URISC@SC17; Understanding Risk in Shared CyberEcosystems

Cybersecurity Engineer/Risk Assessor Susan Ramsey (National Center for Atmospheric Research) presented to an international delegation of cybersecurity specialists who are attending the Understanding Risk in Shared CyberEcosystems, or URISC@SC17 workshop this week in Denver, Colorado. URISC delegates and presenters from 11 countries and 12 U.S. states will also attend SC17, the annual international conference for high performance computing, networking, storage, and analysis.

Ramsey explained how attacks are fully-automated; operations are housed in office complexes where well-paid specialists identify and exploit technical vulnerabilities in Internet-enabled devices. They even have help desks! Once they collect enough information about a target, they are able to launch a highly sophisticated assault that considers a range of information about the victim.

Ransomware was recently used to hijack Springhill Tennessee’s emergency response system that was held for $250k ransom. While that would be a trivial amount for a large city, for a small town, like Springhill, …

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Donate to STEM-Trek and Help This Cybersecurity-Guru Attend URISC@SC17!

UPDATE: Tirelo was able to join us in Denver; mostly self-funded. We were able to defray some of her expenses due to the generosity of STEM-Trek donors and friends. Thank you!


Tirelo was among 35 from a dozen countries who applied for travel grants that would allow them to attend the “Understanding Risk in Shared CyberEcosystems” cybersecurity workshop that will be held Nov. 11-16 in Denver, Colorado during the annual supercomputing conference, or SC17.

While her application reviewed extremely well, factors beyond Tirelo’s control worked against her. First of all, she’s a student, and this particular STEM-Trek call for participation required applicants to work at least 50 percent in a professional role supporting students, faculty and staff who use High Performance Computing (HPC).

And, that she does. But she’s a student nonetheless.

Another female student from her school also applied, and ranked slightly higher. She made the cut, …

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Please Vote for STEM-Trek! HPCwire Workforce Diversity Leadership

STEM-Trek has been nominated for an HPCwire Workforce Diversity Leadership Award! Many thanks to the person who submitted our nomination.

We were honored to receive an “2016 HPCwire Editors’ Choice Award for HPC Workforce Diversity Leadership” from Tabor Communications’ CEO Tom Tabor.

Let’s see if STEM-Trek can win some love once again.

Please take a moment and review the amazing projects that are vying in various award categories. There are tough choices to make; if you can’t decide in a given category, no worries — it’s okay to leave some blank.

But don’t pass over Workforce Diversity Leadership! We’d appreciate your vote for STEM-Trek:


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“Challenges/Small HPC Centers” Google Group Encouraged to Join ACM/SIGHPC-RCE!

As you may have heard, the “Challenges of Managing Small HPC Centers” Google Group is being disbanded (August 18), and members are encouraged to join the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on HPC in Resource Constrained Environments (ACM/SIGHPC-RCE).

A SIGHPC-RCE election will be held this week. Members may select their choice of candidates for chapter chair, vice chair, treasurer, secretary and membership coordinator. If you would like to vote, you’ll first need to join the chapter. To do so, complete this form.

If you manage a small research computing center (government, academic or industry; all are welcome) and/or if you consider your HPC center to be resource constrained, you’ll want to join the SIGHPC-RCE chapter. There are currently dozens of members from the US and African nations in the group, and we expect candidates from other countries will join. We hope to establish critical mass of people …

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Postcard from Badisa: Weeks Seven & Eight @CERN

Dear STEM-Trek,

It has been an exciting journey at CERN, and time flies! This is my eighth and final week, and I will fly home on Sunday.  Every moment has been enjoyable: academically, professionally and socially. I am super excited to have learned so much in such a short amount of time! I worked with an exceptionally skilled and diverse support team, and am now motivated to master more HPC applications since I’ve seen how they’re used across disciplines.

Our Neutrino cluster is progressing well. We managed to solve most of the problems we were experiencing the last time I wrote. As I mentioned, the system was configured with Puppet and its suite of tools (Puppet …

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Postcard from Badisa: Weekend in Paris & Week Four at CERN

Dear STEM-Trek,

Wow, David Ojika‘s story is inspiring! I wish I could meet him one day and would love to read his paper “Accelerating High-energy Physics Exploration with Deep Learning.

