Heart-felt thanks to the “Women in HPC” workshop!


On the occasion of thanksgiving, we would like to extend our best wishes to our colleagues in the “Women in HPC” network! You are helping foster long-lasting and impactful associations, and are doing a great service to the community – thanks!

We, Ritu Arora and Sharda Dixit, are excited to share our thoughts on the mentoring program that is part of the “Women in HPC” workshop.

Ritu Arora, Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), USA

I was contacted last year to mentor some of the participants of the “Women in HPC” workshop at SC16. I am always appreciative of such mentoring opportunities because these opportunities have a high potential of impacting the professional and personal growth of both the mentors and mentees. Having said that, let me seize this opportunity to thank all my mentors and mentees for contributing towards my growth!

One of my mentees from the “Women in HPC (WHPC)” workshop at SC16 was Ms. Sharda Dixit from the Centre of Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in India. Sharda and I initially met and interacted about preparing her submission for the WHPC workshop, navigating around the SC16 conference, and her questions regarding the US Visa process. We met again at SC16, very briefly though, and then, there was a lull. However, earlier this year, Sharda contacted me to collaborate on a project that her team was submitting a proposal on. I was delighted to collaborate and contribute. She also made me aware of the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) in India and the ongoing HPC R&D activities there. I sensed the potential of finding the users and building the community for the high-productivity HPC tools that we are developing at the Texas Advanced computing Center (TACC).

For building any community and sustaining its growth, it is important to bring together different stakeholders from a niche area to a common forum. Therefore, I pinged Sharda to co-host a workshop on the “Software Challenges to Exascale Computing” in India.  After several weeks of workshop planning, we are now excitedly looking forward to our First Workshop on Software Challenges to Exascale Computing (SCEC17) that will be held in Jaipur, India, on December 17, 2017. Colleagues interested in the exascale computing challenges and advanced software engineering are cordially invited to participate in the workshop – come join us for a day full of exciting talks, hands-on parallel programming session, and a parallel programming contest. Additional details on the workshop are available at the following URL: https://scecforum.github.io/

I will always be grateful to the “Women in HPC” workshop for connecting me to Sharda! This connection was the first stepping-stone towards hosting the SCEC17 workshop.

Sharda Dixit, Centre of Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), India 

I am an R&D professional at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). My current research interests include power and energy optimization of High Performance Computing (HPC) systems. I proposed to present a poster titled “Automated Empirical Tuning of Performance and Power Consumption using Region (CPU, Memory, I/O) Driven DVFS for HPC Scientific Workloads” at the WHPC 2016 workshop that was held at SC16 and it was accepted. The workshop provided numerous networking opportunities, some of which resulted in organizing future events, such as tutorials accepted to the ISC17 and HiPC17 conferences.

Through the workshop, I got in touch with Dr. Ritu Arora from the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). She was assigned as my mentor to prepare my presentation in WHPC. Ritu’s mentorship and guidance not only helped me in preparing my poster presentation at WHPC, but also in other aspects of my professional and personal growth. We kept in touch even after SC16, and worked towards building collaborations on R&D projects, tutorials, and a workshop.

I am very grateful to the WHPC and its mentoring program for connecting me to Ritu and giving me the opportunity to participate in the WHPC workshop at the SC16 conference. I am also grateful to Ritu for her continued support and motivation that makes me confident to initiate international collaborations, conduct the workshop, and write this blog.

About the authors: Ritu Arora and Sharda Dixit

  • Ritu Arora received her Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is an HPC researcher and consultant at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). She also teaches in the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, and provides consultancy on automating Big Data workflows on national supercomputing resources. Ritu is active in broadening the participation of individuals from underrepresented groups in the HPC and Big Data disciplines. Her areas of interest and expertise are HPC, fault-tolerance, domain-specific languages, big data management, workflow automation, and health informatics.

  • Sharda Dixit is associated with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) since 2006 and leads the Power Optimization activity for High Performance Computing Systems. Her current research interests include power & performance optimization, profiling of scientific workloads and power aware software framework for future extreme scale HPC systems.  She also specialises in Cryptography and Network Security. She received her Master’s degree in Computer Applications in 2004 from National Institute of Technology (NIT), India.

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