I'm leaving for Reno, Nevada on Sunday, for SC07, the biggest conference in the HPC field. Does anyone of my vast readership happen to be going to this too?
I love this conference. This will be my third time: I attended in 2002, 2004, and now 2007. You don't go for the groundbreaking research. You go to it for the spectacular showmanship, the free food, and the giveaways! This year, I'm trying to win a PS3, a radio-controlled Porsche, an iPod touch, a Wii, bluetooth-enabled sunglasses, a handheld GPS, a solar power computer charger, a digital frame, and/or a server. Also, I'm betting that Microsoft will have some sort of game or scavenger hunt where you can win an Xbox 360, and other companies who haven't sent me e-mails will also have some good giveaways.
In addition to all these things I'm going to try to win but probably won't, there are lots of free giveaways. I am going to collect a 1 GB flash drive, lots of t-shirts, lanyards, pens, pencils, decks of cards, stuffed animals, mints, tote bags, and more. The weirdest giveaway I ever got was a screwdriver. It's a pretty nice one, actually, and we use it sometimes. The most surreal giveaway I ever got was a cut-out model Earth Simulator. It was made of card stock, and you could cut it out and construct your own 3-D model of the Earth Simulator.
I'm also looking forward to meeting up with old friends, some of whom I originally met at SC02. My then-boss's boss was and still is quite active in this conference, and I am looking forward to seeing him again. My current boss is also on a number of committees for this conference.
And I'm looking forward to the parties. I haven't been out of graduate school long enough to turn down free food!
During the conference I will be working at our booth for part of the time at least. I was asked to man the booth, but I told them that I was unable to do that. Instead, I told them that I would be more than happy to woman it at any time. So I'm going to be womaning the booth for most of the afternoon on Wednesday!