Himeshi De Silva

I arrived in the beautiful mile high city of Denver on 10th November as a member of the SCinet student volunteer team and to participate in the SC13 conference starting a week from then. My first few days contributing to SCinet – the powerful network being setup for exhibitors of the conference to run their high performance computing experiments and demonstrations – was spent on the fiber team where I helped lay out network fiber for exhibition booths. There I got to learn a bit about the design of the network and the process of laying out fiber. My next assignment for until the end of the conference was with network security. I helped get web scripts for tasks such as whitelisting and blackholing IP addresses, detecting plain text passwords, finding vulnerable applications among many other things, running. I also worked on putting up interesting visualizations for various security related data. Moreover I helped with other tasks that the member of the security team assigned to me. Working on network security for SCinet was a lot of fun because I got to learn new technologies, work with experienced people and see how various groups come together to make SCinet work.

The beginning of the conference was very exciting for me since the paper “Detecting false sharing using machine learning” which I worked on was being presented at the conference. As a final year undergraduate hoping to apply for graduate school in the U.S. I had the opportunity to attend the tutorials and paper presentations related to my research interests which helped me narrow down key people and schools that I could potentially work with. I attended tutorials related to parallel programming and performance analysis of parallel code which I found quite useful for my work. I was also able to attend paper presentations in the streams performance analysis to see what kind of key research was being done in the area. Furthermore through the ACM-W program I was assigned Professor Shirley Moore to help me navigate the conference. By talking to her I was able to clarify some key questions I had about selecting a research career and pursuing higher education. Furthermore she helped me to identify ways in which I could best manage my time throughout the sessions. I attended several other sessions that the conference had to offer such as the student job fair. Overall SC13 was a wonderful experience for me where I got to see firsthand the great things that were being done in supercomputing and gather exposure for my future career. I am very much thankful to the coordinators of ACM-W travel grant program and Prof. Shirley for making my attendance at SC13 a possibility and a memorable experience.