend our sincere appreciation to our sponsors and event partners, without whom PASC21 would have not been possible.
Looking Forward to PASC22
This is the end of PASC21 but not the end of the PASC Conference series. We thank you for your company on the road to Virtual Geneva and during the conference, and hope to welcome you all next year in Basel for more stimulating discussions around HPC!