In many of the workshops I’ve recently attended, central themes have included Deep Learning & ML for data acquisition and reconstruction. These skills will be needed in the exascale era, which is just around the corner.

In fact, I was just reading about a collaboration between CERN and the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) to address burning issues associated with data acquisition, storage, management and analysis for the massive amount of data these two projects will generate. Like Ojika, I think we’d all be …

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Paz Says Communication is Key: PEARC17 Student Program

By David Paz (Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of California at San Diego; San Diego Supercomputer Center)

My alarm went off at 1:30 a.m. It was time for a slight “context switch” as I traveled to Boston’s Logan Airport on my way to New Orleans to attend my first-ever research conference: PEARC17.

I joined the conference student program one day late since I had an MIT-related commitment I couldn’t reschedule. While I feared I would miss important activities–and it was disappointing to miss the orientation, FBI agent cybersecurity presentation and opportunity to meet fellow students in one venue–the circumstances of my late arrival led to one of the more interesting highlights of my PEARC17 experience. 

When I arrived at the hotel, I had some time before the next scheduled activity, and wanted to get some work accomplished in my room. When I opened the door to my assigned room, …

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Dancing Across Disciplines: David Ojika’s PEARC17 Experience

By Guest Blogger Bobby Hollingsworth (V-Tech/Harvard), with assistance from Erica Corder (V-Tech)

David Ojika plans to use his expertise in high performance computing (HPC) to collaborate with scientists across disciplines and the world. Ojika, a fourth-year computer engineering Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida, received his first master’s degree in electrical engineering from California State University Los Angeles and a second in computer engineering from the University of Florida. He is also an XSEDE Student Campus Champion.

Ojika was among 66 students from dozens of U.S. colleges and universities who attended the Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC17) conference last week. His PEARC17 participation was supported by Google, Micron Foundation and the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI) via their donations to STEM-Trek Nonprofit.

An internship with Intel stimulated Ojika’s interests in high performance computing (HPC) and deep-learning. As a Xeon Phi fellow, Ojika had the opportunity …

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Sneha Tilak’s Head is in the Cloud with Science Gateways and Apache

By Guest Blogger Bobby Hollingsworth (V-Tech/Harvard), with assistance from Erica Corder (V-Tech)

Sneha Tilak (Indiana University at Bloomington) sees a silver lining in cloud computing. Now a second-year master’s student studying computer science at IU, she is reaching for the sky with a career in distributed computing.

Tilak was among 66 students from dozens of U.S. colleges and universities who attended the Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC17) conference last week. Her PEARC17 participation was supported by Google, Micron Foundation and the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI) via their donations to STEM-Trek Nonprofit.

Tilak has been interested in computer science (CS) since the 9th grade when she took an elective CS course in high school. Later at the Visvesvaraya Technological University in Belgaum, India, Tilak held multiple internship positions and worked on projects that exposed her to different frontiers and opportunities in computing. After graduation, she worked as …

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PEARC17 Student Program Day Three: Awards and Awakening!

By STEM-Trek Guest Blogger Bobby Hollingsworth (V-Tech/Harvard)

Day Three of PEARC17 in New Orleans, Louisiana

Remember that I said day two was busy? Well, the third day was no different. PEARC17 has been an eventful and information-packed experience!

In the morning, I had breakfast with Dr. Bob Freeman who manages one of Harvard’s computing clusters. He offered pointers, including tips on how to pick an advisor, setting a good work-life balance and the logistics of resource access at Harvard. Afterwards, I heard the day’s plenary speaker, Dr. Paul Morin from the University of Minnesota. His talk titled “Mapping the Poles with Petascale” highlighted interesting geospatial mapping of the artic. The images Dr. Morin presented were spectacular—it’s truly amazing how high performance computing (HPC) is enabling high resolution and dynamic data in the geospatial field. In fact, PEARC17 has illuminated the degree of complexity possible with HPC, and the breadth …

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