STEM-Trek receives 2020 HPCwire Workforce Diversity Leadership Readers’ Choice Award

17th Annual HPCwire Awards Presented to Leaders in the Global HPC Community

SAN DIEGO, Ca.  — November 16, 2020 — STEM-Trek Nonprofit has been recognized in the annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards, presented digitally during the virtual 2020 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC20) via The list of winners was revealed and is accessible through the HPCwire virtual booth, and on the HPCwire website,   STEM-Trek was recognized with the following honor(s):

Readers’ Choice: Workforce Diversity Leadership Award

The annual, highly coveted, HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards are determined through a rigorous nomination and voting process that engages the global HPCwire community and includes intensive review and selections from the HPCwire editorial team. The awards represent prestigious recognition from the HPC community and have become a proud, prominent feature of the publication. These accolades are revealed each …

Read More

ScienceSlam@SC20 Grand and First Prize Winners!

Congratulations, Bryan Johnston (Centre for HPC, South Africa). Bryan won first place in the Outreach category, then prevailed in the final run-off against four others.

The ScienceSlam@SC20 challenge was to communicate complex scientific content in terms that could be understood by a 13-year-old. Student judges for the first round ranged in age from 10 to 20 years; all were from rural communities in the U.S. and South Africa. For the final contest, the audience was a mixture of contestants, families, friends and others from the HPC community.

Bryan’s video described the history and evolution of a training initiative that prepares the HPC workforce in more than a dozen countries throughout southern Africa. While many of us reverted to an online format in 2020, his team made that move well before the pandemic when they realized that open-source training and VMs in the cloud are far more efficient than …

Read More

PEARC20 – A New Virtual Experience

A person smiling for the camera Description automatically generated

By Ana Luisa Veroneze Solorzano,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

I was excited to attend the Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC) conference for the first time. Even in this year’s virtual mode, I felt that the PEARC20 week was intense – almost as if I had attended in-person!

First, I set up my daily schedule using the conference interface, Brella. This allowed participants to enter virtual rooms to see each presentation and contribute to interactive dialogue, before migrating to the next session. I participated in the PEARC20 Student Program, too. It was a great week, and I felt extremely welcome by the PEARC community; I can tell that everyone put a lot …

Read More

SC19 All-Star Lineup!

Sixteen attended SC19 with help from STEM-Trek and friends. Nine offered blogs to share their experience, and we’ve captured the collection here.

We would like to thank SC19 General Chair Michela Taufer, Google, HPCNow! and STEM-Trek friends and advisers for their help.

Michael Jeszenka (Georgia Tech)

Vitalina Baptiste (MoRENET, Mozambique)

Umesh Upadhyaya (HPCNepal)

Eugene de Beste (U-Western Cape, South Africa)

Henry Simfukwe (ZAMREN, Zambia)

Marcus Bond (SE Missouri State)

Anton Limbo (U-Namibia)

Rosanne Els (U-KwaZulu Natal, South Africa)

Strahinja Trecakov (New Mexico State U)

Many worked together to make SC19 possible – more than:780 volunteers, 370 exhibitors, 1,150 presenters, and a record 13,950 attendees.

Read More

SC19: Sharing Economy extends budgets so more can participate!

By Strahinja Trecakov, Systems Developer, Information and Communication Technologies at New Mexico State University (NMSU)

Well, I finally made it to SC!

For almost three years, I have wanted to attend the worlds biggest high-performance computing (HPC) conference, but it hasn’t been possible, until 2019.

In July, a colleague recommended the STEM-Trek organization and its programs that help HPC and data specialists attend high-tech conferences. I applied, and few days later, I was selected.

