Building Diversity and Broader Engagement in the HPC Community

By AJ Lauer

August 7, 2019

Increasing diversity and inclusion in HPC is a community-building effort. Representation of both issues and individuals matters – the more people see HPC in a way they can relate to, the more likely they will come to the field. To make this community available to anyone who might want to participate we must continue to create formal programs to welcome people in, show them the usefulness of HPC or how HPC can benefit them, and develop meaningful relationships to provide support and everyday visibility.

Creating systemic and structural changes to develop the inclusive culture in HPC requires individual and organizational effort that should be championed, funded, and appreciated. Institutional efforts often come in the form of policy and procedural changes, but individual endeavours can come in many forms. Below we highlight five individuals who are building our community one mentoring relationship, iphone app, and data analysis at a time.

Christine Harvey – Lead High Performance and Analytic Computing Engineer, MITRE Corporation, & Chair, SC20 Students @SC Program

Christine leads all aspects of the MITRE corporation’s high performance computing operations including procurement, system management, and daily operations. In this role she works with users and research teams to provide the right systems and to educate staff on how to use those systems.

Christine’s first exposure to the world of high performance computing was at SC10 in New Orleans, which she attended with her college. Christine was a student volunteer at SC10, and has been working with the [email protected] program in various ways ever since. [email protected] is the largest student-focused program in high performance computing. The SC19 program will have 175 student volunteers working over 1,500 hours at conference events. Student volunteers come from a variety of educational and social backgrounds and are selected for their interest in HPC, enthusiasm for the conference, and potential to benefit from participation. The 164 student volunteers for SC18 represented 38 countries, with 61 first generation college students, and 108 attending SC18 for the first time as a volunteer. In addition, nearly 40 percent of student volunteers were women, reflecting the growth of female representation within the SC community. Benefits to volunteering include free housing during the conference, which goes a long way toward making SC accessible to students who may want to attend.

Nihanth Cherukuru – Project Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Augmented reality is Nihanth Cherukuru’s chosen mode to aid scientific understanding, improve the accessibility of visualizations and exhibits, and encourage public participation in HPC and STEM fields. He works in the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory at NCAR where he focuses on optimizing AR/VR mobile apps, UX design, and investigating the creative use of these technologies to increase accessibility, usability, and effectiveness of AR/VR applications. He hopes to use the immersiveness of AR/VR technology and the affordability of smartphone-based applications to lower the barrier of access to NCAR’s science for both the general public and individuals with visual impairments. His free Meteo-AR app, which allows users to experience visualizations of NCAR datasets on an augmented reality globe, has had nearly 13,000 unique installs. While AR is often thought of as a purely visual tool, Nihanth is exploring how the technologies behind AR such as marker detection and tracking could be used to augment physical surroundings with audio cues. These cues can provide an alternate way to interact with visual data such as museum exhibits that may increase accessibility for individuals with visual impairments. When released, an app based on this concept will allow museum and exhibit directors to tag their facilities with audio cues which will allow people with visual impairments to navigate the space and learn more about the material being presented. Nihanth also serves as a mentor in the Summer Internships in Parallel Computational Sciences (SIParCS) program at NCAR, which has a goal of increasing the diversity of the HPC workforce. As an alumni of the program, he enjoys working with students who aspire to use HPC to have a positive impact on the world.

Rosalia Gomez –  Education and Outreach Manager, Research Engineering/Scientist Associate IV – Texas Advanced Computing Center, Executive Committee Member – ACM SIGHPC Computing4Change & XSEDE Advanced Computing for Social Change, Champions Board member – Texas Girls Collaborative Project

Rosalia’s passion for increasing diversity and inclusion in HPC stems from a formative early experience with the upward bound math/science program, which sparked her interest in STEM. She works to create such transformative experiences for others like her. In her role as Education and Outreach Manager at TACC, she has grown programs from the ground up, developing and facilitating activities that bring HPC to diverse students and members of the community. Rosalia’s efforts include participation in the XSEDE Broadening Participation program, the National Science Foundation funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REU) Site at TACC, the NSF INCLUDES: SPICE program, and Advanced Computing for Social Change (ACSC)/Computing4Change (C4C). In the ACSC/C4C programs, students learn data science skills and apply them to societal problems that matter to them, like violence or local issues. This fosters greater enthusiasm and makes learning computational science more engaging. By intentionally recruiting and engaging students that have also been historically underrepresented in STEM careers, Rosalia hopes to increase participation and their ability to see themselves in HPC.

