Navigating SC and Info for SC First-Time Attendees
The SC17 Conference welcomes first-time attendees. We hope to attract new and diverse groups of HPC professionals and students to the conference each year with the goal of sparking new conversations, new connections, and new ideas. However, we understand that it can be difficult to navigate the conference and experience all that SC17 has to offer.
Here, we make an effort to provide useful information for Navigating SC17 for first-time conference attendees and others.
- The Big Picture
- In-Person Sessions for Navigating SC17 and for First-Time Attendees
- Technical Program
- Exhibit Floor
- Understanding your conference badge and registration
- Family Friendly Policies
- Other Useful Information
Q: I would like to attend SC17. What do I need to know? How do I decide what to register for?
A: Key features of SC17 are the Technical Program and Exhibition.
The Technical program provides talks, posters, papers, keynotes and much more on a vast array of topics that are important to supercomputing from algorithms and hardware to diversifying the workforce. The program emphasis changes a little each year to reflect the current trends in High Performance Computing, networking and storage.
The SC conference is more than just a standard academic conference. One of the key aspects is an exhibition of vendors, non-profits, government labs, and academic institutions from across the world who share their latest products and insights during the conference. This is a great way to find out more about HPC and what the current trends are or to find a new job.
Much more information on all the aspects of the conference is below.
Q: Will there be an opportunity for me to talk to a live human about what to do at the conference?
A: Two sessions will be held at SC17 to introduce the conference to first-time attendees and to, in general, assist in Navigating SC17.
- Monday at 4:45 pm in Room 705-707
- Tuesday at 7:30 am in Room 705-707
Info Booths in Lobby F and the D Concourse are staffed by SC17 committee members who can answer your questions.
If you have further questions, please email us. firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: What happens in the Technical Program?
A: See the overall SC17 Program Schedule at:
There are many SC17 Technical Program activities. These include:
- Tutorials (Sunday, Monday)
- Workshops (Sunday, Monday, Friday morning)
- Papers (Tuesday – Thursday)
- Panels (Tuesday – Friday)
- Keynote (Tuesday – Thursday)
- Plenaries (Monday – Thursday)
- Invited Speakers (Tuesday – Thursday)
- Birds-of-a-Feather (Tuesday – Thursday)
- Gala Opening of the Exhibition (Monday evening)
- Impact Showcase (Tuesday – Thursday)
- Posters and Poster Reception (Tuesday – Thursday)
- Scientific Visualization Showcase (Wednesday morning)
- Gordon Bell finalist presentations (Thursday morning)
- Invited talk by Gordon Bell himself (Tuesday 3:30-4:15pm)
- Test-of-Time Presentation (Tuesday afternoon)
- Awards Ceremony (Thursday)
The complete program schedule is at sc17.supercomputing.org/conference-overview/sc17-schedule
The SC17 Monday evening plenary will be discussing Smart Cities and the benefits they can receive from a relationship to the world of High Performance Computing. Everyone with a badge is welcome.
There is a Thursday Evening Technical Program Reception. Everyone with a technical program badge is welcome to attend to enjoy good food and drink. More details will be coming soon. You will receive drinks tickets with your technical program badge – make sure you keep these safe!
Tutorials cost additional but are always high-quality sessions providing training on the most recent developments in HPC from world experts. These are on Sunday and Monday and require a separate registration. Tutorials include lunch.
Workshops are also an additional cost, but if bought with a Technical Program badge are a minimal cost. Workshops take place on Sunday, Monday and Friday morning. They are more interactive than Tutorials and range from hands-on activities to symposia with invited and submitted papers. Many of the workshops run ‘mini-conferences’ on a specific theme.
Q: What food is provided?
A: Snacks are provided in the morning and afternoon coffee breaks for those with Tutorial, Workshop, and Technical Program badges.
Lunch is provided on Sunday and Monday for those with a Tutorial Registration.
Evening food is provided at the Gala Opening on Monday on the Exhibit Floor (for Technical Program registrants) and at the Technical Program Reception on Thursday evening.
Denver provides a vast array of food outlets within just a few minutes walking distance of the convention center for lunches and evening meals. You can find anything from cheap and cheerful healthy food to world-class restaurants.
Q: What happens on the Exhibit Floor?
A: On the Exhibit Floor, you can talk to vendors of computers, storage, network equipment, software, and much more. There are more than 200 industry booths and more than 100 research booths, including government laboratories, universities and non-profits. Exhibitors come from 26 different countries.
Industry and research organizations provide presentations in their booths to inform attendees about their technologies and their research using these technologies. See the SC17 Exhibitor Listing for a full list of exhibitors.
