’23 HPC Symposium

 The WHPC@GT chapter organized a ’23 HPC Symposium on April 14, 2023, featuring accomplished women within the field of HPC at Georgia Tech and GTRI. Dr. Deepa Phanish, the newly appointed President of the chapter, welcomed the audience saying this was the first in-person event hosted by the organization after being launched in December 2020. The mission of the chapter is to increase the diversity and inclusiveness of the HPC community and make computational resources available to all. This symposium aimed to give opportunities to female researchers in the field to showcase their work, and more importantly, provide exposure to their success stories among the budding generation. Deepa thanked the Office of Information Technology and Georgia Tech for sponsoring the event. 

 The invited speakers provided insight into the applications of High-Performance Computing within their own field of study ranging from HPC systems, dynamic models, to biosciences and large-scale network simulations. Dr. Margaret Loper, Regents Researcher and Associate Director at the Information Communications Lab at GTRI presented “6G Enabled Simulation at the Edge”. Her talk highlighted the importance of Edge intelligence in big data analytics while getting closer to an Internet-of-Everything. Dr. Nisha Chandramoorthy, Assistant Professor in the school of Computational Science & Eng at Georgia presented a new method for computing the linear response of a chaotic system in her talk “Toward algorithms for understanding complex dynamical systems”. She further discussed the statistical properties of a non-converging algorithm to predict its generalization performance. Dr. Annalisa Bracco, Professor in the School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences presented “Climate Science and Machine Learning”. In her interesting talk, she discussed the use of machine learning to evaluate ecosystem connectivity and biodiversity in marine ecosystems​ showing how the recovery potential of coral reefs is impacted by their connectivity to other ecoregions. Dr. Lynn Kamerlin, Professor in the School of Chemistry & Biochemistry, presented her work on “Loop Dynamics and the Evolution of New Enzyme Functions”, highlighting the computational approaches and methods to study loopy proteins, which has practical applications in the field of biotechnology and biomedicine e.g., drug discovery. Dr. Fang (Cherry) Liu, Sr. Research Scientist/Interim Manager at PACE and Adjunct Assoc Professor in the School of Computational Science & Engineering presented ongoing research initiatives at PACE which included PACE-Fact (Fast Analysis of Computational Trend), a scheduler Data Analytics Tool; PACE-ProvBench, a provenance based automated benchmark suite; fully automated scratch storage cleanup tool; and semi-automatic hybrid software deployment workflow. Cherry has served as the previous president of WHPC@GT and lead multiple online events which attracted national and international audiences. Finally, Dr. Alexa Harter, Regents Researcher and Director of CIPHER lab at GTRI provided a captivating talk of how futuristic concepts of DNA memory and Quantum computing are becoming a reality at GTRI.  

Data management and storage along with co-design has become even more important with advancements of ML/AI

 In addition to the invited talks, the event hosted a panel discussion on the topic “Latest advancements and career of women in HPC”. The speakers shared their own career-journey and challenges they have overcome as women minority in the field. Talking about the latest trends, the panel highlighted the importance of data management and storage to meet the needs of ML/AI and how collaboration and co-design has become even more important. The panel also shared their thoughts on how the younger generation of students can be successful in research and career. Some noteworthy points from the panel discussion were – Students should look for opportunities and start involving in research projects in addition to their coursework right from their undergraduate education. Finding the right career and organization that’s supportive and matches their interests is important – it would be very helpful experience to do internships with different organizations. If one finds themselves in an unfair/unsupportive group, they need to be bold and make a change. Talking about the challenges faced by women, it was noted that female fertility issues are often not discussed, and it is important to discuss the conflict of career and fertility timelines in women to raise awareness in creating more supportive workplaces. On a final note, panel brought light to the initiatives in Georgia Tech and GTRI over the last few years that has closed the equity gap for their women employees. 

It is important to discuss the conflict of career and fertility timelines in women to raise awareness in creating more supportive workplaces

May 9, 2023