Interview: As Registration Opens for ISC'13, Conference Sets a Parallel Course for the Future

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Registration opened today for ISC’13. The International Supecomputing Conference takes place in Leipzig, Germany June 16-20. Besides a change of venue, the conference agenda has added parallel sessions, new topics, and a two-day industry track. To learn more, I caught up with Martin Meuer, Executive Director of ISC Events.

insideHPC: ISC’13 will be the first conference in your long history with two session tracks. What prompted you to add the new Industry Track?

Martin Meuer: We introduced the Industry Track with the goal to help attendees from the industry make informed decisions about acquiring and operating high-performance computing systems. So, this track will specifically focus on engineering and manufacturing, to help the industry improve product design and time-to-market through the use of HPC.

All the talks in this track are aimed at spurring a dialogue between users, technology companies, hardware vendors, software vendors and service providers. We anticipate a bigger audience from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at ISC’13.

insideHPC: Did the ISC conference series need to grow to a certain number of attendees to make dual-tracks a viable option?

Martin Meuer: The growing number of attendees naturally influences the volume of the technical program…we see it increasing year after year, leading to many sessions taking place in parallel.

When we decided to introduce industry-based topics, it was clear to us that we needed to revamp the current structure. I would like to point out that ISC’13 will offer even more value to our expected 2,500 attendees as all the sessions in the Industry Track will run as a series of single sessions starting Tuesday June 18 to Wednesday June 19. We are quite confident that this add on and some other new program elements like the Distinguished Speakers Series, will offer our attendees the most comprehensive four-day technical program in the 28 years of conference history.

insideHPC: What will be the highlights of the Industry Track?

Martin Meuer: Here’s the list of topics that we would like to draw your readers attention to:

  • HPC provisioning concepts for the industrial sector
  • Independent software vendors (ISVs) and their HPC products for industry
  • Cloud HPC for SMEs
  • An invited talk about the common needs of engineering and scientific research in regard to HPC: HPC-Accelerated Innovation for Industry
  • An overview of the SME market
  • Many case studies, which will run on both days to give the audience an overview of HPC use in industry

insideHPC: This week you also announced that ISC that it will be giving the Human Brain project a permanent platform at ISC to share their latest research findings for the next 10 years. What can attendees look forward to for their session this year?

Martin Meuer: First of all, we’re glad to mention that ISC is the only scientific computing conference in Europe of a substantial size that attracts scientists, researchers and business leaders from around the globe, thus we are always happy to provide research projects, especially European projects a platform at our conference. When HBP was selected as the European flagship project for 2013, we approached its project manager, Felix Schuermann and the team accepted the offer to share their human brain simulation challenges and progress with our audience.

The HBP team has designed a two hour session entitled “Supercomputing and HBP – Following Brain Research and ICT on 10-year Quest”, and invited a number of speakers, including institutions that supply them with supercomputing infrastructure, for example, the Jülich Research Centre.

This session will focus on the development of ICT (Information and Computing Technology) platforms for neuroinformatics, brain simulation and supercomputing, which is about facilitating
researchers to collect neuroscience data from all over the world and integrating the data in unifying models and simulation of the brain and to check the model against data from biology before releasing it to the global scientific community.

insideHPC: You recently announced an all-new ISC Big Data conference for September 2013. How did that come about?

Martin Meuer: We have been addressing data intensive computing at the ISC Conference for the last few years, and had an intensive BoF discussion on the challenges involved in building successful big data environments at the last ISC Cloud conference. And at this year’s ISC’13, there’ll be two sessions fully dedicated to big data. So, to answer your question, the ISC Big Data is basically a spin-off of our continuous effort to address topics that are highly affecting the current high-performance and high-throughput computing environments.

The first big data conference will be held from September 25 – 26 in Heidelberg, Germany, right after the ISC Cloud’13 conference. This year’s theme is “ISC Big Data – Where Enterprise and HPC Meet“, and it will be chaired by Sverre Jarp, the CTO of CERN openlab. So, building on the existing experience from large HPC installations and data-intensive enterprises, we’ll ensure that the best-of-breed practices and use cases as well as the latest trends get reviewed and shared amongst the 200 international attendees we are expecting at this new conference.

If people are wondering what makes the ISC Big Data so special, here are some insights:

  • Our goal is to encourage an active cross-fertilization between enterprise and HPC/HTC, and
  • We want to establish active links to sites with long traditions in huge data volumes.

For the full description of topics, please visit

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