Once again the Scientific Computing Department (SCD) and the Hartree Centre had a strong presence and showcased some of STFC's excellent data-intensive science at the world's largest supercomputing conference. This year it was held at the Colorado Convention Centre in Denver, easily recognisable because of the gigantic blue bear peering in through the glass wall!
The SCD team spent the first couple of days building the display stands and uploading films to the three large screens. The Supercomputing (SC17) Conference began on Sunday12 November and ran for the whole week. The exhibition opened for a two-hour preview on the Monday evening so the team was ready and waiting for the first people to visit the STFC booth.
For the first time we ran a series of talks at the booth, with a variety of different topics ranging from the science enabled by JASMIN, a unique super-data-cluster used for environmental data analysis, to the importance of software provenance.
One of our first visitors was Erin Kuhn from the British Consul in Denver (pictured right with Peter Oliver, SCD's Head of Operations). She came along to view the displays and hear the talk by Professor Tony Hey, our Chief Data Scientist. Erin was impressed with the range of computational science that we carry out, and keen to help us set up visits to some of the US National Laboratories in Colorado in the next year, We hope that she will be able to visit SCD at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire when she next visits the UK.
The SCD and Hartree Centre staff were involved in a number of talks, workshops and knowledge exchange sessions within the SC17 technical programme. For instance, Catherine Jones (pictured above left) presented a 'Birds of a Feather' session on careers in research for software engineers; Sergi Siso gave tutorials about IPCC projects and the new Hartree Centre machine 'Scafell Pike'; and Alison Kennedy, Director of the Hartree Centre, spoke about women in HPC. Staff in both teams were pleased to support a day dedicated to diversifying the HPC community and encouraging more women to take up careers in computing and computational science.
We are already starting to plan our activities for SC18, which will be held next November in Dallas. We hope to see some of you there!
Tony Hey talks about scientific data and big data at the STFC booth during SC17