Southern Man

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Supercomputing Conference Day 1

SC11 is a huge conference - one of the largest technical conferences in the world, with over ten thousand in attendance - and our little "Education" section of three hundred or so is just a tiny part of the proceedings. But we're at the front end and have the facilities more or less to ourselves until Monday when the teeming hordes arrive.

The opening plenary session was dominated by Henry Neeman (who is the SC11 Education Chair and also manages the enormous-state-university top-500 supercomputer just down the road from Southern Man's school) and Bob Panoff (founder of Shodor and host of the parallel-thinking conference attended by Southern Man earlier this year), two of the smartest (and funniest) people on the planet. Henry in particular is famous for his turns of speech, generally known as "Henryisms." Both of them could do science stand-up comedy, and often do. The plenary session ended with a panel that included our very own Dr. S.

Dr. S holds the audience spellbound with his words of wisdom.

The next morning session was with Bob Panoff and was a refresher of the material covered at the aforementioned conference but it is always a pleasure to observe a master teacher like Bob in action. Then lunch (time was short so we hit a sandwich shop right there in the convention center) followed by a couple more sessions - Southern Man chose a pair on computational physics and physics demos in Java.

After the afternoon sessions was a de rigueur orientation session and then finally was the big reception with lots of food and drink. Southern Man managed to score a couple of free beers and was thus able to redeem his two drink tickets for tequila shots, which left him with a pleasant buzz. But he couldn't hold a candle to the students who somehow anticipated what tickets were to be used (they were just plain old Office Depot "Admit One" tickets) and brought an entire roll and were putting down a seemingly endless array of Long Island Iced Teas for which the bartender was demanding four tickets per. So much hilarity ensued and after a couple of hours of fun Southern Man ended up at a piano with a girl he'd met earlier and we entertained a small crowd with a little blues and jazz.

And then Southern Man headed out into the night to clear his head and picked up the geocache he'd tried for yesterday and tried for a second one at the famous Gum Wall in Post Alley but much to his disappointment had to give up. Another SC11 cacher had already posted a DNF on that one so Southern Man hopes to hit it again during daylight tomorrow and make the find. Tomorrow we're scheduled to build our LittleFe!


At Saturday, November 12, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say hi to Larry for me. How does an adjunct get to go on such a great trip? The business school must be rolling in money.
I agree with the comment to the previous post. You must see the fish market where they throw the fish. If you like seafood, you are in the right place for it.
Another recommendation...Go on the tour of subterranian Seattle, which was ground level at one time, and much of it is intact. I saw it a couple of years ago. Very interesting!!

Girl Programmer.

At Saturday, November 12, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a cool job.

At Saturday, November 12, 2011, Blogger Southern Man said...

Actually, GP, since we got the go-ahead to build a LittleFe all of our conference costs are covered by their grant - air fare, hotel, even per diem. So the school won't be out anything other than a few transportation costs (like that taxi we had to take from the airport).

At Wednesday, November 30, 2011, Anonymous Seattle Airport Taxi Service said...

A1 Bel Red Towncar & Seattle Airport Taxi Service you can actually avail a discount. You don’t have to spend a fortune for a comfortable transportation; just employ our services, pay a small amount, and let us do the rest for you.


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