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A Look Ahead (and Back) to the Intel HPC Developer Conference

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Intel’s “DevCon” has been going on for a handful of years now, and it’s emerged as a popular and interesting venue for those interested in HPC and newer fields like HPDA and AI/ML (High Performance Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning). This year the conference will be held Saturday and Sunday morning, November 11 and 12, in Denver.

While Intel just announced a “call for submissions” for the 2017 conference, it seemed like a good time to also mention the available online materials from this conference.  The past resources are all freely available on the web. Previous HPC Developer Conferences have been very well rated by attendees, and that’s due to the high quality of the speakers who have participated in talks, tutorials, and panels.

I often find websites difficult to navigate, especially when there is a lot of content. Intel’s DevCon website is no exception.  I can help by pointing out some key places to start.  Here’s my list of highlights from the 2016 conference:

  • Conference Keynote: Going Where Neuroscience and Computer Science Have Not Gone Before.Conference keynotes aren’t put on the web enough in my opinion. I’m thankful that Intel put this one online.  Drs. Cohen and Li discuss recent advances and opportunities for really figuring out how human brains work, with a focus on the analysis of human brain imaging data. In particular, they discuss a large research effort between Princeton and Intel Labs, attacking this challenge with machine learning and HPC methods. They will show how to analyze functional interactions of human brain regions from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data, how to reduce computing time from years to minutes, and even real time. They discuss some of the advances that are being made using such data analysis tools, including the ability to analyze mental states and functional interactions in real-time, and how to build a real-time data analysis service for close-loop feedback trainings and potential brain diagnostics, using remote fMRI scanners.
  • AI/ML Track. While it’s hard to pick a favorite, it’s worth reading through the abstracts and clicking on talks of interest: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/events/hpcdevcon/artificial-intelligence-and-machine-learning-track.html
  • Software Defined Visualization.  The “wow” factor in all these intensely graphical efforts is astonishing. The “in situ” nature of this and the sophisticated rendering jobs lend themselves to CPU rendering more than GPU rendering. If that surprises—or at least intrigues—you, this is a track worth perusing: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/events/hpcdevcon/software-visualization-track.html

There are many more videos archived from 2016 – all listed online at: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/events/hpcdevcon/highlights.html

DevCon 2017: Propose a talk, tutorial, or poster

Everyone is invited to consider giving a talk, tutorial, or presenting a poster at this year’s conference. Submissions will be reviewed and responded to in a rolling fashion (best to submit by July 20, but okay until August 18.) Submission are accepted online: https://intelhpcdc2017cfa.hubb.me (full information on dates, topics, etc. is on that website).

Summary

High performance computing – stretching the limits of what computations can be squeezed out of a computer system – is a topic of wide interest. There is definitely no better venue in the world for this topic than the Supercomputing 2017 conference held in November each year. Intel has created an interesting “preconference” that features accessible leading-edge talks, tutorials, panels, and lots of great networking. Material from prior conferences, available online, remain highly useful. This year’s conference is seeking proposals from the best speakers around the world, and promises to be an event well worth attending again in November 2017.

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