Badisa Mosesane’s NCSA Internship and PEARC19 Activities

Badisa Mosesane (University of Botswana) recently completed a three-month (plus two weeks) cyberinfrastructure professional internship at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). While he was there, he learned about the Blue Waters supercomputer, the XSEDE project, the NCSA Industry program, and much, much more!

Here’s his report.

In July, Badisa had the opportunity to attend the Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC19) conference in Chicago. Badisa presented an update about the DRONES4GOOD project during STEM-Trek’s AI4GOOD@PEARC19 workshop.

Badisa Mosesane presenting an update of the DRONES4GOOD project during the AI4GOOD@PEARC19 workshop

Badisa’s NCSA internship was supported by the National Science Foundation. Gap funds were provided by Cray Computing via STEM-Trek Nonprofit.

We appreciate the care with which this opportunity was planned and executed. Special thanks to …

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AI4GOOD@SC19: Apply by Sept. 12!

Join STEM-Trek in Denver, Colorado-US November 16-22 for SC19, the international conference on high-performance computing, networking, storage and analysis!

A limited number of registration waivers (conference plus two-day tutorial registrations donated by the conference), and possibly travel support, funds pending, will be available for eligible candidates who apply before September 12.


Cybersecurity professionals, HPC systems administrators, educators, researchers, tech project managers, and network engineers who are responsible for supporting and securing research computing systems and data at colleges and universities in resource-constrained regions are welcome to apply. In the U.S., those meeting the above criteria who work at institutions in EPSCoR states and territories are eligible. We are especially eager to receive applications from women and others from demographics that are under-represented in STEM academics and careers. Applicants must be at least age 21 by November 1, 2019, and work at least 50 percent of the time in …

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Join us @PEARC19 in Chicago!

Join STEM-Trek in the Windy City for the Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC19) conference, July 28-August 1, 2019! We’re hosting a workshop on Monday, July 29, that will enlighten participants about applications for artificial intelligence (AI) that are used for social good. Biomedical advances, economic empowerment strategies, agricultural innovation and quality of life improvements for citizens in underserved regions will be emphasized. 

Hands-on training sessions will acquaint participants with a variety of useful AI skills, and our security panel will foster thoughtful discussion about related privacy, ethics and compliance challenges associated with inter-institutional and international research.

You may also enjoy the “Stop Chasing Unicorns in the Global Gig Economy” panel discussion on Wednesday, July 31 from 11:05 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. in the agency A-B room at the Hyatt. Join Moderator Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek & University of Iowa), with panelists Ben Rogers (University of …

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My gap year: when I became obsessed with fraud, and why you should be, too.

By Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek)

Those who know me well may recall me talking about the “psycho-fraud” book I was editing last summer. It’s now available on Amazon, and the author has graciously donated 14 copies to STEM-Trek—four are signed! They will be re-gifted to those who make a tax-deductible donation to STEM-Trek that will support our summer AI4GOOD@PEARC19workshop (see details toward the end of this article). 

But I’m getting ahead of myself; to fully appreciate this event, we should go back 18 months…

In 2018, I covered seven international tech conferences, and put five new stamps on my passport. I downsized from an aging 1,500 square foot home on a one-third acre lot in northern Illinois where I had lived since 2000, and moved to a brand-new, one-bedroom apartment in Iowa City where everything works (including me, in a temporary contract with the University …

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African HPC Ecosystems CHPC’18 Birds-of-a-Feather Session (Cape Town)

Fifteen delegates from six countries attended the African HPC Ecosystems birds-of-a-feather session during the Centre for High-Performance Computing’s (CHPC) National Conference in Cape Town, December 2-5.

The HPC Ecosystems project is led by Bryan Johnston (CHPC Advanced Computer Engineering (ACE) Lab Senior Technologist and Lecturer), who also led the BoF. The project was formed when large, X86-class HPC systems were decommissioned by the University of Texas-US (UT) in 2012 and 16, University of Cambridge in 2014 and CHPC in 2015; the hardware was then donated to Johnston’s team at CHPC who split them into smaller, two and three-cabinet, stand-alone clusters. The refurbished systems, and a supply of spare parts, were distributed to 18 data centers in a dozen countries where they continue to live a second life in a workforce development and light research capacity.

