The Longest Mile Matters: [email protected] Coming to Denver, Colorado

By Elizabeth Leake

November 1, 2017

The Understanding Risk in Shared CyberEcosystems workshop will convene Saturday, November 11 through Thursday, November 16, 2017, in Denver, Colorado. In addition to 12 hours of cybersecurity training, URISC participants will attend SC17; the flagship high performance computing (HPC) industry conference and technology showcase that attracts more than 10,000 international attendees each year.

A STEM-Trek call for participation closed Sept. 11. Applications were accepted from cybersecurity professionals, HPC systems administrators, educators and network engineers who support research computing at US and sub-Saharan African colleges and universities in under-served regions. All serve in professional support roles at least 50 percent of the time where they help students, faculty and staff leverage locally-hosted, or remotely-accessed advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) for education and open research.

US applications were reviewed and ranked by African reviewers, and vice versa. Thirty percent of African applications were received from women, and 80 percent of the pool reflects demographics that are typically under-represented in cybersecurity and HPC careers.

Thirty-percent of applicants were awarded grants which cover flights, lodging, ground transit and some meals; international scholars will also receive U.S. pocket-money. Every effort was made to shape the diversity of the final cohort so it mirrors the applicant pool in terms of gender, ethnicity, research domains, and regions represented, and the same consideration was applied when choosing presenters. Eight US participants are XSEDE Campus Champions (six are supported by the project, and two are self-funded), and five are from EPSCoR states (NSF Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research). Special guests from Nepal (ICIMOD) and Canada (U-BC) are invited to attend; altogether, 34 URISC delegates, trainers and guests will represent 11 countries and 12 US states.

An introduction to open-source materials developed by the Center for Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure (CTSC) will be shared, as well as coaching in the art of external relations – specifically how to foster administrative and legislative buy-in for a greater cybersecurity investment on college campuses. The agenda has been customized to consider what has become an increasingly diverse body of campus stakeholders—including researchers, students, faculty, government agency stakeholders, “long-tail” user communities, and regional industry partners.

On Friday, Nov. 10, a small delegation from the US, Botswana, South Africa and Nepal will visit the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder. They will tour NCAR’s visualization lab and cybersecurity center, and meet researchers who lead a variety of global climate and environmental projects.

URISC @SC17 Program Committee:

Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek Nonprofit), URISC Planning Committee Chair and Facilitator;
Von Welch (IU/CTSC), Planning Committee Cybersecurity SME, Facilitator and Trainer;
Happy Sithole (Director, CHPC/Cape Town), URISC Planning Committee SME;
Bryan Johnston (Trainer, CHPC/Cape Town), URISC Trainer;
Meshack Ndala (Cybersecurity Lead, CHPC, Cape Town), URISC Trainer, SME.

Trainers and Special Guests, in order of appearance:

  • Von Welch (Indiana University), Directs NSF-supported Centers for Applied Cybersecurity Research and Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure: “Cybersecurity Methodology for Open Science.”
  • Ryan Kiser (Indiana University): “Log Analysis for Intrusion Detection.”
  • Susan Ramsey (NCAR): “The Anatomy of a Breach.”
  • Jim Basney (National Center for Supercomputing Applications/CTSC): “Lightweight Cybersescurity Risk Assessment Tools for Cyberinfrastructure.”
  • Bart Miller and Elisa Heymann (UW-Wisconsin at Madison): “Secure Coding.”
  • Nick Roy (InCommon/Internet2): “Federated Trust: One Benefit of Regional Alliance Membership.”
  • Thomas Sterling (Indiana University, CREST): Sterling will share highlights of a new NSF-funded course titled, “High Performance Computing: Modern Systems and Practices, first edition,” scheduled for release Dec. 2017.
  • Happy Sithole (Director, South African Centre for HPC): Sithole will provide a brief welcome, and overview of technology initiatives supported by the CHPC.
  • Elizabeth Leake (Director and Founder, STEM-Trek Nonprofit): “The Softer Side of Cybersecurity.”
  • Bryan Johnston & Meshack Ndala (South African Centre for HPC): “Learn to be Cyber-Secure before you’re Cyber-Sorry.”
  • Florence Hudson (Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, Internet2): “IoT security challenges and Risk in Shared CyberEcosystems.”

Why the Longest Last Mile Matters

For more than 50 years, HPC has supported tremendous advances in all areas of science. Densely-populated, urban communities can more easily support subscription-based commodity networks and energy infrastructure that make it more affordable for nearby universities to engage with globally-collaborative science. Conversely, research centers that are located in sparsely-populated regions are disadvantaged since their last mile is much longer; there are fewer partners with which to cost-share regional connectivity. It’s more difficult for them to recruit and retain skilled personnel, they must travel longer distances to attend workshops and conferences, and it’s tougher to buy new hardware and software; there are many more competing priorities for limited funds, and they receive less federal grant support.

At the same time, they represent industrial landscapes that reflect globally-significant environmental factors, rich biodiversity, geology, and minerals. Every place on earth has a unique perspective of our universe, and less-populated regions offer the most detailed and unfettered vantage points. When researchers everywhere can access data that are generated by and stored at these sites, progress will be accelerated toward solutions to problems that impact global climate, environment, food and water security, public health, quality of life, and world peace.

