Inaugural ISC 2020 Digital Touts Record Attendance and Community Praise

June 30, 2020

FRANKFURT, Germany, June 30, 2020 – The ISC Group, the organizer of the inaugural ISC 2020 Digital event, is very pleased to announce that the digital high performance computing conference held last week replacing the live event in Frankfurt attracted 4,735 participants from 94 countries, emerging as a very successful online event for the HPC community.

To deal with the different time zones of attendees, over 90 percent of the talks were provided as pre-recorded videos, while a couple of key sessions and workshops were streamed live. Registered attendees will have exclusive access to all video content until July 6. After that, talks that speakers agreed to sharing with the general public will be hosted on ISC’s official YouTube channel.

Broken down by demographics, ISC 2020 Digital was attended by 2006 people from academia and 2236 from industry. It also attracted 397 students and 96 journalists and analysts. Out of 94 countries, organizers saw the highest attendance from the U.S. (1114), followed by Germany (742), Japan (601), United Kingdom (444), and China (259).

Over 3,700 attendees and 160 exhibitors were expected at the live conference and exhibition in Frankfurt this June, but the organizers replaced it with a digital format due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The digital event was held from Monday, June 22 to Thursday, June 25, and registration was offered complimentary.

The originally planned 2020 program was restructured, ensuring it included all the important updates and research that would be valuable to the community. Also announced at ISC Digital was the 55th TOP500 List, which introduced a brand-new #1 system, Fugaku (415.5 petaflops), which is installed at RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) in Kobe, Japan.

“As the oldest conference in this space, we are very happy to have successfully pioneered the first digital HPC conference of this scale,” said Martin Meuer, the general co-chair of ISC High Performance. “We are also very pleased with the feedback we are receiving from the community regarding the format and quality of the talks. Here we would like to thank our Program Chair, Prof. David Keyes for all his valuable advice and insights.

“We chose to offer this event free of registration fee because HPC is currently one of the most crucial technologies assisting researchers to find a cure for Covid-19. It is important to us that the progress made in this area is shared with the wider community. If you would peruse the program, you will realize that Covid-19 was the underlying theme of most of the sessions.”

As the event restructuring happened in less than two months, the organizers were not able to provide a networking tool to accompany the agenda, and hereby thank members of the community who hosted and participated in compelling conversations on social media during the event.

Hans Meuer Award

During the opening session, Prof. David Keyes announced the 2020 Hans Meuer Award winners. Established in 2015, this award honors the most outstanding research paper submitted to the conference. Two papers were shortlisted as finalists for their excellence: Load-balancing Parallel Relational Algebra, authored by Sidharth Kumar and Thomas Gilray; and Time Series Mining at Petascale Performance, by Amir Raoofy, Roman Karlstetter, Dai Yang, Carsten Trinitis and Martin Schulz, and both were declared as award winners. Under normal circumstances, both finalists would have fought for the award in front of a live audience in Frankfurt.

The 2020 Gauss Award honors the most outstanding paper in the field of HPC and this year’s award went to the paper on Solving Acoustic Boundary Integral Equations Using High Performance Tile Low-Rank LU Factorization, authored by Kadir Akbudak, Noha Alharthi, Rabab Alomairy, Hakan Bagci, Rui Chen, David Keyes and Hatem Ltaief.

All accepted ISC 2020 research papers are published in the Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series. LNCS 12151 is available at The download is for free from June 20 to July 20.

Research Poster and PhD Forum Awards

This year’s winning Research Posters were OSU INAM: Profiling and Visualization Tool for Scalable and In-Depth Analysis of High-Performance GPU-enabled HPC Clusters, by Pouya KoushaHari Subramoni, Kamal Raj Sankarapandian Dayala Ganesh Ram and Dhabaleswar Panda; and Challenges in Solving Scheduling Problems with the D-Wave Quantum Annealer by Michael R. Zielewski, Mulya Agung, Ryusuke Egawa and Hiroyuki Takizawa. Authors of both posters will be invited to submit papers to the International Journal “Supercomputing Frontiers and Innovations” (JSFI) as full paper or short communication submissions.

The poster selected as the winner of the 2020 PhD Forum is ComPar: Optimized Compiler for Automatic OpenMP Source-to-Source Parallelization using Code Segmentation and Hyperparameters Tuning by Gal Oren, Yoel Vaizman, Shlomi Tofahi, May Hagbi, Yoni Cohen, Gilad Guralnik, Reuven Regev Farag, Lee-or Alon, Re’em Harel and Idan Mosseri. The award is sponsored by Springer, the international publisher specializing in science, technology and medicine.

The Student Cluster Competition (SCC)

For the first time in the competition’s history, the SCC was conducted in an “all virtual” digital format, with supercomputing resources provided exclusively by the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore. During the conference, the HPC-AI Advisory Council (HPCAIAC) and the ISC Group revealed the teams topping the 2020 leaderboard:

  • First Place: University of Science and Technology of China (USTC, China)
  • Second Place: Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC, South Africa)
  • Third Place: Tsinghua University (TU, China)
  • Honorable Mention: Nanyang Technological University (NTU, Singapore)
  • Fan Favorite: Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC, Catalonia/Spain)

A total of eighty-two students spread across eleven locations around the world took part in this year’s ISC SCC competition.

ISC 2021

A large portion of the canceled talks, including the Monday and Tuesday keynotes and all accepted tutorials will be carried forward and offered live at ISC 2021, from June 27 to July 1, 2021. The organizers will once again offer a three-day exhibition, commencing on June 28, 2021. Companies and research organizations interested in exhibiting in 2021 can contact the organizer at [email protected] to discuss their exhibiting needs. The 2021 topics and the first Call for Participation in the contributed program will be announced coming September.

About ISC 2020 Digital

The inaugural ISC 2020 Digital showcased the latest advancements in HPC, encompassing all the key developments happening in system design, applications, programming models, machine learning, and emerging technologies through a consolidated online event. First held in 1986, ISC High Performance distinguishes itself as the world’s oldest and Europe’s most prominent forum for the HPC, machine learning and data analytics communities.

Source: ISC 2020 Digital


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