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For a quarter of a century, the Supercomputing Conference has served as the crossroads for the entire HPC community. From users and program managers to colleagues and vendors...from government to private industry to academia...SC has provided unparalleled cooperation, unequaled collaboration, and unmatched exposure.

And what better place to celebrate our 25th anniversary than in Denver, Colorado? Located near the center of the continental United States, at the convergence of mountain and prairie, where high-rise buildings greet open range and the earth touches the sky, Denver is a community boldly moving into the future.

As we head toward the conference week, 17-22 November 2013, please use this monthly newsletter as a resource for final preparations, deadlines and news regarding the conference.

Instructions for subscribing or unsubscribing can be found at the bottom of the newsletter.

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Important dates and Deadlines

July 1, 2013:
Notification of Acceptance - Technical Papers

July 1, 2013: Nominations due for
IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Memorial Award Nominations
ACM - IEEE Computer Society Ken Kennedy Award Nominations
IEEE Computer Society Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award Nominations

July 17, 2013:
Registration opens

July 31, 2013: Full Submissions due for
Birds-of-a-Feather Session Proposals
ACM Student Research Competition
Student Volunteers
Broader Engagement
HPC Educators Program
Doctoral Showcase
Emerging Technologies

Check out the SC13 Invitation Video!

SC13 Invitation Video





New Emerging Technologies Showcase at SC
"But I thought SC was a Trade Show----NOT!"
Celebrating Achievement
Soliciting Exhibitors for Participation in the Scavenger Hunt at SC13
Call for Interest in SC Leadership
Housing is Open
Denver's Beginnings

New Emerging Technologies Showcase at SC

Bill GroppBill Gropp, SC13 General Chair

It is my great privilege to serve as the General Chair of SC this year. This conference, now in its 26th year, combines a deep regard for quality and tradition with a commitment to innovation that ensures SC stays relevant in a community that fundamentally reinvents itself at least once a decade. As an attendee, this means that you can rely upon the familiar favorites you've come to expect while looking forward to discovering something new to enrich your professional development.

This year is no different, and SC13 will feature several new conference activities and elements that we will touch on in the months leading up to November. In this newsletter I would like to focus on the first of those new additions: the Emerging Technologies track.

Emerging Technologies offers the opportunity for large-scale, long-term projects to showcase their work on the exhibit floor at SC13. The goal is to focus on achievements in HPC, networking, storage, and analysis that might not otherwise have a home at SC13. For example, research projects at National Labs or companies that are not in the core of the business (and so wouldn't necessarily be featured in a standalone booth) would fit in well in the Emerging Technologies showcase. We also hope to attract large-scale and longer-term projects. Recent results from these projects might be part of the technical program as technical papers or posters; while Emerging Technologies will allow us to showcase other aspects, such as development over a decade of significant new capabilities and their broader impact. As with the rest of the technical program, Emerging Technologies submissions will be rigorously peer-reviewed.

The mix of projects or simply "cool ideas" will be a unique experience for all visitors. In addition, the open nature of the program is a great opportunity for informal discussions and starting collaborations.

I hope you'll talk with your colleagues and bring your best emerging technologies to SC this year. More information about the Emerging Technologies program can be found at and open questions will be answered by the chairs via

"But I thought SC was a Trade Show----NOT!"

Satoshi Matsuoka
Professor, GSIC Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology / National Institute of Informatics / Riken AICS
SC13 Technical Program Chair

Outside of our HPC community, there still remains a longstanding misconception that SC is "only a trade show". While the exhibits program is indeed a significant aspect of SC, approximately half of the over 10,000 SC participants each year attend the technical program. These attendees take advantage of top-notch academic-oriented content including technical papers, posters, panels, workshops, tutorials, and BoFs. Our goal for the technical program is always to hold it to the highest standard of academic excellence. However, excellence cannot merely be self-proclaimed; rather, there must be widespread research community recognition, backed up by credible data.

