November 19, 2018
Attending SC18 was a great experience for me. This was my first conference ever representing an institution (UD) and I was a bit nervous at first. I did not really know what to expect and had not met the team I was going to work with throughout the week. This was also my first time being a student volunteer for the conference, so from the get-go, I knew it was going to be an intense weekend. My first day I went to the Student Volunteer Orientation. Here I met a lot of other students from many different backgrounds who were also part of the conference and learned about my role as a student volunteer. Everyone was welcoming and fun to talk to and it was great to learn about what other people are working on.
On the second day, I met the UD team and worked on setting up the UD booth. This was a great bonding experience as we worked hard and came up with improvisations to bring up a strong booth set up. I was amazed by the amount of research the UD team had done and how involved in the HPC community they were. Throughout the week, working at the booth helped me meet a lot of people and it was nice to walk around and see all the big industry names.
Later in the week I took part of the Research Poster competition. I had submitted a poster on an undergraduate project I had worked on the previous year called Estimating Molecular Dynamics Chemical Shift with GPUs”. There was a poster reception. There was a lot of people interested in what I was working on. I had a great time talking about my research and got a lot of great feedback for the future.
One thing I would change for next time I attend is that I would like to go to more talks and workshops. I was overwhelmed and did not realize how big the conference was going to be, and I feel that if I was a little more prepared and had set up a schedule for the conference I would have gotten more out of it. Being a student volunteer was great and helping out throughout the conference was fulfilling, but the shifts restricted my time and made me realize I have to be more organized in the future. Overall I had an amazing experience and would definitely like to attend again. Next year is in Denver and I am definitely excited!