Center for High-Performance Computing plans to build cyberinfrastructure in Southern Africa

Above: Winners of the 2013 Student Cluster Competition. Last year, the 2012 South African team went on to win first place at the International Supercomputing Conference Student Cluster Challenge in Leipzig, Germany. CHPC Director Happy Sithole hopes this year’s winning team will continue the tradition by flying South Africa’s flag in Leipzig once again in 2014!


Dear STEM-Trek Community:

I’ve written a full feature about the recent Center for High-Performance Computing’s (CHPC) annual conference and the South African Development Community (SADC) Forum meeting. Until the story is vetted, I’d like to share a few highlights.

The CHPC is leading the effort to build a cyberinfrastructure framework for SADC member countries that will span the lower half of the continent and facilitate research, education, and industrial collaborations around the world.


Great things happened for STEM-Trek in Cape Town. I met two vendors who suggest their organizations may offer financial support. It’s especially challenging to find ten or more moderately-sized funding sources so we can retain our grassroots model (where efforts aren’t dictated by a single agency’s agenda and our mission remains flexible to reflect global stakeholder needs). I recruited three mentors, may have found a job for one scholar, a postdoc appointment for another, and technology support for many more. One university invited us to participate in a broad African initiative, and two SADC member nations hope we will support their programs.

Flags at half-mast to honor former SA President Mandela

SA flags flew at half-mast in gale-force winds Friday after news of Mandela’s passing

The week began in festive fashion, but ended on a sad note with the death of Nelson Mandela. Yet, through his selfless example and life’s work, everyone is inspired to be a steadfast agent of change when necessary. He would be proud of the progress made by Dr. Sithole, the CHPC, and SADC member nations. Their collaborative framework will prepare the African workforce for the future; allow researchers to expedite the process of research and discovery to solve the world’s grand challenges; and allow Africa to compete in global research and industrial arenas. I’m thankful to Dr. Sithole for the invitation and the opportunity to share this memorable and historic event. As an individual, I’m committed to helping achieve their goals. As STEM-Trek’s director, I recommend that our community support them as well.

Elizabeth Leake, STEM-Trek

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