SC16 diary: Getting ready for SC16

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Find out what Toni Collis get’s up to during SC16 by following her blog series this week.

By Toni Collis, Women in HPC Founder and Director and Applications Consultant at EPCC, University of Edinburgh.

SC16 and Women in HPC’s activities in Salt Lake City kick-off in earnest tomorrow, but many of us have been here, working hard for several days already.

Having arrived in Salt Lake City late on Thursday, my Friday started with prep for some of my talks later in SC16 week, and then heading off to the conference centre to grab my conference bag and meet up with colleagues for discussion. It might have been the Friday before SC16 but the conference centre was buzzing! SC is only possible because of the hundreds of volunteers that organise everything from the signage on the outside of the building to packing the thousands of attendees bags. As SC16 Diverse HPC Workforce Deputy Chair I’m privileged to be one of these volunteers, but we definitely work hard for it! With planning starting three years ago for SC16, and people in Salt Lake City for the last three weeks, arriving just two days before seems like I took things quite easy!

I spent the rest of my Friday afternoon discussing plans for the 5th Women in HPC workshop on Sunday and then we were off to the Red Butte Garden Arboretum for the Chair’s Dinner to celebrate all the hard work of the SC16 committee.

Today (Saturday) definitely felt like the calm before the storm! WHPC has a lot of activities this week, all of which have a few tweaks left to make to them to pull them off. This morning was dedicated to prep for the WHPC workshop: checking in with all the presenters and panelists for the workshop and generally making sure that everything was in place.

My afternoon was my first official job on-site for SC16: opening the SC16 Information Booth and answering questions ranging from ‘how do I register’ to ‘where’s the theatre’ – definitely not a question that we were expecting!

Finally my day finished meeting old friends for dinner and discussing WHPC and the future. Whatever this week brings, WHPC and how to improve diversity is a topic high on the agenda and I’m proud to be pushing this topic forwards.

Tomorrow the fun starts with a full day workshop discussing Women in HPC, how to improve diversity, the barriers we face, and showcasing the work of women. I look forward to meeting many of you there. We start at 9am sharp in room 355-D.

  • Toni Collis is the Director and founder of the Women in HPC, as well as an Applications Consultant in HPC Research and Industry at Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), UK. Within EPCC her role includes providing technical expertise on a range of research projects using HPC in academic software, from engineering to biology. Toni has a PhD in computational condensed matter physics as well as an MSc in HPC and an MPhys in Mathematical Physics.

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