On March 21 and 22, 2017, we had our 6th SC17 Planning meeting, again in Denver, Colorado. Wow, time flies, I still remember getting some rest over the Christmas holidays and then spent a nice week in the US at the SC16/17 Turnover meeting in January. Where did the past two month go? Now there are only 235 days left until the opening of SC17 in November. Saying it is still 5640 hours is not really helping 😉 At least we had nice Spring weather — last year around the same time when we had our 1st meeting, Denver was hit by a major snowstorm!
The SC17 committee (which by now has 540 members, counting everyone including all the technical program reviewers) is working daily on preparing the conference in November. Meanwhile, I am spending 2 to 4 hours a day reading and answering SC committee email, and working on SC plans, guidelines, policies and contracts. Luckily for me, I am fully supported by Forschungszentrum Jülich and my institute, Jülich Supercomputing Centre, for this task — doing such a job aside (in your free time) is hardly possible.
We are making good progress. Selection of technical program elements are in full swing. Workshop submissions have already been reviewed and handled. We accepted 36 out of 54 submissions. Last year there were 56 submissions, another sign we are well on track. Currently, the submission is open for technical papers and tutorials, the other two major elements of our technical program, with deadlines coming up early April. The deadline for other program elements are later in the year in July and August. Managing the submission, reviewing and selection of the various technical program elements is the largest part of the currently on-going work.This explains why the technical program committee is the largest of our conference committees (currently 368 members). Just the Technical Paper Committee features over 200 members, so we can assure that every paper submission gets at least 4 reviews, and the review can be done in a reasonable amount of time.
Beside this, the space plan, a detailed document which shows which activity and conference functions are located in which conference center room at which time, with all details including the room layout, available electricity and AV equipment, is almost complete. A group of people which are responsible for the various conference activities as well as our local arrangements team visited the Colorado Convention Center again to familiarize themselves with the rooms and center layout. Sales of commercial and research exhibit booths for our show floor are also coming together well — we are well set for another record number of exhibitors and exhibition booth space.
To keep me focused on my SC organization work, I bought myself a 20cm replica of the Blue Bear statue out side of the Colorado Convention Center (see below). It is standing now in my book shelf behind my back in my office watching me work 😉