The problem with a big conference like SC12 is that there are too many interesting sessions at the same time. Southern Man spent his morning learning about advanced MPI (in spite of the fact that Southern Man is still something of an MPI novice) and how to use Python to teach parallel computing in introductory-level courses. The Python people were excited about bringing in multicore concepts in Programming I; Southern Man struggles to get his students to understand loops and brances at that stage.
After lunch with the rest of the Three Amigos Southern Man slipped out to do a little shopping and geocaching.
You see the most interesting things while prowling around a city...
The amazing Harmon's grocery store a few blocks from the Salt Palace.
After lunch was a series of HP Educators talks, all of which were interesting. And then we had a break at dinnertime to rest up for the opening gala. So at seven o'clock sharp the doors were opened and umpteen thousand swag-hungry attendees flooded inside to fill their bags with t-shirts and USB drives and see the sites and eat dinner and cash in their two drink tickets.
Intel's Star Trek stage was easlily the most photographed exhibit of the evening.
Another popular booth is SCinet, the huge network constructed for SC every year. They call it the most powerful and advanced network in the world, which means that when combined with umpteen-thousand techno-geeks that internet access is slow rather than nonexistent.
It takes a year to design and a month to construct, then they deploy it for a week and tear it down in a day. Also, Southern Man promises to get a real camera as soon as possible.
"Unable To Join Network SC12" was the all-too-frequent reality.
And after the opening gala is the best party at SC12:
Held in the very cool Clark Planetarium just a few blocks from the Salt Palace, the Beowulf Bash is where all the cool people go to clown around and drink more free drinks and see (and be seen with) the top people in the HPC industry.
We did not go hungry.
The house band pumped out covers (Southern Man made a fool of himself dancing with a couple of girls to Love Shack), the planetarium folks put on a couple of excellent laser-light shows in the dome, and a great time was had by all.
More pictures, later.
Southern Man made it home at about 1:00 AM, tired and happy.