SC17 also provides two special booths on the Exhibit Floor:
- The HPC Impact Showcase highlights companies’ real-world HPC applications.
- The Emerging Technologies Showcase highlights vendors showcasing new technologies that are driving the sector forward.
Q: What is the Exhibitor Forum
A: The Exhibitor Forum provides sessions by vendors where they describe their products and services – especially new products and services. The Exhibitor Forum sessions are in meeting rooms (not on the Exhibit Floor) throughout the convention center. Any badged attendee is welcome to attend.
Q: What Is SCinet and how is it used?
A: SCinet is the World’s Fastest Open Network (for about a week). There are about 160 volunteers who work on the project for more than a year to design, build and operate the network for a week, and then tear the network down at the end of the conference.
We have all experienced a conference where internet connectivity is poor because of the number of people trying to access the network all at once. As the SC conference is all about high performance computing and networking, we naturally don’t think this is acceptable for the biggest HPC conference in the world! Our dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that each HPC conference is the most connected conference in the world.
Some interesting facts:
- The network provides 5-6 Tbit/sec onto the Exhibit Floor.
- The network comprises over 89 miles of fiber optic cables
- SCinet provides over 200 wireless access points throughout the convention center, exclusively for the use of conference attendees.
- SCinet connects directly to the high-speed networks around the world, ensuring super-fast connectivity to institutions around the world.
SCinet is used:
- To provide wired and wireless connectivity for conference attendees, booths, hands-on tutorials;
- To allow exhibitor booth demonstrations – provides true 100 Gbit/sec connectivity to Japan;
- To demonstrate cybersecurity software – teaches best practices;
- To enable to workforce development in networking, especially, with the Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS)
Q: What does my badge allow me to attend?
A: Your badge will indicate which parts of the conference you have registered for and are permitted to attend.
- Technical Program – allows access to all conference sessions (talks, awards, panels, Birds of a Feather etc.), exhibits, the Monday Evening Opening Gala, Thursday Evening Reception. This registration type does not include access to Workshops and Tutorials which can be purchased as an additional option.
- Exhibits-Only – allows access to the Exhibit Floor during show hours Tuesday through Thursday. You can also attend the Exhibitor Forum and Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF) sessions.
- Exhibitor – allows access to the Exhibit Floor during show hours, off-hours, the Monday Evening Opening Gala and the Exhibitor Party on Sunday evening.
- Tutorials – these are not included with Technical Program registration and must be added as a separate registration option. Tutorials are Sunday and Monday and you can choose to register for particular days or the full tutorial program. With the Tutorial Passport, you have access to any/all of the tutorials including lunch on the day(s) for which you register.
- Workshops – these not included with Technical Program registration and must be added as a separate registration option. One workshop registration provides access to all workshops on Sunday, Monday, and Friday morning.
There is a table that describes what you can attend based on type of registration.
Q: What opportunities are there for students?
A: The Student Cluster Competition is 16 teams from around the world each designing and building a cluster that is constrained by a power limit while running real-world workloads. This competition in on the Exhibit Floor in Booth 796.
- 160 Student Volunteers help with the conference
- The Doctoral Showcase allows PhD students to present their research
- There is a Job Fair for students and post-docs
- There is a Mentor-Protégé Program
- There is a special program for undergraduates
- We will have a presentation and tour for local high-school students
Q: What support does the conference provide for parents with children?
A: SC17 provides on-site child care (for a small fee) in Room 610-612. There is also a family room for parents and caregivers with infants (Room 604), and a Family Day on Wednesday when you can show your child the show floor. For more information about the provisions for parents at SC please check out this page for full details
Q: I want to take advantage of the child care benefit, but I’m not positive I will bring my children.
What if I cancel?
A: If you cancel prior to the show starting, you get 50% of your fee back. If you cancel after the show starts, you need to pay for what you signed up for.
And other information:
- Multi-faith Prayer and Meditation Room – Mezzanine A1. Open throughout the conference to all from 8 am each morning.
- Family Day is Wednesday afternoon from 4-6 pm. Family members can accompany a registered attendee, visit the Exhibit Floor for free, and experience SC17 for themselves.
- First Aid (Lobby E near Room 507)
- Lost and Found (Lobby A)
- Coat and bag check (Lobby A)
- Security (Room 204)
- Info Booths (Lobby F and D Concourse)
Some useful hints and tips to make the most of your time in Denver:
- Be careful about being outside at night alone
- Stay hydrated – remember you are not at sea level
- Someone with a committee badge (a plastic card with photo ID with SC17 logo) can provide assistance
- Please complete the conference survey to help us improve the conference. Your input is incredibly valuable for helping us improve the conference each year.