Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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Ten Conferences You Don’t Want to Miss 

With the end of summer the conference season kicks into high gear again. Here are some selected events you might want to consider attending to advance yourself personally and professionally. The fact that some of them are being held in sunny locations like Arizona and San Diego during the middle of winter only adds to their appeal.

A selection of digital manufacturing-oriented shows to help you work better, smarter, faster.

With the end of summer the conference season kicks into high gear again. Here are some selected events you might want to consider attending to advance yourself personally and professionally.

The fact that some of them are being held in sunny locations like Arizona and San Diego during the middle of winter only adds to their appeal.

November 8-10, 2011
Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati, OhioThis is a brand new conference launched by the MTC Connect Institute designed to promote the business and technical benefits and implementation of MTConnect. So why should you care?

Well, if you're a typical manufacturer, you have hundreds, even thousands of machines and independent systems working to make your products efficiently and cost-effectively. However, quite often these machines and systems are unable to communicate with one another, making it difficult to track whether or not your operation is functioning at peak levels. The Institute is designing an open, royalty free communications standard based on XML that will allow devices, equipment and systems to intercommunicate and interoperate to make the entire manufacturing enterprise more productive.

MTC Connect Institute founding sponsors and partners include some industry heavy hitters like GE, TechSolve, the Association for Manufacturing Technology, General Dynamics and System Insights.

The conference will showcase commercially available products utilizing the standard. End users, software developers, C-level executives, and manufacturing technology builders will come back to their company with new skills and a much better understanding on what it takes to compete in 21st century manufacturing.

SC11 - International Conference for High Performance Computing
November 12-18, 2011
Washington State Convention Center, Seattle
SC11 logo

If there is only one conference you can attend to catch up on all the latest happenings in high performance computing (HPC), this is it. About 10,000 participants from industry, academia and government are expected to attend the show.

The SC11 Technical Program, featuring peer-reviewed papers covering a broad spectrum of technical research as well as panel discussions featuring research and industry leaders, tutorials, workshops and more, is available online in an interactive calendar format at

Seattle, WashingtonThis year's technical thrust is data-intensive science. Technical program content will address numerous data issues, including managing, manipulating, moving, sharing, analyzing and archiving large datasets, dealing with disparate data formats, and analyzing and computing against near real-time streams of scientific data.

The exhibitor list reads like a Who's Who of the computer industry along with representation from all the major government labs such as Oak Ridge and Argonne National Laboratories.

Bring your umbrella — this is the rainy season in the Pacific Northwest.

I/ITSEC 2011 Conference
November 28 – December 1, 2011
Orlando, Florida

Orlando, FloridaIf you're on the conference circuit and just returned from SC11 in soggy Seattle, you may be ready for a trip to Florida. The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) is the world's largest modeling, simulation, and training conference. I/ITSEC promotes cooperation among the Armed Services, industry, academia and various government agencies in pursuit of improved training and education programs, identification of common training issues R. Bowin Loftinand development of multiservice programs.

Last year the show drew more than 20,000 participants and almost 600 exhibitors and this year promises to top those numbers. The keynote will be provided by R. Bowin Loftin, president of Texas A&M University, one of those rare individuals who looks good in a bow tie.

Defense Manufacturing and Industrial Base Conference
November 28 – December 1, 2011
Anaheim, California

Billed as the premier defense manufacturing and industrial base conference in the country, DMC is expecting over 1,000 attendees and more than 220 exhibitors. Keynotes are being provided by luminaries from the Department of Defense, USAF, DARPA and other agencies and organizations as well as industry. For example, Bob Smith, vice president and chief technology officer of Honeywell Aerospace, and Chris Chadwick, president of Boeing Military Aircraft Company are keynoting.

The theme for the conference, "Strategically Aligning Our Strengths to Help Shape the Force," will address the performance requirements of the warfighter, present and future, and the ability to respond rapidly and effectively to a wide range of possible threats. Concurrent discussion on the issues impacting affordable manufacturing of these superior systems and platforms will be part of the agenda.

The 3rd International Symposium on Digital Manufacturing 2011
(Innovative Engineering System Creation with Computer-based Technology)
November 30 - December 2, 2011
Kitakyushu, Japan

Kokura CastleThis conference will not only give you an update on the latest in advanced digital manufacturing, but also the opportunity to explore this fascinating city. ISDM-2011 will provide researchers, educators, engineers and industry experts with a chance to disseminate their latest research results and accomplishments. The conference will be a forum to share ideas and discuss new techniques and applications in mechatronics and IT and speed the development of advanced equipment manufacturing.