While every HPC professional would benefit from attending the annual Supercomputing Conference, few from the communities STEM-Trek helps could afford to attend otherwise. Many are campus “tech generalists” who must balance administrative, support and teaching obligations; it’s more difficult for them to take time away from work because skill sets are usually one-deep (there is no back-up to mitigate the many crises that arise when centers function with inadequate and/or aging e-infrastructure). Because they wear both sysadmin and trainer hats, they rely on student labor to support their HPC resources. Their students learn more, and make an exponentially larger and more meaningful contribution to the global HPC workforce pipeline.

Even if they could take time away from work, they can’t afford to; in many cases, state and federal travel budgets have been legislatively restricted or eliminated altogether. Some of the countries that will be represented at URISC have consumer prices that are 80 and 90 percent lower than they are in the US and Europe where such conferences are typically held. This is also why they’re disadvantaged when it comes to purchasing new hardware, and why we encourage more affluent universities and government labs to donate decommissioned hardware so its life can be extended for another five to seven years in a light research and training capacity.

Despite these barriers, URISC attendance is easier to justify since participants will not only learn cybersecurity best practices from some of the world’s most informed specialists, they will become part of a multinational “affinity” network which offers a psycho-social framework of support for the future, and access a wealth of information at SC17.

Financial Support for [email protected]

This workshop is supported by US National Science Foundation grants managed by Indiana University and Oklahoma State University, with STEM-Trek donations from GoogleCorelight, and SC17 General Chair Bernd Mohr (Jülich Supercomputing Centre) with support from Inclusivity Chair Toni Collis (U-Edinburgh).

History of Southern Africa’s Shared CyberEcosystem

The SADC HPC Forum formed in 2013 when the University of Texas donated their decommissioned, NSF-sponsored Ranger system to the South African CHPC. Twenty-five Ranger racks were divided into ten smaller clusters and were installed in universities in the SADC region. It is their goal to develop a shared cyberecosystem for open science.

In 2016, a second system was donated by the University of Cambridge, UK. It was also split into small clusters that were installed in Madagascar and South Africa (North-West University). In 2017, Ghana joined the collaboration and CHPC installed a cluster there that will become part of the shared SADC cyberecosystem. The CHPC continues to lead training efforts in the region, and a dozen or so US and European HPC industry experts volunteer to advise as the shared African CI project continues to gain traction.

Many SADC delegates have trained as a cohort since 2013, and it has been a successful exercise in science diplomacy. Among them are network engineers, sysadmins, educators, computational, and domain scientists. While there are multiple language and other cultural disparities, as they train together with a common goal, the team has coalesced despite these differences. They are creating a procedural framework for human capital development, open science and research computing. The SADC HPC Forum serves to inform policy-makers who will then advocate for greater national investments in CI.

History of This STEM-Trek Workshop Series

This will be STEM-Trek’s third year to be involved with an SC co-located workshop for African stakeholders, and the second year to include US participants who work at resource-constrained centers, and therefore share many of the same challenges. In 2015, a workshop for SADC delegates was arranged by the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in Austin, Texas, and was co-facilitated by Melyssa Fratkin (TACC) and Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek). Last year’s “HPC On Common Ground @SC16” workshop in Salt Lake City featured a food security theme and was led by Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek), Dana Brunson (Oklahoma State University), Henry Neeman (University of Oklahoma), Bryan Johnston (South African Centre for High Performance Computing/CHPC) and Israel Tshililo (CHPC).

STEM-Trek will do it again in Dallas next year! The SC18 workshop will have an energy theme—stay tuned for more information!

About the CTSC

As the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, CTSC draws on expertise from multiple internationally-recognized institutions, including Indiana University, the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. Drawing on this expertise, CTSC collaborates with NSF-funded research organizations to focus on addressing the unique cybersecurity challenges faced by such entities. In addition to our leadership team, a world-class CTSC Advisory Committee adds its expertise and a critical eye to the center’s strategic decision-making.

About STEM-Trek Nonprofit

STEM-Trek is a global, grassroots, nonprofit (501.c.3) organization that supports travel and professional development for HPC-curious scholars from under-represented groups and regions. Beneficiaries of our programs are encouraged to “pay-it-forward” by volunteering to serve as technology evangelists in their home communities or in ways that help STEM-Trek achieve its objectives. STEM-Trek was honored to receive the 2016 HPCwire Editors’ Choice Award for Workforce Diversity Leadership. Follow us on Twitter #LongestMileMatters, and FaceBook. For more information, visit our website: www.stem-trek.org.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

OpenPOWER Reboot – New Director, New Silicon Partners, Leveraging Linux Foundation Connections

July 2, 2020

Earlier this week the OpenPOWER Foundation announced the contribution of IBM’s A21 Power processor core design to the open source community. Roughly this time last year, IBM announced open sourcing its Power instructio Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Career Notes: July 2020 Edition

