Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC) was created with the vision to encourage women to participate in the HPC community by providing fellowship, education, and support to women and the organizations that employ them.
Through collaboration and networking, WHPC strives to bring together women in HPC and technical computing while encouraging women to engage in outreach activities and improve the visibility of inspirational role models.
Women in HPC is stewarded by EPCC at the University of Edinburgh.
The WHPC Executive Committee
Dr Toni Collis
Dr Toni Collis is the Chair and co-founder of (WHPC) and Chief Business Development Office at Appentra Solutions. With a background in computational physics and the development of parallel applications, having previously worked as an Applications Consultant in HPC Research and Industry at Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), Toni provides technical and business insight on a range of projects and is passionate about enabling everyone to effectively and efficiently use the HPC resources that will help their work. Her role in WHPC is a natural extension of this as her vision for WHPC is to bring HPC to those who may not be able to access or participate in the community for reasons beyond access. She has been on the organising committee for a variety of workshops and conferences including leading the team for the previous WHPC workshops and is a member of a variety of international HPC advisory bodies.
WHPC Vice Chair and Director Business Development
Kelly is the founder of TalentStrategy.org and is a seasoned expert in strategic affairs. Kelly works with executives and boards on diversity and governance approaches. Her clients include research and government institutions, corporations and global initiatives. Kelly develops targeted programs to improve gender equity and engage and retain diverse talent pools for a variety of industrial sectors. Kelly specializes in organizational diversity frameworks, training, assessment, and strategic affairs for external and internal relations for complex evidence-based, multi-stakeholder STEM organizations. A regular conference presenter, Kelly has chaired diversity and workforce development streams for several conferences.
Director of Communications and Outreach
Lisa Arafune is the Director of The Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (CASC) since 2015. CASC is an educational non-profit organization with 85+ member institutions. She acts as a conduit to keep the membership informed of strategic opportunities that will lead to their institution’s success. She leads CASC’s interests in Washington, DC, as well as nationally at computing meetings.
She has a wealth of experience in government relations, including more than a decade representing higher education and university-based research interests on Capitol Hill. She has advocated for the research community and major federal science agencies, including NSF, DOD, USDA, NIH, DOE, and NASA.
Ms. Arafune also leads her own government relations firm, and has managed federal relations for Purdue University as Director of the Washington, DC Office. Her interest in politics began when working in a state senate and later as Chief Clerk for a U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Committee.
Ms. Arafune holds a Master’s of Science in Management from Purdue University and an MBA from Budapest University of Economic Sciences.
George Beckett is a senior project manager, at the University of Edinburgh, with more than 15 years of experience managing software-engineering and computational-science projects with both commercial and academic partners. He specialises in supercomputing for major facilities and is presently involved in both the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (in construction in Chile) and the Extreme Light Infrastructure (being established across Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania).
Previously, during 2012–2015, George was the Deputy Director of the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth, Western Australia. His role at Pawsey focused on promoting uptake of supercomputing facilities, developing the computational-research community in Australia and securing funding to support it, as well as growing Pawsey’s capabilities to support the significant Australian radio-astronomy community (most notably the Square Kilometre Array telescope and its precursors).
George has an academic background in computational mathematics: graduating with an Honours degree in mathematics from New College, Oxford and a Ph.D. in Computation Mathematics from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
Sharon Broude Geva
Director of Chapters
Sharon Broude Geva is Director of Advanced Research Computing (ARC) at the University of Michigan (U-M). ARC is a unit of the U-M Office of Research created to inspire and support the growing range of research across disciplines requiring advanced computing capabilities. ARC enables computational research at the university through support of programmatic initiatives, multidisciplinary collaboration, instruction, and research computing resources and services. ARC computing services include a 27,000-core shared HPC cluster, research storage, and a network of training, consultation, and support for the research community provided by the ARC- Technology Services unit (ARC-TS). ARC is also home to a consulting and training unit, Consulting for Statistics, Computing, and Analytics Research (CSCAR), and to two affiliated programmatic institutes: the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE), and the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS).
Sharon serves as Vice-Chair of the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (CASC), co-chairs the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA)‘s Research Computing Group Peer Group, and is on the Executive Committee of the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation (GLCPC), as well as other U-M and external committees and task forces.
She received her PhD in Computational Physical Chemistry and her BSc in Computer Science and in Chemistry from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah.
Marjolein Oorsprong heads the communication and outreach activities for the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE). With a Master in international business and languages, and more than 10 years of professional experience in international associations and project management, she leads her multi-national team of 20+ professionals, connecting PRACE with the stakeholders of the HPC eco-system.
Director of Research
Lorna Rivera serves as a Research Scientist in Program Evaluation at the Georgia Tech Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC). Her work focuses on the intersection of scientific content, pedagogy, and equity with the goal of being both methodologically innovative and socially responsible. Rivera has conducted evaluations primarily funded by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. This has led her to work with over 18 universities as well as multiple international high performance computing centers and organizations such as Compute Canada, EPCC, PRACE, RIKEN, and XSEDE. Rivera received both her Bachelor of Science in Health Education and her Master of Science in Health Education and Behavior from the University of Florida. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Rivera worked with various institutions, including the March of Dimes, Shands HealthCare, and the University of Florida College of Medicine. Her research interests include the evaluation of innovative programs and their sustainability.