Such an endeavor is long-term – indeed, since the mid-2000s, SC technical papers have enjoyed a steadily growing reputation, both by the high number of paper submissions (grown to over 450 recently) with low acceptance rates (roughly 20%), as well as by the growing number of citations per paper. In fact, SC now has one of the highest paper citation counts of all HPC and parallel computing conferences.

Despite the high level of quality already achieved, our goal is to continuously improve the academic quality and reputation of the conference technical program. In this spirit of continuous improvement, we are changing our approach in several parts of the technical program to improve its rigor.

First, we have adopted the position that all elements of the technical program will be peer reviewed across-the-board; although in the past, technical papers had always been peer reviewed by a review committee, review procedures for other elements of the technical program, such as workshops, posters, etc., differed on a year-to-year basis. The only exception to this rule is invited talks, but these will also involve community input. To help make all this happen, each chair of the program elements was instructed to formulate a review committee as the first task.

Also for the first time this year we are documenting the procedures of the peer-review process for each of the technical program elements, and opening them to the public for open review and comments during and after the conference. We encourage your feedback.

This year we are requiring all reviewers for technical papers to commit to attending the face-to-face selection meeting. We have also strengthened the technical paper review by adding new policies permitting rebuttal, and requiring full-length reviews. The total size of the committees on the SC13 technical program has grown to approximately 400, with more than half being the paper review committee, members of whom are utilizing their own funds to attend the paper selection meeting in June.

Many of these changes require even more commitment from the technical program committee members, and some will impose additional costs and travel burdens on committee members as well. We absolutely believe the results of these changes will be worth the added burden by improving the quality and reputation of the SC technical program, and ultimately by encouraging more rapid adoption and dispersion of the innovative technologies that SC showcases.

Celebrating Achievement

HPC is a highly innovative, rewarding profession. As part of its mission to raise the profile of HPC and support the development of our members, SIGHPC encourages nomination of highly qualified applicants for special recognition in the HPC and computing communities.

While the Athena Lecturer award recognizes fundamental contributions to computer science, there are a number of awards that are exclusive to HPC; several of these are associated with the SC conference, and the time to be preparing nominations is now.

The following awards for contributions to the field of HPC are presented each year at SC. The deadline for nominations is 1 July.

  • IEEE-CS Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award
    The Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award recognizes innovative contributions to HPC systems that best exemplify the creative spirit of Seymour Cray. Nominations that recognize the design, engineering, and intellectual leadership in creating innovative and successful HPC systems are especially solicited. The award includes a $10,000 honorarium. More information can be found at

  • IEEE-CS Sidney Fernbach Memorial Award
    The Sidney Fernbach Memorial Award honors innovative uses of HPC in problem solving. Nominations that recognize creation of widely used and innovative software packages, and application software and tools are especially solicited. A certificate and $2,000 honorarium are given to the winner. More information can be found at

  • ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award
    The Ken Kennedy Award recognizes substantial contributions to programmability and productivity in computing, and substantial community service or mentoring contributions. The award honors the remarkable research, service, and mentoring contributions of Ken Kennedy and includes a $5,000 honorarium. More information can be found at

Soliciting Exhibitors for Participation in the Scavenger Hunt at SC13

The SC13 Broader Engagement (BE) program invites exhibitors to participate in their annual Scavenger Hunt; engaging participants at their booths and increasing their brand recognition. The scavenger hunt participants are challenged to find booths based on clues provided, and the winners are awarded prizes. You can participate in two ways:

  • Being a destination in the scavenger hunt
  • Sponsoring a prize for the scavenger hunt winners

Destination volunteers can participate by submitting three clues that will lead the participants to your booth. They should be something the participants will be able to figure out based on information presented verbally and/or visually in your booth.

Prize sponsors can choose to provide gift items and/or cash rewards. Previous year's prizes included iPads, cameras, Kindles, Amazon giftcards, etc. The prizes will be attributed to the sponsors with a note on the prize, and sponsors will be acknowledged during the BE wrap-up session when prizes are awarded.

