URISC@SC17 and the Longest Last Mile

A multinational delegation recently attended the Understanding Risk in Shared CyberEcosystems workshop, or URISC@SC17, in Denver, Colorado. URISC participants and presenters from 11 countries, including seven African nations, 12 U.S. states, Canada, India and Nepal, also attended SC17, the annual international conference for high performance computing (HPC), networking, storage and analysis that drew nearly 13,000 attendees. Von Welch (Indiana University), who directs the Center for Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure, provided expert oversight for the URISC program. Welch invited nine specialists who presented open-source tools and cybersecurity best practices.

URISC Presenter Nick Roy, Director of Technology and Strategy for Internet2’s InCommon Federation, explained eduGAIN and its benefits to the global research community. “From a local management standpoint, eduGAIN saves managers time and effort because home credentials provide authentication and access to resources, instrumentation and data that are physically located at institutions in in 48 member countries that comprise an …

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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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URISC Logistics

This workshop has concluded. Please watch the STEM-Trek site for future calls for participation.

Agenda:  URISC Agenda FINAL

Bus scheduleURISC Transportation FINAL-HERMES2

Food provided by URISC: UPDATE Weds. dinner:

Please join us for dinner on Weds. Nov. 15 at 7:45 p.m. at the Halcyon Hotel, 245 Columbine Street.  Our bus will leave the convention center at 7:30 p.m. sharp (staged at 7:15 p.m. just south of the Blue Bear). It will hold 27 passengers, so if it reaches capacity, please call an Uber. US delegates: please offer international guests priority seating since some don’t have Uber access enabled on their travel phones. Save your receipt, and we will reimburse you as funds allow.  The “American” menu includes taco bar, enchiladas, soup, salad and several dessert options. A selection of Colorado Beer will be provided (thanks to Google and STEM-Trek). If the food quality is anything like last time, it …

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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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URISC@SC17 Application Instructions

The URISC@SC17 event has passed. Please watch our website for current and future opportunities!

Applications were to have been received by September 11, 2017

Read about URISC@SC17 on the STEM-Trek site.


Cybersecurity professionals, HPC systems administrators, educators, researchers, tech project managers, and network engineers who are responsible for securing research computing systems and data at sub-Saharan African and U.S. colleges and universities in resource-constrained regions are welcome to apply. We are especially eager to receive applications from women and others from demographics that are under-represented in STEM academics and careers. Applicants must be at least age 21 by November 1, 2017, and work at least 50 percent of the time in a professional support role helping students, faculty and staff leverage locally-hosted, or remotely-accessed advanced cyberinfrastructure for education and open research.

To Apply

A curriculum vitae or resume, head-shot photograph and a brief biography (200 …

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URISC@SC, Denver, Colorado


The Understanding Risk in Shared CyberEcosystems workshop convened Saturday, November 11 through Thursday, November 16, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. In addition to 12 hours of cybersecurity training, URISC participants attended SC17; the flagship high performance computing (HPC) industry conference and technology showcase that attracts more than 10,000 international attendees each year.

A STEM-Trek call for participation closed Sept. 11. Applications were accepted from cybersecurity professionals, HPC systems administrators, educators and network engineers who support research computing at US and sub-Saharan African colleges and universities in under-served regions. All serve in professional support roles at least 50 percent of the time where they help students, faculty and staff leverage locally-hosted, or remotely-accessed advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) …

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ART@SC24 – HPC Creates!

The application is now closed. Award letters were sent to 30 who have accepted (from eight countries and 13 U.S. states).

ART: Artificial intelligence (AI), Research computing and Training is for advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) professionals who support research computing on their campuses and conduct outreach in rural K-20 education environments. We will explore the benefits and risks associated with AI in academia, and share strategies to protect data privacy, security and sovereignty. ART@SC24 will convene in Atlanta, Georgia November 15-16, ahead of the Supercomputing Conference, SC24, November 17-22. 

This will be the sixth in a series of SC co-located workshops or events that STEM-Trek Nonprofit has hosted since 2015. The previous five were supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF; supplements to existing grants, or individual awards), and donations to STEM-Trek from Google and others. The first, in collaboration with Executive Director Dan Stanzione at …

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STEM-Trek hosted a pre-conference workshop Nov. 10-11, ahead of the Supercomputing Conference in Denver, Colorado, November 12-17, 2023. This event has passed, but details are available here:


STEM-Trek Nonprofit has facilitated a series of workshops and events that are co-located with the annual Supercomputing Conference since 2015. 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 with “ScienceSlam” online competitions. In 2022, we held the first in-person workshop in five years titled, EarthSci@SC22.

Our workshop series welcomes applications from ACCESS Campus Champions in EPSCoR states and territories, …

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STEM-Trek Year in Review 2022

Happy New Year, everyone! – Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek Founder and Director)

While volunteer work for STEM-Trek nourishes my soul, regular employment pays my bills. This year, I started my dream job that satisfies both! I joined Boise State University in January as Director of Research Computing Services where I lead a talented team of professionals who support a fascinating research portfolio. 

I drove to Boise from Iowa City in late May to find a new home and returned in late July with a U-Haul. I also drove to Boston for PEARC22, and Dallas for SC22. Among friends and frequent travelers in my network, many suspect that they caught COVID on planes, so I’ve been driving more than usual. Enterprise loves me!

Some speak of the pre- and post-covid eras as if it’s finished with us, but I remain gun-shy. In January 2020, I went into self-imposed lock-down after returning from …

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Friday, November 11, 4-7 p.m. Dallas Convention Center Room A302/303

Welcome – Elizabeth Leake (Boise State University).

Distribute affinity gear and introductions.

Pete Beckman (Argonne) – Description of program presented on Saturday.

Isango – Elizabeth Leake. Composable, mobile and affordable compute platform.

Saturday, November 12, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. same room:

10 a.m. to 12 noon: Shawana Johnson (Global Marketing Insights, Inc.) – Satellite engagement – presentation followed by flash talks, and a panel with “Postcard” submitters – Dr. Johnson and others will advise on the topics of remote, edge-related compute and data challenges. Postcards From the Edge 5-minute lightning talks (delegates will share edge challenges).

10-11 p.m. Keynote by Dr. Mary-Jane Bopape (South African EON)

11-12 p.m. Shawana Johnson – Satellite integration specialist.

Noon to 1 p.m.: Lunch (on your own; bring it back to the room to eat)

1-2:30 p.m.: Postcard flash talks and …

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