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SLAC on Show at Supercomputing 2010

The SLAC and Stanford SC10 exhibit team.
(Photo courtesy Daniel Wang.)

This week, SLAC brings some of the lab's best research to New Orleans, Louisiana, for the 23rd annual International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, SC10. The conference attracts more than 10,000 attendees each year, bringing together scientists, engineers, educators and students from research institutions, universities and corporations around the world.

As one of more than 300 exhibitors, standing out on an expansive 350,000 square foot exhibition floor is no easy feat. Thanks to the hard work of SLAC staff and a continued partnership with Stanford University, however, the SLAC/Stanford presence at this year's event boasts more than a few eye-catching features.

From a distance, perhaps the most notable element of the exhibit is a half-scale model of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, designed and constructed by SLAC's Tofigh Azemoon. With a wingspan of 25 feet, the telescope hovers over half of the booth, attracting visitors from across the vast exhibit hall.

The Fermi telescope model during setup of the booth.
(Photo courtesy Tofigh Azemoon.)

Below the Fermi model, a four-sided structure highlights the critical role of high-performance computing in research at the lab and the university. Two sides of the structure display a series of visually arresting animations—a 3-D projection system displaying stereoscopic animations on one end of the booth is complemented by a towering display of 15 monitors on the other.

High-resolution images run the lengths of the remaining sides. A glowing map of the gamma-ray sky, based on data gathered from the Fermi telescope, illuminates one side. On the other, an enlarged rendering of the Linac Coherent Light Source's Undulator Hall serves as the background for the display of a glimmering Soft X-ray Materials Science instrument commissioning chamber.

The booth.
(Photo by Melinda Lee.)

Together with two freestanding interactive stations, print and visual material spanning the lab's research programs and an enthusiastic group of SLAC and Stanford exhibitors, this year's showing at SC10 has drawn praise from conference attendees, presenters and exhibitors alike.

"Things have gone really well at this year's event, thanks to those who helped conceive and build the booth and its components," said Azemoon, who led this year's SC10 effort. "We're very proud of what we've been able to accomplish here. We're already brainstorming for 2011."

—Melinda Lee
SLAC Today, November 18, 2010