Women-in-HPC Workshop @ SC18

A guest post by: Misbah Mubarak
First published on November 12, 2018 at Linkedin

This year’s women-in-HPC workshop focused to address important issues to improve workplace inclusivity, building resilience and maintaining well-being at work. The workshop started with an inspirational keynote talk by Dr. Ruby Mendenhall on using big data analytic techniques to recover the lost history of African-American women. We had interactive panel discussions on improving workplace diversity and building resilience, with panelists from industry, academia and, government. In the lightning talks session, 21 early and mid-career women presented their ground-breaking research work. The key takeaways from the workshop were to incorporate strategies to promote a
workplace environment where all members of the community are well represented and everyone brings their true self to work every day.

Here are some specific highlights from the workshop:

Dr. Ruby Mendenhall, Associate Professor of Sociology from Univ. of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, gave an inspiring keynote talk on A Black Woman’s Sojourn in High-Performance Computing: Recovering Lost History.



We had an amazing lightning talks session where 21 early and mid-career participants presented their groundbreaking research work.





In the morning, we had our first Panel Discussion on “Improving Diversity at workplace” lead by Christine Cuicchi (DoD). Panelists were Yvonne Yang (Intel), Ruby Mendenhall (UIUC) and Laura Bevin (DoE).




In the afternoon, we had a panel discussion on building resilience lead by Toni Collis. Maytal Dahan (Texas Computing Center), Kaoutar El Maghraoui (IBM Research), Laura Schulz (Leibniz Supercomputing Center) and Mozghan Kabiri (Univ. of Sheffield) were among the panelists.



In the “Thriving at work” session, we had six short talks on multiple topics covering making allies, responding to discrimination, coming up as a transgender, finding a path for leadership and working remotely.

The workshop overall attached a lot of attendees and, we had a number of insightful questions at the end of each panel discussions.

About the author: Misbah Mubarak, Assistant Computer Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory

  • Misbah Mubarak is an assistant computer scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. She received her Ph.D. and master’s degrees in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2015 and 2011, respectively. She also has experience working at CERN, Switzerland, and at Teradata Corporation. She was the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright scholarship and an ACM SIGSIM PADS Ph.D. colloquium award and was a finalist for Google Anita Borg scholarship. Her research interests are large-scale system design, high-performance interconnects, and performance modeling.

    Mubarak has authored or co-authored over 25 papers in première high-performance computing (HPC) venues, including the IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS) and the Supercomputing (SC) conference and the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems journal. She served as the chair/co-chair of the women in HPC series of workshops at SC and International Supercomputing Conference and was a program committee member of the IEEE IPDPS and ACM SIGSIM Principles of Advanced Discrete Simulation conferences.

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