PEARC17: Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing

Have you heard about PEARC17? Please join us in New Orleans July 9-13, 2017

PEARC is an exciting new summer conference series that continues in the tradition of the annual XSEDE conference. This year’s theme is “Sustainability, Success and Impact.” Dave Hart (NCAR) is the general conference chair, and Alana Romanella (Virginia Tech/STEM-Trek Adviser) is leading the student program. STEM-Trek is fundraising to support the student program, and I’m serving as its diversity chair.

From the conference site:

“PEARC17 welcomes all who care about the challenges in using and operating advanced research computing. Organizations supporting this new conference include the Advancing Research Computing on Campuses: Best Practices Workshop (ARCC), XSEDE, the Science Gateways Community Institute, the Campus Research Computing (CaRC) Consortium, the ACI-REF consortium, the Blue Waters project, ESnet, Open Science Grid, Compute Canada, the EGI Foundation, the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (CASC), and Internet2. Learn more about PEARC and supporting organizations.

Note that it’s now co-located with the Advancing Research Computing on Campuses: Best Practices Workshop (ARCC). I attended the 2016 ARCC workshop in Urbana, Illinois, and it was a fruitful experience. Relationships I formed there have led to speaking engagements and new collaborations. Chief information and technology officers, VPR/AVPR’s and other campus leaders who make decisions about research computing, storage and cybersecurity will benefit from attending. Since there’s cross-over with the XSEDE/PEARC community of practice, it makes good financial sense to co-locate the two meetings. With so many people and opportunities in one place, your limited time and travel funds will be well spent!

PEARC Student Program

PEARC will provide students with an opportunity to learn content that isn’t taught at many colleges and universities, so it’s important to engage as many as possible. The global workforce pipeline depends on it!

Please share the PEARC17 Student Program flyer with a broad range of students, especially women, minorities, people with disabilities and students who are pursuing arts & humanities and other academic programs that are underrepresented in the use of advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) and data science. These individuals usually require encouragement; a little extra nudge from a faculty mentor or adviser is helpful. Their presence will lead to a richer PEARC conference experience for all, and ultimately a more creative and productive workforce.

PEARC is expected to draw ~650 participants. It’s sufficiently large to offer a wealth of opportunities, yet intimate enough to effectively network. The TeraGrid/XSEDE conference historically hosted between 40-85 students. This year, it’s our goal to support 75 and we’re fund-raising to bridge gaps; XSEDE can no longer afford to underwrite the entire program. They will, however, support some students.

The favorable student-to-expert ratio will set the stage for a truly meaningful experience for first-time conference-goers. We are planning a mentor-protégé program that will give students the opportunity to engage one-on-one with experts from fields that interest them, and they’ll be exposed to prospective career paths that they may not otherwise consider. Being part of a conference cohort instills confidence. Participants can foster meaningful relationships that will ultimately shape their careers. These activities comprise a time-tested recipe for success. Once students have an opportunity to participate in such experiences, they are more likely to apply what they learn at home, share knowledge with others, submit posters and proposals to future conferences and encourage colleagues to engage.

We need your help!!

STEM-Trek is accepting donations to support attendance by graduate and postdoctoral scholars from U.S. institutions. We are also seeking donations (or direct support) to support European and Canadian delegates who engage with the European Grid Infrastructure or Compute Canada.

If you would like to help, please download and complete the PEARC17 Student Program Support Opportunities form. If you have questions, please drop me a note at

Thank you, in advance, for your consideration.

Elizabeth Leake, STEM-Trek

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