New Chapter Aims to Increase Equity in High Performance Computing

Georgia Tech’s high-performance computing (HPC) mission is expanding with its latest initiative: The launch of its very own Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC) chapter. 

From observing binary black holes to synthesizing all of the work in the largest publication journal, HPC processes the world’s data and attempts to answer science’s largest problems. Despite this field’s rapid growth and acute use in problem solving, the gap in representation for those in the community remains apparent. This is why WHPC’s international mission to enhance equity, inclusion, and access for women and minorities to the field of HPC is so critical.

Currently, Georgia Tech awards more engineering degrees to women than any other institution in the country. As HPC represents the intersection of engineering and computing, carrying forward the WHPC mission to promote, build, and leverage a diverse and inclusive HPC community is a natural next step for Georgia Tech.

This next step is also complimented by several high-profile initiatives launched over the past few years including the unveiling of a $5.3 million HPC system known as the Hive supercomputer

“Our geography and history provide a unique context for engaging in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts given the racial and ethnic diversity of our broader community around Georgia Tech,” said Lorna Rivera, research scientist and founding WHPC member.

The Georgia Tech chapter’s primary goal is to provide a platform for all HPC researchers – regardless of gender, area of study, and level of expertise. The chapter’s main drivers for this goal include:

  1. Helping students toward HPC professional career paths
  2. Providing classroom HPC resources for teachers 
  3. Offering HPC consulting to teachers
  4. Involving industry partners on real-world projects

The chapter aims to achieve these goals by engaging researchers from across academic institutions including Georgia Tech, Atlanta’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, minority serving institutions, and others interested in learning more, or providing support for HPC research. 

“We believe that by increasing exposure as well as access to resources for teaching through student-run seminars, workshops, online classes offered by GT’s Partnership for an Advanced Computing Environment (PACE), and mentorship efforts, we can build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive supercomputing community,” said Neil Bright, PACE Associate Director of Research Cyberinfrastructure.

The WHPC will host a public event to celebrate its launch on March 26 from 2-3 p.m. EST.

The event will feature some of HPC’s heavy hitters from across the country. This list includes high-profile speakers experienced in navigating the world of HPC, passionate about building equity in this arena, and enthusiastic about sharing their professional journey. 

Register for the event here!

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Kristen Perez

Communications Officer