Purdue Women in HPC member wins award at national research computing conference

  • September 11, 2018
  • Science Highlights

Nicole Brewer, a senior in mathematics and computer science and a member of Purdue’s Women in HPC group, received the Phil Andrews Award at the 2018 Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC) conference for her work on combinatorial game theory using Purdue’s Halstead community cluster supercomputer.

In addition to her research award, Brewer received travel support from the conference and participated in the PEARC18 student program. That included a student modeling challenge where Brewer and three teammates modified Python code to study a series of scientific research questions and presented their findings.

She also participated in a speed dating-style career fair, where she had the chance to meet representatives from companies in the field of high-performance computing. Brewer, who’s interested in a career in software development, especially for scientific applications, appreciated the opportunity to network with potential employers.

“I walked away with more technical and soft skills than I could have ever imagined,” says Brewer of the PEARC student program.

As much as she enjoyed the student program, Brewer says the most rewarding part of the conference was presenting her paper, “Classification of Periodicity in Subtraction Game Sequences,” for which she and her advisor, Mark Daniel Ward, a professor of statistics, received the Phil Andrews Award for Most Transformative Contribution to PEARC18.

Brewer credits ITaP Research Computing staff members for their mentorship on this project, as well as Ward, who introduced her to Purdue’s Women in HPC group and has partnered with ITaP Research Computing to bring high-performance computing into the undergraduate classroom.

Before she graduates in December, Brewer will compete in the Student Cluster Competition at the SC18 supercomputing conference in Dallas, as part of an all-women Purdue team made up of undergraduate Women in HPC members. The team is advised by ITaP Research Computing staff.

Brewer was supported by the Center for Science of Information’s Channels Program. The Center for Science of Information is a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center at Purdue.

Originally posted: September 11, 2018 2:46pm EDT