Student Volunteers

The undergraduate and graduate student volunteers are a mainstay of the SC conference series. While meeting and interacting with leaders in high-performance computing and networking, they assist with SCinet, media relations, exhibit setup and a host of other functions. Read the information below, and then consider applying to the SC2003 student volunteer program!

The Student Volunteers application website will be ready on Monday, April 14. The URL is

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So, what is the SC2003 conference?
SC2003 is this year’s event of an annual conference series that focuses on the development and application of high-performance computing and networking technologies. This year's conference will be Saturday November 15, through Friday, November 21, 2003 in Phoenix.

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What is a student volunteer?
A student volunteer helps out with the administration of the conference in exchange for free conference registration, housing, most meals, conference goodies and more.

We ask students to volunteer 20-25 hours of work during the conference. You will interact with the conference organizers and presenters, and meet other students from all over the world. It's an opportunity to get involved with a great conference while reducing expenses. It's also not a bad item to have on your resume.

Student volunteers have the opportunity to see and discuss the latest high-performance networking and computing technology and meet leading researchers from around the world while contributing to the success of this annual event. No special skills or experience are necessary for most volunteer positions; however, some familiarity with computing platforms, audio/visual equipment, or office equipment can be helpful.

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Who is eligible to be a student volunteer?
Any full-time college student may become a student volunteer at SC2003. Both undergraduate and graduate students are welcome. In order to be considered, a faculty recommendation is required. High school students are not encouraged to apply, but local (Phoenix area) high school students might be considered under special (as yet undefined) circumstances.

Students from minority-serving institutions are especially encouraged to volunteer.

When are student volunteers needed?
Official conference activities will start on Sunday, November 16, and continue through Friday morning, November 21. This is a weeklong commitment to the conference.

You will need to arrive at the conference by Saturday afternoon, November 15. We will have our first group meeting Saturday evening.

Conference setup and especially deployment of the conference high-speed network takes place the week before the conference begins. A few students with an interest in networking could volunteer for these network deployment activities.

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What are the benefits of being a student volunteer?
The conference provides students with:

  • Registration for the conference, including technical sessions and invited speakers
  • Access to the exhibit floor (and enough time to see the exhibits)
  • Hotel accommodations at one of the conference hotels
  • Conference proceedings on CD-ROM
  • Admission to special events on Monday and Thursday evenings
  • Meals during conference hours
  • New wardrobe (several T-shirts)

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What don't I get as a student volunteer?
There are some important considerations for you to be aware of:

  • We do not have a travel budget for student volunteers. Your school or you will have to pay travel costs.
  • There are a few meals that are not provided (Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday dinner, for example).

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What kinds of work will I do as a volunteer?
Students distribute and collect evaluation forms in each of the tutorials and technical sessions, assist speakers with handouts or A/V equipment, and help in the registration office and conference store.

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Hmmmm! Doesn't sound like much fun. Why would I want to do this?
Well, you are only committed to 20-25 hours of volunteer duties. The rest of the time you can attend the technical sessions. The real fun is cruising the exhibit floor where hardware and software vendors and many research institutions all have very interesting exhibits and demonstrations. And you can schmooze with thousands of people in the high-performance computing and communications community. Some of them might be interested in hiring you in a year or two.

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Do I have a vote in what work I do as a volunteer?
Not much, but we'll do what we can. There are often fewer volunteers than tasks. And unanticipated tasks can pop up anytime. Sometimes we have to scramble. But if you have special skills, we will try to use them.

Are there students with special skills or other characteristics that you encourage to apply?
Glad you asked!

  • Students with an interest in networking and who can help the week before the conference.
  • Japanese translators to assist at registration and on the exhibit floor.
  • Students from under-represented groups and institutions.
  • International students.

Wow! How do I register?
The registration page will go live April 2003.
You will need to provide basic information about yourself and why you want to attend SC2003 as a student volunteer.