The “Special Interest Group for HPC in Accelerated Scalable Computing and ANalytics”, or SIGHPC-ASCAN,” came into being as a result of HPC community discussions in the East Tennessee region. With the combined mindshare and facilities of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Tennessee System, the East Tennessee region has long been a bastion for High-Performance Computing (HPC). Building on the strong spirit of collaboration in scientific computing that has developed among regional organizations over the years, a group of East Tennessee computing researchers, including several Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)  staff and University of Tennessee faculty, moved to form SIGHPC-ASCAN.  This was successful with the official charter by the ACM being accepted in June 2020. SIGHPC-ASCAN now invites a broad and international HPC community to join the chapter membership.

SIGHPC-ASCAN is committed to promoting research and development in extreme-scale accelerated computing and analysis of rapidly growing data sources. Scalable computing (exascale and beyond) enables science via simulations at unprecedented size and precision, and it also acts as a technological driver for the computing ecosystem. Accelerator-based computing enables speed-up by offloading portions of the processing onto adjacent subsystems such as GPUs, FPGAs, or other coprocessors. The ASCAN community is rooted in a new definition of HPC where high performance has assumed a broader meaning than just operations per second, in that the ability to efficiently analyze, manipulate, extract, clean, and understand vast quantities of data also must be key. SIGHPC-ASCAN is convinced that a confluence of the concepts of scalability, hybrid computing with co-processors, and data analytics will enable a rapid pace of innovation needed to satisfy international computing goals and priorities.

Three overarching goals of SIGHPC-ASCAN are as follows:

  • Knowledge Exchange—sharing knowledge and technical context among members and activities such as flash talks, distinguished speaker seminar/webinars, regional conferences, and vendor presentations. 
  • Workforce Development—sharing HPC expertise with students as well as professionals in related spheres and activities such as hackathons, training sessions, and mentorships.
  • Community Building—developing professional and personal rapport and activities such as an awards committee, social meet-up-style networking, and a shared web presence.

SIGHPC-ASCAN is also devoted to promoting diversity and makes a dedicated effort to be inclusive.

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