Ruby MendenhallAssociate Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign & Assistant Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation, Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Ruby Mendenhall’s career and research are dedicated to promoting equality for underrepresented individuals. Her research highlights the important role that accurate data can play in increasing representation. Ruby’s curiosity about using big data in social science research was ignited during an outreach presentation by Kevin Franklin from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. This presentation and subsequent conversations guided her in her use of data science technology to study Black women and social inequality. Through a fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Computing and Technology and NCSA, Ruby and a team of researchers analyzed 800,000 documents dated 1746 – 2014 to learn about the lived experiences of Black women, including the ways in which they challenged social inequality. She used topic modeling to analyze themes about African American women; then used those themes to recover previously unidentified documents. HPC allowed Ruby and her team to sift through unusual texts such as essays and diaries, often written by individuals other than Black women, to uncover important historical information. To date Ruby and her team have been able to identify and metatag nearly 3,500 documents that were previously unidentified as being by or about Black women. This significant increase in available documentation will allow social scientists and humanists to gather more knowledge about Black women and center their lived experiences and previously unheard voices in the historical records.

Wendy Wilhelm – Engineering Manager, HPC Integration Team, Intel Corporation & Intel Native American Network Oregon Executive Sponsor

Wendy Wilhelm manages a diverse team that integrates, validates, and debugs Intel hardware. As an engineering manager at Intel, she and her team are responsible for building small-scale, end-user style HPC systems using internally-developed test suites and open-source workloads and benchmarks. She and her team use their knowledge of hardware and software systems to provide pre- and post-silicon feedback.

Wendy is a firm believer in supporting various minority groups in high tech. She participates in programs such as Women in Intel, Oregon Leadership Conference (targeted at the underrepresented minority community), is the Oregon Executive Sponsor of the Intel Native American Network, and her team is currently 32 percent female and 41 percent underrepresented minorities including women, Native Americans, Latinx, and African Americans. Wendy is also one of the founders of the Women in HPC social (formerly the Intel women’s night at SC).

Wendy’s work in diversity and inclusion also includes developing meaningful mentoring relationships with individuals from all backgrounds. She believes in paying forward her own mentoring experience by mentoring employees across the globe, and is also currently a mentor to two women through the Women in HPC mentoring program. Wendy says she has mentored more individuals than she can remember, and this skill at mentoring pays off. Most of the people that come to her team do so never having worked on an HPC system before, and many go on to establish careers as HPC professionals in other roles.

About the Author

As the lead for the Outreach, Diversity, and Education team in the Computational & Information Systems Lab at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, AJ Lauer (Twitter, LinkedIn) directs the Summer Internships in Parallel Computational Sciences (SIParCS) program and works with her team and labmates to create outreach efforts that inspire future generations of HPC users. She is a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Leadership EdD program at Creighton University where her dissertation work will focus on gender and leadership in HPC.

 

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!

Dell’s AMD-Powered Server Line Targets High-End Jobs

September 17, 2019

Dell Technologies rolled out five new servers this week based on AMD’s latest Epyc processor that are geared toward data-driven workloads running on increasingly popular multi-cloud platforms as well as in the HPC data Read more…

By George Leopold

Cerebras to Supply DOE with Wafer-Scale AI Supercomputing Technology

September 17, 2019

Cerebras Systems, which debuted its wafer-scale AI silicon at Hot Chips last month, has entered into a multi-year partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as part of a larger collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Better Scientific Software: Turn Your Passion into Cash

September 13, 2019

Do you know your way around scientific software and programming? You think you can contribute to the community by making scientific software better? If so, then the Better Scientific Software (BSSW) organization wants yo Read more…

By Dan Olds

AWS Solution Channel

A Guide to Discovering the Best AWS Instances and Configurations for Your HPC Workload

The flexibility and heterogeneity of HPC cloud services provide a welcome contrast to the constraints of on-premises HPC. Every HPC configuration is potentially accessible to any given workload in a well-resourced cloud HPC deployment, with vast scalability to spin up as much compute as that workload demands in any given moment. Read more…

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Intel FPGAs: More Than Just an Accelerator Card

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) acceleration cards are not new, as they’ve been commercially available since 1984. Typically, the emphasis around FPGAs has centered on the fact that they’re programmable accelerators, and that they can truly offer workload specific hardware acceleration solutions without requiring custom silicon. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Rumors of My Death Are Still Exaggerated: The Mainframe

[Connect with Spectrum users and learn new skills in the IBM Spectrum LSF User Community.]

