Michael Wong:This is the inaugural OpenMPCon Conference. It is an OpenMP developers event. Primarily, it follows the way of all developer conferences that have been going on in the community. It is not an academic conference - we already have an academic conference which is also fantastic - but this is a way to connect the language designers with the users, the developers and the companies, like IBM and Intel, that are supplying the compilers. These are the compiler things that usually are not being talked about in a conference where the primary aim is to present research papers.
We want to provide the community a way to come together and ask questions to the language designers, and the language designers get feedback from the community about what kind of things they would like to to have. Clearly there is a need for the developers, and users of the language, to connect directly with other developers and other users, to connect directly to the companies that are supplying the technology, as well as with experts who are designing the language.
There are going to be tutorials for new users, and for advanced users about how things work and about the new designs. Because in the current Internet world you get information from so many resources, you do not really know if they are up-to-date or if they are correct, or which things have changed. It always helps to have a portal, one single place, where we can say: this information comes directly from the OpenMP community, the OpenMP one is owned by the OpenMP ARB. This conference is going to be the actual real place to get the information. Because you can ask people who are perhaps more expert users, but you can also ask details to the language designers themselves.
The programme also shows keynotes, including one from Intel which champions OpenMP. We also have a keynote from Texas Instruments about how OpenMP is used as an emergent technology for embedded processors. We will have a keynote from a Princeton University professor about how he uses OpenMP. And then we have many talks from different users about how they use OpenMP and presentations about how OpenMP works, how we can get performance out of it, and how to scale OpenMP.
We start the programme on Monday with an all day tutorial by another leading Intel educator to teach new users how OpenMP can be used. On Wednesday, we will have another half day tutorial, and a half day of talks in a track format. The tutorial on Wednesday covers very advanced OpenMP and the material about how accelerators work, and that kind of things. This is the material you cannot get from any article. You must be active in the language development itself to know it.
That gives you an idea of what kind of conference topics it is that we are trying to expose.
Primeur Magazine:What is the total duration of the conference?
Michael Wong:It is three days: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. And then immediately afterwards there is going to be IWOMP, the academic conference. That is going to be all paper presentations by researchers. I have a paper in there as well.
So, it is a whole week: people can choose whether they attend the first three days, the last two days or the five days altogether. Immediately following after this, on Sunday, the language committee meeting starts. This meeting will discuss and decide the next parts of OpenMP which is going to be 5.0.
So, it is actually a week and a half of meetings, increasingly getting more and more advanced and complex. Most users and developers just want to attend the OpenMPCon Developers Conference.
Primeur Magazine:Do you already have an idea how many people will attend?
Michael Wong:We just started registration about a week ago, so we do not have an estimate yet. My target is somewhere between 75 and 100 people. That is the standard target for conferences like these. It also depends on what the local interest is. So we intend to start modest this year and then grow.
The location is Aachen. Aachen has been a leading research centre for OpenMP. Members of Aachen University are on the OpenMP Committee, on the Architectural Review Board as well as on the Board of Directors. They generally have a lot of students working on OpenMP. That is what I believe will help us to get more attendance. There are also other active organisations that are in the area: Juelich and Cologne are nearby.
This is a very attractive location for us to start with. This continues, as we hope, next year it will be at Riken University, Kyoto, Japan. So, it follows IWOMP, which goes from Europe to Asia, to America and back, so OpenMPCon will continue following that. In that sense, we can leverage the organisation. The two sister conferences are linked very much together.
So we hope the welcome the OpenMP community next month in Aachen. More information is available at the OpenMPCon website.
Primeur Magazine:Thank you for the interview.