The WHPC Steering Committee
President, Data Vortex Technologies
Carolyn Coke Reed Devany is the President of Data Vortex Technologies. With a focus on business development and strategic partnership, her priority for Women in HPC is building relationships and strengthening bonds between the organization and the HPC industry. Born and raised in the Southern United States, Carolyn was brought up in an environment that did little to foster professional growth for women. However, that did not prevent her from leading a next-generation computing company on the journey from a great idea to successful commercialization. Carolyn has been with Data Vortex since its inception in 1997. Working nearly twenty years in the industry, she has experienced first-hand the discrepancy in gender equality at the executive and entrepreneurial levels. Carolyn is an advocate for increasing the presence of women in leadership and funding roles within the HPC community. She believes this can be addressed at the earliest levels of education and is an active voice for inspiring young girls to confidently pursue entrepreneurial and innovative passions.
Director, STFC Hartree Centre, UK
Alison Kennedy is the current Managing Director of PRACE and is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Partnership for Research Computing in Europe (PRACE). She joined the STFC Hartree Centre in the UK as Director in March 2016. The Hartree Centre provides collaborative research, innovation and development services that accelerate the application of HPC, data science, analytics and cognitive techniques, working with both businesses and research partners to gain competitive advantage. Prior to joining Hartree, she worked in a variety of managerial and technical HPC roles at EPCC for more than 23 years.
Executive Director, EPCC
Mark is the Director of EPCC and holds a Personal Chair in High Performance Computing. He is also the Associate Dean for e-Research at the University of Edinburgh. He joined EPCC in 1994 as a software developer working on several industrial contracts following a PhD in Particle Physics undertaken on the LEP accelerator at CERN in Geneva. In 1997 he became the Centre’s Commercial Manager and subsequently its Commercial Director. His career has focused on the application of modelling and simulation enabled by HPC to solve real-world problems faced by both the scientific research and business communities. From the outset, he has strongly supported the creation of Women in HPC and is committed to ensuring EPCC is a diverse and rewarding place to work for all.
Jessica Popp is a private consultant focused on engineering process (SDLC) and technical program management. Prior to this, Jessica held multiple HPC leadership roles including as General Manager for the Infinite Memory Engine product at DDN and Senior Director of Engineering at Intel leading the High Performance Data Division which developed the Lustre parallel file system. Jessica’s career, spanning more than 20 years has been focused on software development. She started as an application programmer in industry, moved to data warehousing, and then following her passion for leading software teams found herself in HPC over ten years ago. Having spent much of her career being the only, or one of a very few women on a team, she is excited to see and be a champion for the increased focus on diversity in engineering.
European Exascale Lab Director, Intel
Marie-Christine Sawley has been the Intel Director of the Exascale Lab in Paris since its opening at the end of 2010. Prior to this, she worked for 3 years as senior scientist for the ETH Zurich in the CMS computing team at CERN. Between 2003 and 2008, she was the director of the CSCS, the Swiss national supercomputing centre, driving the growth and computing capacities of the centre during this period. During her career at EPFL, between 1988 and 2003, she managed a number of high profile HPC projects across a variety of disciplines. Over the last 20 years, she has built expertise as HPC technology manager to serve the advancements of world class science, mission critical computing, extreme sporting competition or industrial partnerships.
Marie-Christine holds a degree in Physic and a PHD in Plasma Physics (1985) from EPFL. She spent two periods in Australia: for a postdoc at Sydney Uni in 1987-88 and for a sabbatical leave in 1999. Marie-Christine is a Swiss and French national.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
John Towns holds two appointments at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the Executive Director for Science & Technology at NCSA (the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, http://www.ncsa.illinois.edu), and Deputy CIO for Research IT (http://researchit.illinois.edu) in the Office of the CIO. He is also PI and Project Director for the NSF-funded XSEDE project (the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment). Towns provides leadership and direction in the development, deployment and operation of advanced computing resources and services in support of a broad range of research activities. In addition, he is the founding Chair of the Steering Committee of PEARC (Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing, http://www.pearc.org).
WHPC Research, Ph.D student, EPCC, University of Edinburgh
I joined the WHPC (Women in High Performance Computing) network in January 2014, as a result of my interest in gender equality and women in Science. I am a PhD research student in EPCC (Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre) at the School of Physics & Astronomy of the University of Edinburgh and a PCD (Principal’s Career Development) Scholarship holder.
My research focuses on gender diversity in the HPC community, the causes, the problems this brings to the community, and the benefits of increasing diversity. I also hope to provide evidence for the effectiveness of a range of approaches designed to improve gender diversity.
I was a member of the organising committee for the University of Edinburgh WISE Workshop 2014 and the WHPC launch and I sit on the School of Physics & Astronomy Equality and Diversity Committee.
I graduated in 2005 from AUTH (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece), with a BSc in Geosciences and in 2009 with an MSc in Petrology-Mineralogy-Geochemistry.