Reflections from WHPC @ SC17

By: Elsa Gonsiorowski, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Mentoring Chair for the SC17 Women in HPC Workshop

I was asked to do a short write up my experiences at SC17 for my group’s internal newsletter. I found myself writing extensively about my experience at the Women in HPC workshop and I’ve decided to share.

This was my third year attending SC and this year I was involved in running the Women in HPC workshop on Sunday. I ran the mentoring program as Mentoring Chair, partnering the workshops early career presenters with those who are more senior in their careers, providing them with a structured mentoring program and guidance on how to mentor, how to make the most of mentoring if you are a mentee and general hands-on tips for making the most of SC. At the workshop I also presented a 10 minute talk on “Taking the Next Step in Your Career” which was aimed at students or anyone who is embarking on a job search. Mainly, I told the audience to have confidence in themselves and to tell *everyone* that they are looking for a job.

This was my 3rd time attending SC and it felt completely different this time around. This year it felt like I knew a ton of attendees, including everyone from Livermore Computing and many other national labs. It was great to randomly run into people I knew in the hallways. I feel like this unstructured time was when I was most productive and I have brought back a ton of new ideas for the next year.

The WHPC workshop was the initial reason I was able to attend SC in 2015 and it was great to give back this year. This was the 7th edition of the workshop (5th time at SC) and it has improved with every iteration. This year there was huge variety of topics, with most speakers limited to 10 minutes (or less) of time. Topics covered everything from public speaking to running a mentor program to technical lightning talks. Coupled with networking sessions, I feel like the WHPC community continues to grow by building strong connections between its members and being welcoming to new people in the HPC field.

Overall, SC left me feeling excited. WHPC is a strong, welcoming, world wide community. I’m excited to continue my involvement with Women in HPC… I hope to see you next year!

About the authors: Elsa Gonsiorowski

    • Elsa is an application I/O specialist and systems software developer within the Livermore Computing supercomputing center at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Her research interests include software tools for understanding application performance throughout the I/O stack, application checkpointing, and parallel discrete-event simulation.