Purdue Women in HPC chapter one of the first selected for affiliation with international organization
Purdue’s Women in High-Performance Computing (WHPC) group was recently announced as one of the first chapters selected for affiliation with the international Women in HPC organization’s new pilot program.
Purdue WHPC was co-founded by Gladys Andino, an ITaP senior scientific applications analyst who specializes in bioinformatics, in the fall of 2016 as part of an ITaP workforce development initiative to increase the representation of women in high-performance computing, with a focus on addressing the problem beginning at the undergraduate level. The group’s activities include hosting outside speakers to talk about HPC and women in technology, travel support for students to attend conferences and present their research, and a mentoring program that connects students to women who are further along in a career in HPC.
The international Women in HPC organization, led by staff at the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Center in Edinburgh, Scotland, similarly has a vision to encourage women to participate in the HPC community by providing fellowship, education, and support to women and the organizations that employ them. During the pilot program, which includes six chapters and three affiliates across Europe and North America, WHPC will work with local chapters to support and promote women in their organizations and assist employers in recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce.
“Our affiliation as an official chapter of the Women in HPC organization will help broaden our community and network of peers as we work to advance the representation of women and other underrepresented populations in the field of HPC,” says Marisa Brazil, ITaP Research Computing program manager, who currently leads Purdue’s chapter with Andino. Andino and Brazil hope to eventually transition leadership of the group to its student members, to create professional development opportunities and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the program.
“From the beginning, my vision for Purdue WHPC has been that together as a group, we can create and promote an environment where representation of women in the workplace is the norm and not the exception,” says Andino. “Purdue WHPC is a place where women from all backgrounds interested in HPC can feel welcome and feel that they belong. This affiliation will help us continue to realize that vision.”
“At WHPC we are delighted to be accepting Purdue University as a chapter under the pilot program, and working with them to build a sustainable solution to diversifying the international HPC landscape,” says Toni Collis, chair and co-founder of the international WHPC organization and chief business development officer at Appentra Solutions.
Purdue WHPC will host Fernanda Foertter, a GPU developer advocate at Nvidia, on Nov. 29. The December WHPC meeting, which will take place at 3 p.m. on Dec. 5 in Rawls 2077, will feature Purdue’s all-women student supercomputing team talking about their experiences competing in the student cluster competition at the SC18 supercomputing conference. The team was formed by WHPC and is advised by ITaP Research Computing staff.