Colombian and Botswana Researchers Awarded ISC Travel Grant Funds

May 23, 2019

FRANKFURT, Germany, May 23, 2019 — ISC High Performance is very pleased to announce that Aurelio Vivas a Master of Science research assistant in Computer Engineering at the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, and Molly Nkamogelang Kgobathe, a postgraduate researcher and teaching assistant at the University of Botswana, have been selected as the ISC Travel Grant recipients this year. They have been chosen out of 62 international applications.

The ISC High Performance Travel Grant Program (ISC Travel Grant), was introduced in 2018 to enable university students and young researchers who are interested in acquiring high performance computing knowledge and skills, but lack the necessary resources to obtain them, to be a part of the ISC High Performance conference.

Both Vivas and Kgobathe will each be awarded a grant of 2500 euros to cover travel expenses and boarding. ISC High Performance will also provide the grant recipients free registration for the entire conference, which takes place from June 16 through June 20 at Messe Frankfurt, Germany.

Vivas is currently implementing two key projects in the Computer Engineering department at the Universidad de los Andes. One is developing algorithms for parallel and distributed computing systems to process satellite imagery data; the other is in support of experimental work for molecular dynamics simulations. He is also a researcher for a local project that is focused on utilizing unused capacity on commodity hardware for HPC workloads.

At the Universidad del Valle, Vivas is involved in a non-profit initiative called the Computational Platforms Seminar, which seeks to demonstrate the benefits of HPC to the scientific community. In 2017, the event held talks on OpenMP and OpenACC programming, experimental reproducibility with containers, and HTCondor.

Vivas believes there is a critical need to elevate HPC culture in Colombia, in particular, expanding access to scientific computing gateways and promoting cooperation between universities. “Most of the scientific community in Colombia is unaware of HPC platforms,” says Vivas. “They still carry out experimentation on their personal computers without the possibility of improving the computation time of their results.”

Molly Kgobathe is a second year Master of Science student at the University of Botswana, where she has been both a systems analyst and a lab instructor. She is currently a member of the Computer Science HPC team at the university, as well as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) HPC Ecosystem.

Kgobathe is also a co-founder of the local Women in HPC organization, a grassroot NGO that brings together Botswana women in HPC to disseminate acquired knowledge and experiences from working professionals, in addition to providing inspirational role models for younger students. The newly established Botswana chapter is a small group but collaborates with the University of Botswana Student HPC Cluster group, which hosts an annual HPC system admin workshop. The group also has other projects in the pipeline, including outreach and training workshops.

Following the ISC conference, Kgobathe hopes to return to her position at the university to take on increasingly responsible HPC administrative tasks, bringing her interests in data science and HPC to bear on her system admin role. In her future endeavors, Kgobathe says she is determined to “utilize my talents and work closely with my colleagues in achieving strategic long-term goals in a well-established organization.”

If any organization would like to meet these two interesting young people onsite or help them advance their HPC ambitions, please get in touch with the ISC Travel Grant program coordinator, Ms. Colleen Sheedy at [email protected]

About ISC High Performance

First held in 1986, ISC High Performance is the world’s oldest and Europe’s most important conference and networking event for the HPC community. It offers a strong five-day technical program focusing on HPC technological development and its application in scientific fields, as well as its adoption in commercial environments.

Over 400 hand-picked expert speakers and 160 exhibitors, consisting of leading research centers and vendors, will greet attendees at ISC High Performance. A number of invited programs complement the Monday – Wednesday keynotes, including the Distinguished Speaker Series, the Industry Track and the Machine Learning Track. The ISC Contributed Program consists of Tutorials, Workshops, the Research Paper Sessions, Birds-of-a-Feather Sessions, Research Poster, the PhD Forum, Project Poster Sessions and Exhibitor Forums. Various social events allow attendees to get together for informal interaction.


Source: ISC High Performance

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