ESP-HPC: Ethical, Social, and Policy Issues in High Performance Computing

November 22, 2024
Supercomputing 2024

Georgia World Congress Center
285 Andrew Young International Blvd NW
Atlanta 30313
United States

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  • Purdue University


Purdue University

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ESP-HPC: Ethical, Social, and Policy Issues in High Performance Computing

Friday, November 22nd, 8:30-Noon

Symposium held in conjunction with SC24: The International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, November 17-22, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 

Symposium Overview

Advances in High-Performance Computing (HPC) raise enduring and difficult social, economic, epistemological, and ethical issues. Who gets access to HPC resources, and who should have access? When can HPC simulations be trusted? Do the costs of utilizing large, energy-hungry HPC systems justify their benefits? Does HPC offer novel ways to impart an understanding of complex systems? 

Issues such as these are genuinely interdisciplinary: they cannot be adequately addressed without input from experts inside and outside a traditional STEM sphere of influence. The goal of this symposium on Ethical, Social, and Policy Issues in High Performance Computing (ESP-HPC) is to bring together researchers from diverse fields to present and discuss these issues of mutual interest.

About The International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis

The International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis – typically referred to simply as `Supercomputing’ or `SC’ – was initiated in 1988 and has since become the premier international conference on topics related to HPC, with an attendance of over 14,000 people in 2023.

The conference itself has multiple components. In addition to the main technical program (spanning Tuesday – Thursday), the conference is bookended by three days of full- and half-day workshops and symposia. ESP-HPC was selected by SC organizers for inclusion as a half-day symposium. Given the scope of participation at SC, we believe this is an ideal venue for encouraging discussions across disciplines.

Call For Abstracts

The organizers of ESP-HPC invite submission of abstracts (750 words maximum, not including references) for consideration for inclusion as short invited talks for the in-person program. Submitted abstracts will be double blind reviewed, and selected authors will be invited to attend to present and discuss their work with participants. See below for additional information on preferred scope and topics.

Thanks to generous support by Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts and Department of Philosophy, we expect to be able to cover registration costs for those without travel support for SC24 who are accepted through this CfA process (valued at approximately $700).

After the conclusion of the symposium, based on presentations and discussion, some speakers may be invited to submit an article to be considered for publication in a special issue of Computing in Science and Engineering ( The special issue is expected to appear in the Spring or Summer of 2025.

Preferred Scope

ESP-HPC is intended to start discussions among many disciplines not typically associated with the Supercomputing community. Scholars in the social sciences and humanities are particularly encouraged to submit their work with regard to HPC. The ideal abstract should be broadly accessible to an educated audience. The ethical, social, or policy issues concerned should be the central focus of the abstract. If accepted, submitters will have 20 minutes to give a talk with the expectation a significant portion of this time will be spent leading a thought-provoking discussion with attendees. Though we invite submissions from all disciplines investigating ethical, social, or policy issues in HPC, the following topics are of particular interest for ESP-HPC:

  • Access issues in HPC (equity, policy, …)

  • Costs of HPC (energy, environmental, monetary, political)

  • Legal issues in HPC

  • HPC public policy

  • Epistemology of simulations (scientific codes)

  • Philosophy of science and HPC

  • AI/ML in HPC (ethical, social)

Important Dates and Information

  • Abstracts are limited to 750 words, not including references.

  • Abstracts must be submitted via the supercomputing website:

    • Note: You will have to create a profile prior to submission.

    • The submission form includes space for a short (150 word) abstract; this is necessary and will be used on the Supercomputing website in the event the abstract is selected for the workshop. Please upload a pdf of the full abstract (blinded) in the “Paper Upload” section of the submission form. 

  • Abstract submission due date: Monday July 29th AOE

  • Notification: 25th August

  • Final materials (e.g., abstract that will appear on official SC website): 27 September

  • Date and time of workshop: November 22nd 830-12:00

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September 27, 2024, 9:00am EST

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