My travel grant included a full tech program registration (workshops and tutorials), and accommodation. My out-of-pocket was minimal, and flights from NM to DEN are usually reasonable. I lodged in STEM-Trek’s “Ubuntu House@SC” — a beautiful, new 3BR/3BA AirBnB condo where three stayed one week for what it would have cost for a single room in a downtown hotel. …

Read More

SC19: Nepal’s HPC Champion pushes forward with help from his friends

By Umesh Upadhyaya, HPCNepal

One of my presentations at the HPCKP’19 conference in Barcelona focused on the “Importance of High-Performance Computing (HPC) in the Himalayas.”

My participation in Barcelona was supported by HPCNow! and I learned a lot from their Singularity and EasyBuild workshops.

I did not know I would be able to attend SC19 until Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek) contacted me to let me know that they could help. A surprise, last-minute donation made it possible. Since I was already in New Jersey, U.S., it was easier, and cheaper, for me to travel to Denver than it would have been from Kathmandu.

This was my second time to attend SC, but this time I was representing my own startup, HPCNepal, which my friend and I co-founded to build the human capital and infrastructure required for our country to succeed.

It was possible for me to explore …

Read More

SC19: From SCC to SC

By Eugene de Beste, Systems and Cloud Developer/Administrator with the South African National Bioinformatics Institute, a part of the University of the Western Cape

My journey with systems and HPC administration starts with the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) of South Africa and their Student Cluster Challenge (SCC). I was involved in the third-ever challenge of this kind in South Africa and went on to represent South Africa with my team at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) SCC in 2014, placing first. This proved to be a monumental part of solidifying my desire to continue in this field. As such, I joined my research unit as an HPC and Cloud systems developer from 2017. It is quite fitting then that the CHPC, along with STEM-Trek, would help me find my way to Supercomputing 2019 in Denver.

Read More

SC19: Zambia was in the house!

By Henry Simfukwe, HPC Systems Administrator at ZAMREN

The seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, the late Kofi Annan, once said “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” SC19 for me brings to life these words, as it sharpens one’s knowledge about high-performance computing (HPC), provides information, educates on the best practices and new technologies, and fosters new relationships with like-minded professionals from around the world.

My first experience with HPC came when I Joined the Zambian Research and Education Network (ZAMREN) in 2017 as a Systems Administrator. My duties involve managing and providing support to Linux and Windows Servers, managing the HPC systems and ensuring that all ZAMREN services have a 99.9% up time. Additionally, I am involved in managing Eduroam for the Zambian Federation, and facilitate workshops on Network Monitoring and Campus Network Design.

When I received …

Read More

SC19: Dr. Bond’s 4th

By: Professor Marcus Bond, Southeast Missouri State University

I never expected to have a 1st SC.  As a chemistry faculty member and crystallographer, I have been active in computing my entire career.  But my involvement in high-performance computing (HPC) is more recent.  Several years ago it seemed like a good idea to install a small cluster in our department in order to promote computational science.  At the time, I was completely unaware of the larger supercomputing community.  It was only at the urging of Jim Paugh of Advanced Clustering Technologies (our vendor) that I attended the 2015 Oklahoma Supercomputing Symposium.  It was a very new and confusing experience for me, so many new terms and acronyms—SC, XSEDE—that seemed of casual acquaintance to the other attendees. 

Bond & Students

With my background and …

Read More

SC19: Second time is a charm for this Namibian

By: Anton S. Limbo, HPC System Administrator, University of Namibia

Attending SC19 was an amazing opportunity for me. I also attended SC17, ironically in the same place, Colorado’s Mile-High City. This time around I came all geared-up with a game plan for the tutorials, workshops and birds-of-a-feather (BoF) sessions that will be most relevant to our relatively new high-performance computing (HPC) site and to further my HPC knowledge.

About me

I work for the University of Namibia (UNAM) where I lecture on the topic of Systems Administration. Recently, the university received refurbished HPC racks from South Africa’s Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) and I am the system administrator of those racks. Being new to the HPC field and given the lack of expertise in the field in Namibia, it was challenging to get the hardware into production. However, with continued support from STEM-Trek, SC and CHPC, SADC HPC ecosystems …

Read More