First-Time Attendees


Information for First-Time Attendees


The SC Conference Series brings together HPC professionals and students of all nationalities, ethnicities, genders, and technical experience. Together we spark new conversations, new connections, and new ideas.

With well over 10,000 people in attendance and a vast array of options to learn and engage, navigating the SC Conference can be daunting. To help you plan your best experience, we have compiled some key pieces of information.


The Big Picture


Q: I would like to attend SC18. What do I need to know?


A: The key features of SC18 are the Program and Exhibits.

The Program comprises talks, posters, papers, workshops, a keynote, and much more, covering a vast array of topics important to supercomputing, from algorithms and hardware to diversity in the workforce. The Program’s emphasis changes a little each year to reflect current trends in HPC, networking, storage and analysis.

The SC Conference is more than just a standard academic conference. Its second major component is the Exhibits Hall where vendors, non-profits, government labs, and academic institutions from around the world share their latest technological advances, products, and insights during the conference. This is a great place to learn more about HPC and current trends, or to look for a new job.

In addition, there are a number of receptions for conference attendees and contributors where you can meet and mingle in a convivial atmosphere with refreshments.


In-Person Sessions for Navigating SC18 and for First-Time Attendees


Q: Will there be an opportunity for me to talk to a live human about what to do at the conference?


A: There will be two sessions, on the first and second days of the conference, to orient first-time attendees and to generally guide attendees in navigating the conference. Please check the SC Schedule for location and times.

If you have further questions, please email us.  []




Q: What happens in the Program?


A: The many SC18 Program activities include:


Sunday, Monday


These high-quality sessions provide training from world experts on the most recent developments in HPC. Tutorials require a separate registration, at an additional cost. Lunch is provided.

Sunday, Monday, Friday


These also require an additional registration and fee, but the cost is minimal when purchased along with a Technical Program badge. Workshops are more interactive than Tutorials and range from hands-on activities to symposia with invited and submitted papers. Many of the workshops run “mini-conferences” on a specific theme.


Early Career

Workshop-style sessions to help fledgling researchers set the course for a successful career in HPC.

HPC Plenary

Our opening plenary event is open to all registered attendees and exhibitors. Come kick off your week with a dose of inspiration.

Grand Opening Gala Reception

This evening event is your first chance to see the latest products, services, and innovations in high performance computing, networking, storage, and analysis.




Always enlightening, and open to all registered attendees and exhibitors, the annual SC keynote addresses feature thought leaders and visionaries from our community.

Posters Reception

Meet poster authors and enjoy appetizers at the kick-off to this year’s Posters.


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday


The Papers program at SC is the leading venue for the presentation of the highest-quality original research, new ideas of excellent scientific merit, and compelling insights on future trends.


Participate in enlightening discussions with experts on the hottest topics in HPC. Share your perspectives and gain new insights.


Researchers give brief presentations and engage in informal conversation with attendees about diverse areas of HPC innovation.

Invited Talks

Invited Talks address important technical contributions and provide long-term perspectives on the development of HPC.

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions are dynamic, interactive conversations on the latest topics of interest in the HPC community.




The SC Conference showcases the best and brightest in HPC, both the rising stars and those who have made a lasting impression.



Fun, informal sessions where you can learn directly from the creators of next-generation technologies.



Technical Program Reception

Everyone with a Technical Program badge is welcome to enjoy good food and drink at this Thursday evening event. A reception ticket is included with your Technical Program badge.


A complete SC18 Schedule will be available mid-July 2018.


Q: Is food provided?


A: Snacks are provided during morning and afternoon coffee breaks for those with Tutorial, Workshop, and Technical Program badges.

Lunch is provided on Sunday and Monday for those with a Tutorial registration.

Evening food is provided at the Grand Opening Gala on Monday in the Exhibits Hall and at the Technical Program Reception on Thursday evening.

Dallas boasts a wide variety of dining options within walking distance of the convention center. You can find anything from cheap and cheerful healthy food to world-class restaurants.

More information on Dallas




Q: What happens in the Exhibits?

A: In the Exhibits Hall, you will meet vendors of computers, storage, network equipment, software, and much more. There are more than 200 industry booths and more than 100 research booths representing government laboratories, universities, and non-profits. Exhibitors come from more than 25 countries.

See the SC18 Exhibitor Listing for a full list of exhibitors.

