STAC Summit, 16 Oct 2018, Chicago

STAC Summits

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STAC Summits bring together industry leaders in architecture, app dev, infrastructure
engineering, and operational intelligence to discuss important technical challenges in
the finance industry. Come to hear leading ideas and exchange views with your peers.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018
STAC Exchange (exhibits) opens at 9:00am
Meeting starts at 9:30am
Networking Lunch at ~12:15pm
Conference concludes ~4:00pm
Reception immediately following.

Illinois Institute of Technology Auditorium
565 West Adams Street, Chicago


Times are approximate


Big Compute Big Compute

Fast Compute Fast Compute

Big Data Big Data

Fast Data Fast Data


9:30am Python for Data Science and Machine Learning: Where are things headed?Big Data   Big Compute   

Over the last two decades, Travis has authored and/or directed the teams for several popular Python tools for data science, including NumPy, SciPy, Numba, Dask, JupyterLab, and Ananconda. Today he and his colleagues spend their time at Quansight creating new tools while helping organizations leverage the Python ecosystem to improve their data science, machine-learning (ML), and "Augmented Intelligence" (AI) processes. In this talk, Travis will provide his points of view (and take your questions) on key issues facing trading and investment firms using Python, including its relation to other languages in common use like R, Scala, and Julia. Which approaches to ML and AI on Python have the most traction and future? Which Python tools are best suited to which challenges? How far can you take a notebook like Jupyter today and in the near future? What is the future of Julia and R in a Python-based enterprise? What is the state and future of Python on accelerators like GPUs and FPGAs?

10:00am Navigating the AI landscapeBig Data   Big Compute   

One of the blessings of the tech industry’s huge investment in AI is the proliferation of tools to make the production of models easier, faster, and less expensive. But this proliferation is also something of a curse. With dozens of software frameworks and hardware architectures to choose from, figuring out which combinations are best for a given set of AI objectives can be daunting. In this talk, Will will sketch out the AI ecosystem and a way of thinking about its components. He will then suggest some tools firms can use to make evaluating AI solutions easier.

10:30am Benchmarking the value drivers of ML solutionsBig Data   Big Compute   

It's a non-trivial challenge to benchmark machine-learning techniques and technologies in a way that captures the key elements that are important to decision makers in a business. Investment managers and trading desks care about many things beyond raw performance, such as model quality, time to market, and cost. In this talk, Michel will use early test results from a common text-processing use case in finance to illustrate a general framework for ML benchmarks that can be applied by financial firms and technology vendors (oh, and by benchmarking firms).

10:45am Break


11:15am Update on Big Workloads and CloudBig Data   Big Compute   

Peter will present the latest benchmark results for big data workloads like tick analytics and big compute workloads like derivatives valuation. He will also provide an update on the STAC Cloud Special Interest Group SIG, a group of financial firms and vendors focused on improving assessments and dialog relating to public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions.

11:25am Innovation RoundupBig Data   Big Compute   
  "The Changing Landscape of Compute, Storage and Memory"
    Russel Santillanes, Financial Services Industry Technical Specialist, Intel
  "HPE purpose-built portfolio for HPC and AI"
   Keith Bazarnick, Master Engineer, HPE
  "Levyx: Trends in Low Latency Analytics and Computational Storage"
    Matt Meinel, SVP Solutions Architecture, Levyx


11:40am Panel: Staying ahead of data analytics challengesBig Data   Big Compute   

The challenges inherent in data analytics to support trading and investment, as well as the potential of new technologies to help, have been big topic of research and discussion at STAC for about a decade. Even after all that time, it's still a hot topic. Why is that? What are the most recent challenges, and how can firms solve them? Our panel will bring together several innovators with unique angles on the topic. To kick off, the vendors on the panel will each provide a short presentation:

  "Run your code in the database: User Defined Functions in Python"
   Edouard Alligand
  "Tackling the challenges of rapidly growing data stores"
   Joel Sehr
  "The importance of storage acceleration to analytics"
   Venky Nagapudi


12:15pm Networking Luncheon


1:15pm Is FPGA acceleration of financial analytics viable?Fast DataBig Data   Fast Compute   Big Compute   

FPGA technology has traditionally required custom hardware design and development in RTL. But according to panelists at the STAC Summits last spring, hardware and software is now available to ease creation of FPGA-accelerated algorithms and to deploy them quickly in the datacenter. The question is: are these new products up to the challenging demands of financial analytics? In this talk, Mike will discuss what kinds of workload make good targets for FPGA and present recent case studies where FPGA acceleration has been used for financial applications. While the main focus of these cases is the acceleration achieved, Mike will also discuss other key attributes such as scaling and ease of use.

1:40pm STAC Update: Fast DataFast Data   

Peter will discuss the latest research and Council activities related to low-latency/high-throughput realtime workloads, including time synchronization.

1:50pm Innovation RoundupFast Data   
  “Exciting new products from Exablaze”
    Dr. Matthew Grosvenor, VP of Technology, Exablaze
  "Integrating high-accuracy synchronization into your financial operations"
    Francisco Girela López, Senior FPGA engineer, Seven Solutions
  "FEC off"
    Davor Frank, Director, WW Sales Engineering, Solarflare


2:05pm Rethinking networks in financeFast Data   

In 2013, Dave Snowdon helped launch Metamako to deliver network hardware solutions to the ultra-low latency market. Five years and many plane trips from Sydney later, Dave and the Metamako team became part of Arista. In this talk, Dave will catch his breath and consider the big picture of networks in financial services enterprises. How do recent business and regulatory trends affect customer requirements around networking? What potential synergies exist between front-office and back-office networks? Dave will offer some opinions on these questions and take more from you.

2:30pm Break


3:00pm Innovation RoundupFast DataFast Compute   
  "Next-gen Market Access: ULL tick-to-trade made easier with Enyx"
    Laurent de Barry, Co-founder & Chief Sales Officer, Enyx
  "Introducing NovaSparks Next Generation Platform"
    Olivier Baetz, COO, NovaSparks
  "FPGA-Accelerated Market Making for CME"
    John Lockwood, CEO, Algo-Logic


3:15pm Cryptotrading: The good, bad, and weirdFast DataBig Data   Fast Compute   Big Compute   

Institutional trading and investment firms are taking cryptocurrencies very seriously. Even after the recent bubble burst, the top 100 cryptocurrencies reportedly have a total value of 187 billion dollars. The excitement is pulling many firms in from the sidelines. According to one report, over the last two years the number of hedge funds in crypto has gone from 20 to 287. But with the excitement comes challenges. There's significant regulatory uncertainty. Crypto markets work differently from other markets. And while the blockchain technology underlying cryptocurrencies is quite advanced, the technology used to trade them can be woefully inappropriate. Our expert panel will discuss the current situation, including: How do market structures differ from other assets? What it’s like to trade on crypto exchanges, and how do the technologies differ? What directions could or should crypto trading technology take? What role are traditional exchanges playing and how could they be more helpful? How could potential market innovations or regulatory decisions impact technology directions?

~4:00pm Networking Reception

About STAC Events & Meetings

STAC meetings bring together industry leaders to focus on challenging areas of financial technology. They range from large in-person gatherings (STAC Summits) to webinars and working group teleconferences. 

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