And as far as the venue is concerned, here's the charming write up that appears on the conference website: "Kitakyushu city has a population of just under one million which is lies in the northern part of Fukuoka Prefecture. Moji Port is remembered in history for its once flourishing international trade. The rows of buildings covered with a nostalgic air give whole town an atmosphere of romance. The illuminations of the night view add more to the romance of the moment. Kokura, the metropolitan center of Kitakyushu, presents the "Kokura Castle Garden", symbols of stylish castle town. We welcome you to join the conference and enjoy the local flavor of Kitakyushu." How can you resist?

Winter Simulation Conference 2011
December 11-14, 2011
Phoenix, Arizona

The Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) in sunny Phoenix serves as the premier international forum for disseminating recent advances in the field of system simulation.

The conference features tracks devoted to leading-edge developments in simulation modeling and analysis methodology together with a diversity of simulation application areas including: agent-based modeling; business process reengineering; computer and communication systems; construction engineering and project management; education; emergency response; the environment and sustainability; healthcare; homeland security; logistics, transportation and distribution; manufacturing; military operations; risk analysis; virtual reality; web-enabled simulation; and the future of simulation.

WSC provides the central meeting place for simulation practitioners, researchers, and vendors working in all disciplines in industry, service, government, military, and academic sectors. This is an extremely well-establish conference, dating it beginnings to 1967 when the Conference on Applications of Simulation Using the General Purpose Simulation System (GPSS) was held in New York City.

WSC 2011 also plays host to MASM 2011, described below.

7th International Conference on Modeling and Analysis of Semiconductor Manufacturing (MASM) 2011
December 11-14, 2011
Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, ArizonaThis conference, contained within WSC 2011, is a forum for the exchange of ideas and best practices between researchers from around the world involved in modeling and analysis of advanced manufacturing systems. All attendees of the MASM conference can register for WSC 2011 at the same cost. All participants of WSC 2011 can attend MASM 2011 sessions.

According to the organizers, "While the conference is mostly focused on the current semiconductor industry state-of-the-art, neither presenters nor attendees need to be in the IC industry to participate. We are interested in any methodologies, research, and/or applications from other related industries such as TFT-LCD, flexible displays, bio-chip, solid state lighting (LED) and photovoltaic (PV) that might also share or want to share common and new practices."

Part of the agenda is dealing with the challenges driven by Moore's Law and the burgeoning "More than Moore's Law" movement that focuses on system integration instead of transistor density. This, according to an IEEE Spectrum article, will lead to a component density of about a million per square centimeter by 2020.

Biomanufacturing Summit 2012
January 30-21, 2012
La Jolla, San Diego, California

La Jolla, CaliforniaHere's a small, highly-focused conference that attracts about 200 senior level industry professionals working within manufacturing process development and product operations. Topics to be covered include: globalised network management; biologics supply chain optimization; cost of compliance; process validation; internal and external tech transfer processes; improving CMO management; and capacity management.

And La Jolla in January is very, very nice.

2012 Ground Robotics Capabilities Conference NDIA
March 21–23, 2012
San Diego, California

The purpose of this conference is to bring together warfighters and homeland security users, technology developers (government, industry and academia), and acquisition professionals to address increased responsiveness to user needs.

This conference will also provide a forum for the exchange of information, ideas and methodologies to provide US forces with unmanned ground technologies. The technical discussions and exhibits will present innovations in ground robotics, night vision, radar and electronic warfare systems as well as the latest in data fusion, networked sensors, and data analysis tools. 

IMTS 2012
September 10-15, 2012
McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois

ChicagoIf you're involved in the metalworking industry this is one show you won't want to miss. It's America's largest manufacturing gathering and it only comes around every two years. IMTS expects more than 82,000 visitors and well over 1,000 exhibitors.

Leading manufacturers will display their wares in product category pavilions that include:

  • Metal cutting: contains everything from machining centers and assembly automation to Flexible Manufacturing Systems and lathes.

  • Tooling and workholding systems: features jigs, fixtures, cutting tools of all types and related accessories.

  • Metal forming and fabricating/laser processes: home to waterjet, plasma-arc and laser systems, welding equipment, heat treating and more.

  • Other pavilions at IMTS include abrasive machining /sawing/finishing; controls and CAD – CAM; EDM; gear generation; machine components/ cleaning/environmental, and quality assurance.

Sessions explore innovative as well as revered technologies, business development and optimization, plus workforce efficiency and productivity. Special emphasis is placed on maintaining focus on your short- and long-term goals during a tough economic environment.

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