Ubuntu House @SC18

© Lorimar Distribution

Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek) recently asked SC18 travel grant awardees (traveling to Dallas, Texas Nov. 9-16), “Shall we call our AirBnB South Fork or Ubuntu House?”

All she heard were crickets.

“Remember? J.R. Ewing was the lead character in the 1980’s teledrama, and South Fork was the name of his ranch.”

Again. Silence…

She began to realize this cohort was either too young to have known about the television series, Dallas, or grew up in places where it was never a ‘thing.’  They should consider themselves lucky to have avoided a decade of show-inspired “Texas Helmet Head” and massive shoulder pads. Seriously; we looked like linebackers!

So, Ubuntu House it is!

From Wikipedia: Ubuntu (Zulu pronunciation: [ùɓúntʼù])[1][2] is a Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity.” It is often translated as “I am because we are,”  or “humanity towards others.” It can also be used in a more philosophical sense to mean, “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all of humanity.”[3] 

Ubuntu house resembles a ranch house and is located on the DART public transit system near the convention center. While six STEM-Trek beneficiaries and our facilitator will lodge and dine there, transit passes, some flights and pocket-money are covered thanks to the generosity of Micron Foundation and Cray Computing. Fifteen US and pan-African delegates will receive full conference technical program registration waivers thanks to the SC18 General and Inclusivity Chairs.

Introducing the SC18 STEM-Trek Cohort

Adam Erck is the Director of the Doane Center for Computing in the Liberal Arts at Doane University in Crete, Nebraska where he manages Doane’s supercomputer and supervises the computer consultants. Erck is an XSEDE Campus Champion, and when he is not teaching others how to use computer code, he is usually tinkering with a computer or releasing energy at the lap pool or archery range. Adam has interests in computers, science, space, artificial intelligence and military history.

Genito Maure supports the African HPC Ecosystems project on behalf of the University of Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique. Maure is skilled in numerical modeling and simulation of physical processes, statistical data analysis, fortran, high performance computing, shell scripting, climate change adaptation, and more. Maure earned a PhD in Environmental and Geographical Science from the University of Cape Town and works as a professor.

Nox Moyake is a senior research marketer for the South African Center for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at the Centre for High Performance Computing in Cape Town. Moyake is a journalist, writer, editor and publications production specialist with more than seven years of experience in the HPC industry. She has hosted, organized and attended many workshops and international conferences. This year, she will blog about SC18 for STEM-Trek. 

Meshack Ndala is a technical analyst with the South African Centre for High Performance Computing in Cape Town. This will be Ndala’s second SC conference; he attended STEM-Trek’s URISC@SC17 workshop. This year, he’s supporting the SCINet program.

Wendi K. Sapp has earned a B.S. and an M.S. in Chemistry and has performed research in computational chemistry and physics. Now, she is a Linux Systems Engineer and Technical Writer at Oak Ridge National Laboratories where she focuses her efforts on assisting users with complex computational workflows. Wendi has interests in science communication, teaching and outreach. She volunteers to support the Sustainable Horizons Institute and serves as its XSEDE Campus Champion. Sapp is supporting the SC18 Early Career program, and will blog for STEM-Trek about their activities.  wendisapp.com

Horst Severini is responsible for distributed computing at the University of Oklahoma Supercomputing Center for Education and Research (OSCER). With more than 20 years of experience in various fields of High Performance and High Throughput Computing, Severini started the ATLAS computing activities in the OU HighEnergy Physics group in 1999, and is still the main driver of the now quite substantial ATLAS Tier2 Computing Center at OU. Severini has supported the OpenScienceGrid (OSG) High Throughput Computing effort since it began in 2001 and has helped many institutions and researchers — in the US, South America and Africa — get up to speed with OSG software. Since 2012, he has been on the International Advisory Committee of the African School of Physics.

Georgia Stear is a STEM evangelist and experienced event coordinator from Moline, Illinois. Stear will serve as the Ubuntu House host and team facilitator, and will organize shared meals and outings for the group.

Additional US/Pan-African STEM-Trek delegates

The following delegates are supported by SC18, CHPC, their employers or other sponsors (they will lodge elsewhere):

Lourino Chemane (MoRENet, Mozambique)
Kevin Colville
(South African CHPC)
Frederick Ekhaise (U-Benin, Nigeria)
Bryan Johnston (South African CHPC)
Lino Khalau (MoRENet, Mozambique)
Cyrus Kamau Kihuha (NACOSTI, Kenya)
Dan Lorts
(STEM-Trek Blogger and Dallas-based HPC Evangelist)
Hensley Omorodion
(U-Benin, Nigeria)
Bigani Sehurutshi (U-Botswana)
Happy Sithole (South African CHPC)
Dorah Thoybe
(South African CHPC)

Paul Devlin is a sophomore in the computer science department at the University of Dallas. In his free time, he competes in programming competitions and hackathons, and plays the piano. As part of his coursework, he has multithreaded Java programs and familiarized himself with C. Last Summer, he used Tensorflow and TACC’s Maverick Supercomputer to train machine learning models as part of a research program at the University of Texas at Arlington. He said, “I am super excited about the many uses for HPC; especially bioinformatics.”

Devlin heard about SC in mid October from Jim Wilgenbusch (U-Minnesota; Minnesota Supercomputing Institute). Wilgenbusch wrote to ask Leake if she knew of a way that Devlin could participate in SC. Leake knew it was too late to apply for the student program, but she recalled that HPCNow! offered to share an SC18 exhibitor pass with her when she spoke at their conference in Barcelona last summer. Devlin offered to help HPCNow! as a booth show floor runner in exchange for the pass. STEM-Trek covered the cost of his workshops-only registration, and the student program coordinator suggested there is room for one more in the mentoring session and other events–Ubuntu Style!

Thank you, sponsors and friends!

Special thanks go to Ralph McEldowney (SC18 General Chair) and Toni Collis (SC18 Inclusivity Chair)!

We are especially grateful for financial support from Micron and Cray!

We couldn’t get by without help from our friends Jordi Blasco, David Tur and Ana Ruth Reizabal (HPCNow!); Christine Harvey (Mitre Corporation/SC18 Student Program Chair); Mary Ann Leung (Sustainable Horizons Institute and SC18 Early Career Chair); and Jim Wilgenbusch (MSI; he led us to another HPC-curious scholar right there in Dallas!).

Watch our sponsors’ and friends’ websites to see what they will be doing at SC18!

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