The NRG@SC23 call for participation is now closed! Twenty-nine applied.

International delegates who were selected for support were notified via award letters in August.

US (based) candidates will be notified asap. Our National Science Foundation proposal will be considered for FY24 government funds which are expected to be released in October. Please stay tuned!

STEM-Trek and Boise State University will host a pre-conference workshop November 9-11, ahead of the Supercomputing Conference in Denver, Colorado, November 12-17, 2023.

Since 2015, STEM-Trek Nonprofit has facilitated a series of workshops and events that are co-located with the annual Supercomputing Conference. The first, in collaboration with Executive Director Dan Stanzione at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), was for systems administrators and research facilitators held just prior to SC15 in Austin, Texas. The second: “HPC On Open Ground@SC16,” was focused on food security science. URISC@SC17 provided training on high-speed networks and best practices associated with cybersecurity. Activities were less communal at SC20-21, but in 2022, in collaboration with Boise State University, we held the first in-person workshop in five years titled, EarthSci@SC22. With an earth sciences theme, the workshop was a favorite with those who support climate, hydrology, wildlife conservation, wildfire mitigation, energy, and related research. This workshop series welcomes applications from ACCESS Campus Champions in EPSCoR states and territories (and/or from groups that are underrepresented in HPC academics and careers), and Southern African Development Community (SADC) members of the African HPC Ecosystems project led by the South African Centre for HPC. 

Nuclear? Renewable? Green?

NRG@SC23 will present skills and applications needed to drive various flavors of energy research in regions most affected by climate change that have historically relied on agriculture and aquaculture as a large percentage of their national gross domestic product. Research computing and data (RCD) science professionals who work in research computing service organizations from SADC island nations – (Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros), Isango collaborators from Brazil, Germany, Nepal, and Spain; and in the U.S. EPSCoR coastal regions, especially Puerto Rico, Guam, Marianas Islands and the Gulf Coast are especially encouraged to apply. 

A range of energy-related research projects that are developing best practices, toolkits and novel strategies to tackle the global grand challenges associated with climate change will be invited to participate. The workshop is a wonderful opportunity for RCD professionals to meet others from around the world who work in similar roles, and a great way to coalesce as a cohort before entering the full conference which, due to its size (10k and more), can be overwhelming for newcomers. 

Travel grants and registration waivers will be available for a limited number. The SC23 General Chair has donated 15 full tech program registration waivers (with workshops and tutorials), a room for our meetings, and audiovisual support. We are applying for an NSF grant to cover participant costs for U.S. delegates, South African Airlink Airlines is sponsoring round-trip flights to JNB from destinations they serve, and donations to STEM-Trek will bridge gaps.

In the past, this workshop has received funding from Google, Micron, Dell, DDN, Cray, Airlink Airlines, and others. Each candidate who receives a travel award will sign an indemnification form releasing STEM-Trek, its advisers and sponsors from liability. 

Energy Innovation

As research workflows become more data-intensive, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are being employed to use data more judiciously; software, hardware and networks are customized to achieve the highest precision, quicker and with fewer bits. 

Custom computing environments are more common that achieve greater accuracy and quicker results, while requiring less storage and energy. They’re also quieter – an objective of any technology serving the Square Kilometer Array and other radio instrumentation in remote locations. Research cyberinfrastructure – systems, software and networks – is being developed with conservation in mind. Instruction-set architecture, aka composable computing, is common. Such platforms exist in commercial clouds where industrial users can pay as they go. Amazon now has more than 200 variations of EC2 HPC instances available for their customers, and more are created each day. While it’s difficult for academic research to embrace commercial cloud given the grant-funded finance model, U.S. agencies that support academic research are making a greater investment in commercial cloud and making it easier for power users to employ. Commercial cloud data centers are built in regions with cheap and abundant energy, and it’s likely that those who attend this workshop live and work in such places.

Many of the poorest regions on earth have an abundance of energy from alternate sources, including solar, wind, and hydropower. Nuclear microreactors supply power to single data centers, or communities so they’re not reliant upon an aging grid infrastructure is more common today. This workshop will bring together scientists and engineers from places with the potential to capitalize on innovation. They can share best practices, and strategies for success. 

NRG@SC23 welcomes research and technology practitioners from regions that have been hardest hit by climate change in terms of economic and nutrition security. Members of our scientific delegation, in addition to serving a wide range of research domains, are likely to be engaged with relevant research drivers, or live in communities that are facing nutrition and water insecurity. With skin in the game, today’s Green Revolutionaries are most passionate about discovering answers to the most confounding climate and energy questions. By providing them with modern digital weapons, an international community of support, and knowledge-transfer of best practices, their research will be accelerated toward a greater global understanding of the structure, composition, processes, and evolution of planet Earth from the perspective of those who inhabit its longest last miles. They will apply lessons learned to improve the quality of life for all. 

Agenda: (to follow – a jet-lag day at NCAR for Africans, followed by two full workshop days for all).  

Planning committee:

Planned activities, invited presenters: 

1. Jet Lag Day: On November 9, the international delegation will visit the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado.

2. Umesh Upadhyaya, HPC Nepal seeks to grow Nepal’s HPC footprint – research drivers are kindred with others who typically attend this workshop – for example, climate, hydrology, seismology, wildlife conservation, geochemical engineering, and many more domains. An abundance of snowpack in the Himalayan Mountains makes hydro-energy of particular interest. 

3. Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the C3+3 Collaboration: INL collaborates with Boise State University, University of Idaho and Idaho State University on the C3+3 collaboration for the state of Idaho. INL hosts a system that was released from INL service and recommissioned it for use by the C3+3 academic partners. Representatives from the universities and lab will be on hand to share their experience.

4. Grid-independent data center concept.

5. Nuclear powered data center trend. Nuclear engineers from INL and ORNL who specialize in small nuclear reactors are invited to share their knowledge.

6. NCAR/UCAR: Boise State University affiliates from the National Center for Atmospheric Research and UCAR are invited to present highlights of relevant research.

Fun night! We hope to visit Casa Bonita now that it’s reopening after COVID-era closure. That will be a fun evening out, with entertainment, a good meal and more! This may be on November 10 so that everyone can join.


SC23 donated 16 full tech program registrations including workshops and tutorials.

Google is supporting international delegate participation. US participant support is being requested from the National Science Foundation Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (NSF OAC) the directorate that graciously sponsored this event in 2022. The balance of last year’s grant was extended. Altogether, we anticipate being able to support 15-20 from the US this year.

The CEO of Airlink Airlines, based in South Africa at JNB, offered to sponsor round-trip flights from destinations they serve in southern Africa.

Thank you sponsors! Google, Airlink and SC have confirmed; NSF approval is pending!

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