As of 2017, 92 of the world’s top 100 banks used mainframes. Read more…

Google’s ML Compiler Initiative Advances

September 12, 2019

Machine learning models running on everything from cloud platforms to mobile phones are posing new challenges for developers faced with growing tool complexity. Google’s TensorFlow team unveiled an open-source machine Read more…

By George Leopold

Cerebras to Supply DOE with Wafer-Scale AI Supercomputing Technology

September 17, 2019

Cerebras Systems, which debuted its wafer-scale AI silicon at Hot Chips last month, has entered into a multi-year partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as part of a larger collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IDAS: ‘Automagic’ HPC With Training Wheels

September 12, 2019

High-performance computing (HPC) for research is notorious for having steep barriers to entry. For this reason, high-tech disciplines were early adopters, have Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake

Univa Brings Cloud Automation to Slurm Users with Navops Launch 2.0

September 11, 2019

Univa, the company behind Grid Engine, announced today its HPC cloud-automation platform NavOps Launch will support the popular open-source workload scheduler Slurm. With the release of NavOps Launch 2.0, “Slurm users will have access to the same cloud automation capabilities... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

When Dense Matrix Representations Beat Sparse

September 9, 2019

In our world filled with unintended consequences, it turns out that saving memory space to help deal with GPU limitations, knowing it introduces performance pen Read more…

By James Reinders

Eyes on the Prize: TACC’s Frontera Quickly Ramps up Science Agenda

September 9, 2019

Announced a year ago and officially launched a week ago, the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s Frontera – now the fastest academic supercomputer (~25 petefl Read more…

By John Russell

Quantum Roundup: IBM Goes to School, Delft Tackles Networking, Rigetti Updates

September 5, 2019

IBM today announced a new open source quantum ‘textbook’, a series of quantum education videos, and plans to expand its nascent quantum hackathon program. L Read more…

By John Russell

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

Fastest Academic Supercomputer Enters Full Production at TACC, Just in Time for Hurricane Season

September 3, 2019

Frontera, the NSF supercomputer installed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in June, passed its formal acceptance last week and is now officially la Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

High Performance (Potato) Chips

May 5, 2006

In this article, we focus on how Procter & Gamble is using high performance computing to create some common, everyday supermarket products. Tom Lange, a 27-year veteran of the company, tells us how P&G models products, processes and production systems for the betterment of consumer package goods. Read more…

By Michael Feldman

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AMD Verifies Its Largest 7nm Chip Design in Ten Hours

June 5, 2019

AMD announced last week that its engineers had successfully executed the first physical verification of its largest 7nm chip design – in just ten hours. The AMD Radeon Instinct Vega20 – which boasts 13.2 billion transistors – was tested using a TSMC-certified Calibre nmDRC software platform from Mentor. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

TSMC and Samsung Moving to 5nm; Whither Moore’s Law?

June 12, 2019

With reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) and Samsung are moving quickly to 5nm manufacturing, it’s a good time to again ponder whither goes the venerable Moore’s law. Shrinking feature size has of course been the primary hallmark of achieving Moore’s law... Read more…

By John Russell

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Top500 Purely Petaflops; US Maintains Performance Lead

June 17, 2019

With the kick-off of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt this morning, the 53rd Top500 list made its debut, and this one's for petafl Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hardware That Powered the Black Hole Image

June 24, 2019

Two months ago, the first-ever image of a black hole took the internet by storm. A team of scientists took years to produce and verify the striking image – an Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray – and the Cray Brand – to Be Positioned at Tip of HPE’s HPC Spear

May 22, 2019

More so than with most acquisitions of this kind, HPE’s purchase of Cray for $1.3 billion, announced last week, seems to have elements of that overused, often Read more…

By Doug Black and Tiffany Trader

Chinese Company Sugon Placed on US ‘Entity List’ After Strong Showing at International Supercomputing Conference

June 26, 2019

After more than a decade of advancing its supercomputing prowess, operating the world’s most powerful supercomputer from June 2013 to June 2018, China is keep Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Qualcomm Invests in RISC-V Startup SiFive

June 7, 2019

Investors are zeroing in on the open standard RISC-V instruction set architecture and the processor intellectual property being developed by a batch of high-flying chip startups. Last fall, Esperanto Technologies announced a $58 million funding round. Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel Confirms Retreat on Omni-Path

August 1, 2019

Intel Corp.’s plans to make a big splash in the network fabric market for linking HPC and other workloads has apparently belly-flopped. The chipmaker confirmed to us the outlines of an earlier report by the website CRN that it has jettisoned plans for a second-generation version of its Omni-Path interconnect... Read more…

By Staff report

Intel Debuts Pohoiki Beach, Its 8M Neuron Neuromorphic Development System

July 17, 2019

Neuromorphic computing has received less fanfare of late than quantum computing whose mystery has captured public attention and which seems to have generated mo Read more…

By John Russell

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