July 1, 2020

In this monthly feature, we'll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high-performance computing community. Whether it's a promotion, new company hire, or even an accolade, we've got Read more…

By Mariana Iriarte

Supercomputers Enable Radical, Promising New COVID-19 Drug Development Approach

July 1, 2020

Around the world, innumerable supercomputers are sifting through billions of molecules in a desperate search for a viable therapeutic to treat COVID-19. Those molecules are pulled from enormous databases of known compoun Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPC-Powered Simulations Reveal a Looming Climatic Threat to Vital Monsoon Seasons

June 30, 2020

As June draws to a close, eyes are turning to the latter half of the year – and with it, the monsoon and hurricane seasons that can prove vital or devastating for many of the world’s coastal communities. Now, climate Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Hyperion Forecast – Headwinds in 2020 Won’t Stifle Cloud HPC Adoption or Arm’s Rise

June 30, 2020

The semiannual taking of HPC’s pulse by Hyperion Research – late fall at SC and early summer at ISC – is a much-watched indicator of things come. This year is no different though the conversion of ISC to a digital Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Solution Channel

Maxar Builds HPC on AWS to Deliver Forecasts 58% Faster Than Weather Supercomputer

When weather threatens drilling rigs, refineries, and other energy facilities, oil and gas companies want to move fast to protect personnel and equipment. And for firms that trade commodity shares in oil, precious metals, crops, and livestock, the weather can significantly impact their buy-sell decisions. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

What’s New in HPC Research: Mosquitoes, [email protected], the Last Journey & More

June 29, 2020

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

OpenPOWER Reboot – New Director, New Silicon Partners, Leveraging Linux Foundation Connections

July 2, 2020

Earlier this week the OpenPOWER Foundation announced the contribution of IBM’s A21 Power processor core design to the open source community. Roughly this time Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion Forecast – Headwinds in 2020 Won’t Stifle Cloud HPC Adoption or Arm’s Rise

June 30, 2020

The semiannual taking of HPC’s pulse by Hyperion Research – late fall at SC and early summer at ISC – is a much-watched indicator of things come. This yea Read more…

By John Russell

Racism and HPC: a Special Podcast

June 29, 2020

Promoting greater diversity in HPC is a much-discussed goal and ostensibly a long-sought goal in HPC. Yet it seems clear HPC is far from achieving this goal. Re Read more…

Top500 Trends: Movement on Top, but Record Low Turnover

June 25, 2020

The 55th installment of the Top500 list saw strong activity in the leadership segment with four new systems in the top ten and a crowning achievement from the f Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ISC 2020 Keynote: Hope for the Future, Praise for Fugaku and HPC’s Pandemic Response

June 24, 2020

In stark contrast to past years Thomas Sterling’s ISC20 keynote today struck a more somber note with the COVID-19 pandemic as the central character in Sterling’s annual review of worldwide trends in HPC. Better known for his engaging manner and occasional willingness to poke prickly egos, Sterling instead strode through the numbing statistics associated... Read more…

By John Russell

ISC 2020’s Student Cluster Competition Winners Announced

June 24, 2020

Normally, the Student Cluster Competition involves teams of students building real computing clusters on the show floors of major supercomputer conferences and Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Hoefler’s Whirlwind ISC20 Virtual Tour of ML Trends in 9 Slides

June 23, 2020

The ISC20 experience this year via livestreaming and pre-recordings is interesting and perhaps a bit odd. That said presenters’ efforts to condense their comments makes for economic use of your time. Torsten Hoefler’s whirlwind 12-minute tour of ML is a great example. Hoefler, leader of the planned ISC20 Machine Learning... Read more…

By John Russell

At ISC, the Fight Against COVID-19 Took the Stage – and Yes, Fugaku Was There

June 23, 2020

With over nine million infected and nearly half a million dead, the COVID-19 pandemic has seized the world’s attention for several months. It has also dominat Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Global Supercomputing Is Mobilizing Against COVID-19

March 12, 2020

Tech has been taking some heavy losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Global supply chains have been disrupted, virtually every major tech conference taking place over the next few months has been canceled... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Steve Scott Lays Out HPE-Cray Blended Product Roadmap

March 11, 2020

Last week, the day before the El Capitan processor disclosures were made at HPE's new headquarters in San Jose, Steve Scott (CTO for HPC & AI at HPE, and former Cray CTO) was on-hand at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC conference in Houston. He was there to discuss the HPE-Cray transition and blended roadmap, as well as his favorite topic, Cray's eighth-gen networking technology, Slingshot. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Honeywell’s Big Bet on Trapped Ion Quantum Computing

April 7, 2020

Honeywell doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of quantum computing pioneers, but a decade ago the high-tech conglomerate better known for its control systems waded deliberately into the then calmer quantum computing (QC) waters. Fast forward to March when Honeywell announced plans to introduce an ion trap-based quantum computer whose ‘performance’ would... Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

TACC Supercomputers Run Simulations Illuminating COVID-19, DNA Replication

March 19, 2020

As supercomputers around the world spin up to combat the coronavirus, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is announcing results that may help to illumina Read more…

By Staff report

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This