Session ONE: 9:00

Session Chair: Toni Collis

WHPC@SC18 Workshop Chair, Argonne National Lab

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A Black Woman’s Sojourn in High Performance Computing: Recovering Lost History

Abstract. In 1797, Isabella Bomfree was born a slave. She escaped to freedom in 1827 and changed her name to Sojourner Truth in 1843 to indicate that she would travel far and wide to tell people what was right. She gave her famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech in 1851 to highlight the strengths and vulnerabilities of being Black and a woman. Throughout history, Black women’s lived experiences have often been invisible and erased. Therefore, it is important to combat the erasure of Black women and move toward a correction and claiming of their space within the digitized record. This presentation will discuss a study that employs latent dirichlet allocation (LDA) algorithms and comparative text mining to search 800,000 periodicals in JSTOR (Journal Storage) and HathiTrust from 1746 to 2014 to identify the types of conversations that emerge about Black women’s shared experience over time and the resulting knowledge that developed. This presentation will also discuss what attracted Mendenhall to HPC, what she sees as the strengths of HPC and her plans for future research which involves developing a data base with a cohort of 100,000 Black women citizen scientists who will help to conduct and analyze longitudinal research based on their lived experiences.

Bio. Ruby Mendenhall is an Associate Professor of Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, Gender and Women’s Studies and Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also an affiliate of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology; Women and Gender in Global Perspectives; the Cline Center for Advance Social Research; Epstein Health Law and Policy Program; Family Law and Policy Program and the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Mendenhall is the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. Mendenhall’s research examines how living in racially segregated neighborhoods with high levels of violence affects Black mothers’ mental and physical health using surveys, interviews, crime statistics, police records, data from 911 calls and genomic analysis. She also employs big data to recover Black women’s lost history using topic modeling and data visualization to examine over 800,000 documents from 1740 to 2014. Mendenhall is interested in using big data to ensure Black women’s history is in the digital archives. She hopes to develop a data base with a cohort of 100,000 Black women citizen scientists who will help to conduct and analyze longitudinal research based on their lived experiences.

Thriving In The workplace

Session Two: 10:30

Session Chair: Misbah Mubarak

  1. Being a diversity ally—what it means and how you can help – Linda Akli, Southeastern Universities Research Association.
  2. Telecommuting boss – being a successful remote employee – Maytal Dahan, Texas Advance Computing Center.
  3. Leadership: Finding your own way – Laura Schulz, Leibniz Supercomputing Center
  4. Effectively responding to discrimination – Lorna Rivera, Georgia Tech
  5. Effective workplace communication -Lucy Nowell, DoE Office of Science
  6. Coming out as a transgender woman at a major HPC center – Carissa Holohan, ANL
Moderator and Panelist: Christine Cuicchi (Dept. of Defense)
  • Ruby MendenHall (UIUC)
  • Yvonne Yang (Intel)
  • Lucy Nowell (DoE Office of Science)
  Best practices from organizations on improving workplace diversity

Early career presentations

Session Three: 14:00

Session Chair: Weronika Filinger and Gokcen Kestor

Developing workplace resilience & managing stress

Session FOUR: 15:30

Session Chair:  Toni Collis

Identifying your personal triggers, how to manage triggers and resilience.


  • Laura Schulz — Leibniz Supercomputing Center
  • Maytal Dahan — TACC
  • Mozhgan Kabiri Chimeh — Univ. of Sheffield
  • Kaoutar El Maghraoui – IBM Research