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HPCKM’19 June 13-15, Barcelona; DEADLINE EXTENDED! Apply by April 24!

Barcelona is lovely in June! Apply through STEM-Trek Nonprofit for free registration & lodging by April 24!

The eighth HPC Knowledge Meeting is June 13-14 at the Barcelona Advanced Industry Park in Barcelona, Spain. At this meeting, HPCNow! CEO David Tur and CTO Jordi Blasco foster the exchange of expertise and strategies among professionals who support research computing resources and services around the world.

The technical program’s content is fairly advanced, and the meeting’s intimate scale provides ample time for delegates to establish rapport with fellow attendees and expert presenters from academia and industry. Last year, delegates from a dozen countries enjoyed a tour of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, home of the MareNostrum HPC system.

This year’s speaker line-up includes Brad Chamberlain (Cray); Todd Gamblin (Lawrence Livermore National Lab); Carlos Eduardo Arango Gutierrez (Syslabs, Inc.); Kenneth Hoste (Ghent University); Karl W. Schultz (OpenHPC); Claudia …

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Happy New Year from Nepali STEM-Trekker Raksha Roy

3 January 2019

Dear Elizabeth.

I would like to call 2018 as the most remarkable year of my life, professionally, and a colossal acknowledgement goes to you, STEM-Trek, Colleen Sheedy (International Supercomputing Conference, ISC), Julian Kunkel (University of Reading), and others who helped make my June 2018 trip to Frankfurt and the ISC possible. You introduced me to a whole new world; in fact, the experience expanded me so much that I was unable to fit back into my former life upon returning to Nepal!

After ISC, my newfound thirst for learning became intense, which led me to pursue and win a scholarship to attend a technical conference in Shanghai, China in November. Then, on 29 December, I presented a paper at a National Students’ Conference on IT in Kathmandu, Nepal, where I had the opportunity to talk about high-performance computing (HPC). …

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ISC Travel Grants: Young Researchers and Students Apply by Feb. 15!

Once again, the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) will sponsor two travel grants; the deadline to apply is February 15. Please share this link with young researchers and students who would benefit from attending ISC19 in Frankfurt, Germany June 16-21.   Photo by Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek): 2018 ISC travel grant award winners Badisa Mosesane (U-Botswana, on left) and Raksha Roy (Nepal/ICIMOD, on right) with Thomas Sterling (Indiana University). 

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STEM-Trek Year In Review

By Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek)

Many thanks to those who donated to STEM-Trek in 2018; we appreciate your support very much.

Annual Report of Activities

It wasn’t an easy year for STEM-Trek. U.S. tax law changes affected the philanthropy behavior of many corporations who feared that it wouldn’t be as financially-favorable to donate to charity as it has been in the past. Even though the changes wouldn’t have mattered to some, we saw widespread stalling; some came through toward the end of the year, but very few. Instead of donating cash, they are now more likely to donate in-kind services, and/or host internship programs. Most want to see a tangible return-on-investment. Since the tone at the top impacts US corporate culture, fewer are concerned with diversity and inclusion. It was also a slow year for federal grants; they were taking up to 10 months to disburse once approved. Since STEM-Trek doesn’t …

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Good Samaritans on the DART line in Dallas @SC18

By Bigani Sehurutshi (University of Botswana)

By the time my travel to Dallas for SC18 was approved, STEM-Trek’s UbuntuHouse was already full.

When I was looking for accommodations, I was advised to consider places next to the DART light rail service. Because I booked late, and because tens of thousands were in town for the conference, the only place I could find was some distance from the convention center.

On the first day of the conference, the hotel shuttle dropped me at Burbank rail station. I had no Internet access to check for the DART stop that was closest to the convention center. When I tried to buy a ticket, the machine wasn’t working.

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