HPC Pros Virtual Conference 2020

We're Going Virtual in 2020

The Design Automation Conference is going virtual this year, and so are we!  While we look forward to being in person once again at DAC 2021, we definitely encourage HPC Pros members to be on the lookout for information on attending DAC virtually this year.

This year’s virtual format gives us some distinct advantages because not everyone has been able to attend in person in the past.  We’ll be making use of technology such as Zoom Meetings, Slido crowdsourced feedback, and Slack for “offline” discussions in order to fulfill our mission of helping you manage the infrastructure you have today better and giving you information to prepare for the future.


Each day will now be a week – Compute Week, Storage Week, License Week.  Please be sure to answer the SurveyMonkey survey above.  Our inclination is towards Tuesday and Thursday 3-4 hours each day.

We will then take a week off in between topics to give people some breathing room.

Finally, we’d like to start each week off with a “day in the life of” session which would be a summary of what end users do on a daily basis and what their pain points of their jobs are.  We’d then like to end the week with a one hour panel session where all speakers are invited to participate.  We will be utilizing the Slido (https://sli.do) platform to facilitate Q&A both for the live sessions as well as for the panel session.


Attendees will pay a conference fee of $100 which will entitle you to  view all of the live presentations as well as recordings.  All recordings will be kept in a password-protected area on the HPC Pros website and only accessible to people who have paid the conference fee.  Access will last 12 months.  We plan to have a cut-off for registration that goes up until the end of the conference, but once the conference has concluded new registrations will not be allowed.

Register for the Conference Here!

Register now to secure your spot!  Remember, once the conference is concluded, we will not be accepting new registrations!


We will be using Zoom Webinars in combination with Slido.  If you’ve never used Slido before, it is a great platform to solicit online questions from your audience, who then upvote questions they agree with.  By default, the audience will be on mute and only leaders will be able to unmute people.  We will rely on Slido for people asking questions.  Slido has an integration with Zoom coming very soon which will allow you to be in a single browser window to see not only the presentation but to see the questions on the side for them to vote on or ask themselves.

We realize that you won’t get that “in person” feel like at a normal conference, so we are trying to make up for it by using the HPC Pros Slack instance to allow participants to chat either in a room or one on one.


We have not finalized dates yet pending a member survey, but right now it is looking like the conference will happen in September.  We will probably use a Tuesday / Thursday format from 8:00 AM Pacific Standard Time until 12:00 PST.

This is a preliminary schedule:

Topic AreaDates
Compute WeekSeptember 1, 3
Storage WeekSeptember 15, 17
License WeekSeptember 29, October 1

As we firm up the presentation schedule and Zoom invites, we will add them to the calendar on the HPC Pros website.  Only paid conference attendees and registered presenters will have access to this calendar.

Email Info

Some of our presenters may request contact information for attendees.  We realize that this is an important topic to many of you, and we also realize that it is not unusual for presenters at conferences to ask for email contact info for follow up.  To that end, we are providing our members with the option of opting out of having your email contact info shared on the website.  We will provide additional information on how to opt out on the web site soon.  Email information will not be transmitted until after the conference has concluded and only at the request of presenters.  HPC Pros does not sell member contact information, but we are trying our best in this situation to “thread the needle” between privacy and commerce.  I encourage you not to opt out.

Still Social

Use Slack for Informal Discussion

One of the best parts of a conference is the social interaction you get from your fellow attendees or talking to the presenters.  While it will not be the same, we are pleased to be able to offer everyone the chance to interact virtually via the HPC Pros Slack instance.  Click on the Slack icon to the right to go straight to our Slack and have a sidebar conversation with an old acquaintance in real time or meet new colleagues during the conference!

If you have not signed up for the HPC Pros Slack instance, check the Discourse board for a link with an invite on it.

Call For Papers!

We’d love to see some member-led presentations in the mix!  This is a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your achievements and thought leadership to the HPC Pros community.  Make your mark and get the recognition you deserve for your hard work.  Please email your abstracts to dac2020-submit@discourse.hpcpros.org for consideration.

Deadline for consideration is June 19.

Presenters and Schedule

We’ll post a more definitive schedule with presenters over the course of the weeks.  Some of the companies we’ve been working with include Altair, Ansys, Dell/EMC, IBM, and Vast.  And we have speakers from such companies as Intel and Texas Instruments to give their unique perspectives on how best to Innovate at Scale.

HPC Pros 2020 Virtual Conference FAQ

Q:  How will Q&A work?

A:  During your presentation, attendees can submit their questions to the Slido interface and vote on their favorite questions.  This is a great way of gauging audience sentiment in a way that’s difficult in person and prevents that one person with an “axe to grind” from dominating the microphone for questions.  When it is time for Q&A, we will simply go to Slido and start answering the questions in vote order downward.


Q:  How will Q&A for the panel sessions work?

A:  Each week will also have another Slido board for end of week questions.  As you participate during the week, if you come up with questions that you think would be good for the panel session, put them in that board.  By the time we get to the panel session, there should be a good number of questions already there.  We will also be running the Slido board for the panel session live during the session in case you forgot to add a question during the week.


Q:  Is this open only to HPC Pros Members?

A:  This conference series is open to anyone!  In fact, we encourage you to help us promote it and bring additional people along for the ride.


Derek Magill has been in Engineering IT for over 20 years, starting out on the UNIX Help Desk at Texas Instruments. While at TI, he held several technical and leadership roles, mainly focused on the areas of license management and HPC. While at Qualcomm, he led the global EDA License Infrastructure team, the Grid Administration Team, and was the primary Engineering Cloud Architect. He currently is an HPC Solutions Architect at Flux7 Labs, a DevOps Cloud Consultancy. Derek has also served as the Chairman of CELUG since 2015 and is the Executive Director of the Association of High Performance Computing Professionals. He also is a member of the Executive Committee of the 2020 Design Automation Conference.


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