Interested exhibitors should contact Yashema Mack at ( or Veronica Bustamante at ( by Friday, September 13, 2013. We look forward to hearing from you!

Call for Interest in SC Leadership

The SC Steering Committee is seeking future leaders for the SC Conference Series.

Conference General Chair
Nominations for the SC16 General Chair are now open, and will close on June 17, 2013. A conference chair is expected to participate on the Steering Committee (described below) from the time s/he is elected General Chair in 2013, and extending for two years after the SC16 conference is held. The General Chair is a volunteer position. The General Chair is expected to cover personal travel costs to about six face-to-face meetings during each year. To nominate a person, or to nominate yourself, as General Chair, send an email to giving the candidate's name, a paragraph describing how the candidate meets the following criteria, and a recent curriculum vitae (CV) that highlights professional and SC experience. A letter of support from the candidate's supervisor should be included, to indicate that the candidate's organization will support the required time and effort. SC will use the following criteria when considering applications:

  • Experience managing large, complex projects in which the people executing the project do not all report directly to the manager
  • SC committee leadership experience in multiple areas of conference organization and/or equivalent roles in other major conferences
  • Familiarity with, and passion for, the SC conference
  • Ability to advocate effectively for HPC in the broader community
  • Ability to set strategic direction and delegate its execution
  • Willingness and ability to make the conference her/his top priority for the year of the conference
  • Experience managing a multi-million dollar budget
  • Experience managing volunteers and contractors

Member of the SC Steering Committee
Nominations for two openings on the SC Steering committee are now open, and will close on September 16, 2013. The term for a Steering Committee member is 4 years (beginning January 1, 2014). Steering Committee members are volunteer positions. Steering Committee members are expected to attend at least one face-to-face meeting a year (three meetings are held annually, every January, June, and November), as well as to participate in monthly one-hour teleconferences. Travel to the face-to-face meetings is at the member's own expense. To nominate a person or to nominate yourself for a position on the Steering Committee, send an email to giving the candidate's name, a paragraph describing how the candidate meets the following criteria, and a recent curriculum vitae (CV) that highlights professional and SC experience.

  • Familiarity with, and passion for, the SC conference
  • Ability to advocate effectively for HPC in the broader community
  • Willingness and ability to commit the time necessary to participate in meetings

Other Ways to Volunteer
The Steering Committee keeps a list of people interested in serving on a conference committee and provides these names to upcoming General Chairs. While the SC13 committee is mostly complete, the SC14 and SC15 Committees are still identifying volunteers. Typically, a volunteer begins as a reviewer of submissions or a member of a Conference committee, and over the years can take on different roles and responsibilities including possible committee leadership roles. If you're interested in being a volunteer, please fill out the form at and we'll make sure your information is shared with the committees.

Housing is Open

Where will you hang your hat at SC13? You can make your hotel reservations on the SC13 hotel reservation site from now until October; but when it comes to reservations for your home away from home at SC, earlier is definitely better. Reserve now for the best choice of rooms and hotels.

All SC13 hotels are located close to the Colorado Convention Center — more than half of them are within 3 blocks; therefore, no bus transportation will be provided. A range of prices is available, and free Internet access is included with all rooms booked through the SC13 website. Check individual hotel sites for details about on-site restaurants, fitness centers, and other amenities.
For complete information, and to book now, check out the SC13 website at:

Denver's Beginnings

 DenverIn the summer of 1858, a small group of prospectors from Georgia crossed the great plains of the Colorado Territory and made a region-changing discovery at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Gold. And although not much of the precious metal was found, the mere whisper of the word was enough to start a veritable stampede into the region. After all, the California Gold Rush had occurred just nine years earlier.

Denver City was a frontier town, with an economy based on servicing local miners with gambling, saloons, livestock and goods trading. It's one of the few cities in history that was not built on a road, railroad, lake, navigable river or body of water when it was founded. As historian Tom Noel put it, "Denver is such an unlikely place for a city to be. It began as a little town in the middle of nowhere, with no obvious reason to be there."

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