[email protected] Will Be Held As Pre-Conference Workshop

November 2, 2022

Elizabeth Leake, Director of Research Computing Services at Boise State University and founder of STEM-Trek Nonprofit, was recently awarded a National Science Foundation grant to support [email protected] [email protected] is a pre-conference workshop that will take place ahead of the international Supercomputing Conference (SC) on high-performance computing, networking, and storage (November 13-18, 2022). The workshop will be held on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 11-12.

Applications were encouraged from early- and mid-career professionals working in research computing and data science (RCD) professions. Those who hold advanced degrees, support research in earth science-related domains, or are from demographics that are globally underrepresented in RCD academics and careers were favored. Candidates from Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states and those participating in the African HPC Ecosystems project were prioritized.

Fourteen U.S. delegates from 10 states will participate at the pre-conference workshop; six from EPSCoR state universities and one from a minority-serving institution. Additionally, 13 virtual registrations will be awarded to delegates who are unable to travel.

Through Google’s generous donation to STEM-Trek Nonprofit, and a dozen technical program registrations provided by the SC22 conference general chair, ten delegates from five pan-African countries will join their American counterparts in Dallas.

This is the fourth in a series of themed SC workshops facilitated by Leake, who is also STEM-Trek’s founder and director. Previous workshops had RCD training, precision agriculture and cybersecurity themes.

Leake has served on committees for nine virtual RCD training programs since the start of Covid-19. This will be the first in-person, international convening that Leake has managed in several years. This period has been especially difficult for some. Those who lack internet access in their homes have struggled to access online education, commerce and healthcare. Many in sub-Saharan Africa experience daily load-shedding, a practice where energy companies shut down sections of the grid on a schedule to reduce consumption. Delegates from these regions will benefit immensely from the return to in-person participation once again.

“We’ve assembled world-class experts who will advise and share resources, best practices, and strategies,” said Leake. “Postcards from the Edge,” or first-person testimonials of edge-related technical challenges, will be collected and shared in a no-judgment zone. Each will deliver a flash talk about their projects and open themselves up to friendly fire from experts.

“SC often draws more than 10,000 attendees, which can be overwhelming for first-time attendees,” Leake adds. About a third of this year’s cohort have attended the Supercomputing Conference in the past. The pre-conference activity helps delegates feel more at home and allows SC veterans to mentor new members. The cohort will join a greater global community of practice that provides one another with techno-psycho-social support long after the conference ends.

Leake was assisted with planning by Boise State University Cyberinfrastructure Engineer Jason Watt, Boise State University HPC Systems Administrator James Nelson, and South African Centre for HPC Senior HPC Systems Administrator Bryan Johnston.

Keynote

Welcome Keynote: Mary Jane Bopape, Managing Director of the South African Environmental Observational Network. Preceding this appointment, Bopape was the Research Senior Manager at the South African (SA) Weather Service and worked at the SA Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. She completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Reading in the UK and holds a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Pretoria. As an atmospheric modeling specialist, Dr. Bopape works with a range of timescales including short-range forecasting, seasonal prediction, and climate change projections. She has led several regional projects, including one among six Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states. She was one of 21, 2019 Climate Research for Development (CR4D) fellowship grantees and a 2021 AIMS Women Fellow in Climate Change Science. She is a co-recipient of the 2008 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) award for young researchers and was listed among the most influential Africans of 2021 by the New African magazine.

Additional Presentations and Training

Cyberinfrastructure for AI at the EdgeSAGE: Peter Beckman (UChicago) – Distributed, intelligent sensor networks that can collect and analyze data are essential to scientists seeking to understand the impacts of global urbanization, natural disasters such as flooding and wildfires, and climate change on natural ecosystems and city infrastructure.

Hour of CI” and GISandbox with Eric Shook (U-Minnesota) – The Hour of CI project is a nationwide campaign introducing hundreds of diverse undergraduate and graduate students to cyber infrastructure. Modeled on the “Hour of Code,” the Hour of CI project is building a sustainable learning community and scalable training environment to train learners at institutions ranging from R1 universities to two-year teaching colleges.

Shawana Johnson (Global GIS Expert) – Shawana P. Johnson, maintains a USG security clearance and is a GISP (Certified Geographic Business Information System Professional). As a geospatial intelligence expert, Johnson supports the U.S. government, global security, and intelligence industries with market information focused on global-commercial geospatial imagery assets from spaceborne to terrestrial-based technology platforms needed to utilize geospatial assets and tools. She has expertise in agriculture, water resources, maritime security, and land asset resource planning. She is highly involved in growing Geospatial Support for funding in Africa for Geospatial Public Private Partnerships and developing commercial awareness of sensor-based data to support the geospatial community growth.

Invited

WIFIRE: Jessica Block, UCSD – San Diego Supercomputer Center.
WIFIRE Commons is a data-driven, artificial intelligence (AI) enabled, and model-based scientific approach that ultimately aims to limit and even prevent the devastating effects of wildfires by using advanced technologies to support fire mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

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