Thursday, Nov 29, 2012
BLOGPOST: After a snow-filled week in Salt Lake City for SC ’12, the IEEE Computer Society and ACM co-sponsored conference on supercomputing and high-powered computing, I tried to relax in my airplane seat. When striking up the usual small-talk that accompanies flying coach, I found out that the gentleman sitting in the aisle seat was leaving the conference as well. The man in the middle? Not a techie, and he posed an interesting question to us both: “What exactly is supercomputing?” I won’t bore you with the answer that we gave, but I will say that the question is an important one. Most of the conferences that I find myself at are focused on some narrow aspect of computing, be it mobility, graphics, or software engineering, but I was very excited to be going to my first Supercomputing conference. I like the idea of having a place where HPC, networking, data storage, and education all mix together. Most of my excitement came from curiosity about what kinds of stuff I’d find in the exhibit hall. Would there be flashy booths? Huge HPC racks? Cutting edge applications? Yes.