There are two special booths featured in the Exhibits Hall:

  • The HPC Impact Showcase highlights real-world HPC applications.
  • The Emerging Technologies Showcase highlights new technologies that are driving the sector forward.

Registered exhibitors are also invited to enjoy a welcome reception with refreshments and entertainment on Sunday evening.


Q: What is the Exhibitor Forum?

A: The Exhibitor Forum provides sessions especially for vendors with new products and services to present. The Exhibitor Forum sessions are in meeting rooms (not in the Exhibits Hall) throughout the convention center. Any badged attendee is welcome to attend.




Q: What is SCinet and how is it used?

A: Have you experienced a conference where internet connectivity is poor because of the number of people trying to access the network all at once? Naturally, this is not acceptable for the biggest HPC conference in the world! Our dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that each SC conference is the most connected conference in the world.

SCinet is the SC Conference’s dedicated high-capacity network infrastructure, designed and built by volunteer experts from industry, academia, and government. For the duration of the conference, it is the fastest and most powerful network in the world. There are about 160 volunteers who work on the project for more than a year to design, build, and operate the network for the week of SC18, and then tear it down at the end of the conference.

Some interesting facts about SCinet:

  • The network provides 5–6 Tbit/sec into the Exhibits Hall, and comprises over 89 miles of fiber optic cables.
  • SCinet provides over 200 wireless access points throughout the convention center, exclusively for the use of conference attendees.
  • SCinet connects directly to high-speed networks around the world, ensuring super-fast connectivity to institutions around the world.
  • SCinet provides wired and wireless connectivity for conference attendees, booths, and hands-on tutorials.
  • SCinet enables exhibitor booth demonstrations – it provides true 100 Gbit/sec connectivity to Japan.
  • SCinet demonstrates cybersecurity software, teaching best practices to attendees.
  • SCinet enables workforce development in networking.

More information on SCinet


Understanding Registration and Your Conference Badge


Q: What does my badge allow me to attend?


A: Your badge will indicate which parts of the conference you have registered for and are permitted to attend.

Technical Program

Allows access to all conference sessions (Talks, Awards, Panels, Birds of a Feather, etc.), Exhibits, and the Grand Opening Gala and Technical Program Receptions. This registration type does not include access to Workshops or Tutorials, which can be purchased as an additional option.


Allows access to the Exhibits Hall during show hours, Tuesday–Thursday. You can also attend the Exhibitor Forum and BoF sessions.


Allows access to the Exhibits Hall during show hours and off-hours, the Sunday evening Exhibitor Reception, and the Monday evening Grand Opening Gala.


Are not included with Technical Program registrations and must be added as a separate registration option. Tutorials take place Sunday and Monday, and you can choose to register for particular days or for the full Tutorial program. With the Tutorial Passport, you have access to any/all of the tutorials, including lunch, on the day(s) for which you register.


Are not included with Technical Program registrations and must be added as a separate registration option. One Workshop registration provides access to all workshops on Sunday, Monday, and Friday mornings.


Family-Friendly Policies


Q: What support does the conference provide for parents with children?


A: The SC Conference provides on-site child care for a small fee. There is also a Parents Room for caregivers with infants, and a Family Day when you can tour the Exhibits Hall with your child. For more information about the provisions for parents at SC, see the Family Resources page.


Q: I want to take advantage of the child care benefit, but I’m not positive I will bring my children. What if I cancel?


A: If you cancel prior to the beginning of the conference, you will be refunded 50% of your fee. If you cancel after the conference begins, you will not be refunded.

More information for families


Other Useful Information


Q: What opportunities are there for students?


A: We have several opportunities for students to engage with the SC Conference.

  • The Student Cluster Competition is an event that takes place in the Exhibits Hall, where teams of students from around the world design and build a cluster constrained by a power limit while running real-world workloads
  • Volunteering opportunities [link to] for undergraduate and graduate students to help with the administration of the conference
  • Doctoral Showcase for PhD students
  • Job Fair for students and post-docs
  • Mentor–Protégé Program for students attending the conference for the first time
  • Experiencing HPC for Undergraduates
  • Presentation and tour for high school students

More information for students


Q: What else is available for conference attendees?


A. The following are available for all conference attendees:

  • Quiet Room for multi-faith prayer and meditation
  • Lost and found
  • Coat and bag check
  • Security
  • Information booths