Expand diversity-tailored education and training opportunities

Hoang Nguyen award
SIParCS student Hoang Nguyen was recognized for Outstanding Achievement for his poster entitled “Improving HPC Scheduling through Machine Learning and Statistics” at the STARS workshop, which is part of the Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing.

Many of NCAR’s outreach efforts are aimed at increasing diversity. In the areas of computational and data science, CISL conducts outreach at conferences that focus on the overlap of diversity and computer science by attending events like the Rocky Mountain Celebration of Women in Computing, the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing, or the ADMI Symposium on Computing at Minority Institutions. NCAR advertises internship and employment opportunities at the IEEE Supercomputing Conference Job Fair and at conferences such as AMS and AGU, as well as on email lists, professional society sites, and university career centers that serve underrepresented groups. NCAR and UCAR internship programs collaborate in outreach activities and have established a reciprocal arrangement for distributing each other’s brochures at events.

Additionally, CISL lowers barriers for students and staff from underrepresented groups and underfunded states through participation at diversity-oriented conferences, staffing a full-time Diversity Specialist, providing student travel support to attend training courses, workshops, and conferences, and offering diversity-focused internships and externships.

CISL programs enhance the quality and diversity of CISL interns, apprentices, and job applicants, and increase awareness of opportunities for students, faculty, and collaborators among target institutions, underrepresented communities, and EPSCoR states. These programs also promote diversity, enhance CISL’s culture of teaching and mentorship, and stimulate collaborations with the university community, all in support of NCAR’s strategic imperative to educate and entrain a talented and diverse group of students and early-career professionals.

For the fifth year in a row, CISL participated in the Association of Computer/Information Sciences and Engineering Departments at Minority Institutions (ADMI) Symposium on Computing at Minority Institutions. This year the Symposium was held in Virginia Beach, Virginia on 23-26 March 2017. ADMI was founded in August 1989, with the mission of exploring and providing remedies to the educational issues in computer/information science and computer engineering that confront minority institutions of higher education. The 2017 ADMI Symposium highlighted undergraduate and graduate research with particular interest in the Internet of Things. An important facet of the symposium is the opportunity to explore collaborations between major research institutions, industry, and minority institutions. Faculty and students present research papers, discuss poster presentations, and explore graduate school options. This year the CISL representatives at the ADMI Symposium focused their outreach to the attendees on behalf of the NCAR-UCAR-Wyoming partnership by distributing information about NCAR/UCAR/University of Wyoming internships, graduate research, and other educational and career opportunities. About 20 student attendees signed up for the SIParCS information email listserv.

CISL also provided funding to support travel for two students to attend the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing. The Tapia Conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia on 20-22 September and had about 1,200 attendees. SIParCS intern Ananta Thapaliya is a sophomore at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The other student, Hoang Nguyen, is a senior at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. CISL’s Diversity, Education, and Outreach Specialist and CISL’s Outreach Assistant attended the conference to staff a booth at the Job Fair. About 30 students signed up for the SIParCS information email listserv, and several students were identified as candidates who may be interested in participating in the CISL Visitor Program.

In FY2017, NETS manager Marla Meehl (CISL, UCAR) again served as Principal Investigator of the Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program, which funded seven women to attend and participate in SCinet and SC16. Aimed at increasing diversity in the national network engineering field, the WINS program leverages the annual SCinet activity to help train and mentor women faculty and staff from institutions across the U.S. in the use of advanced technologies and the national scientific infrastructure.

Marla Meehl is also the co-chair for the Internet2 Gender Diversity Initiative, which has been charged by Internet2 to create and implement a program that provides support for emerging information technology women professionals to attend Internet2 technical conferences, thereby supporting their entry into the information technology field and the Internet2 community.

In FY2017 CISL’s Diversity, Education, and Outreach Specialist once again played a role as a co-facilitator for UCAR’s UCAR|NCAR InclusiON series. UNEION is a four-part training series designed to increase awareness of equity and inclusion issues that impact the workplace. Attendees discuss impactful topics and work to make NCAR and UCAR a more diverse and equitable place.

NSF Core funds support CISL diversity activities. The WINS program is supported by NSF Core funds and NSF grant 1640987. The Internet2 Gender Diversity Initiative is funded by Internet2.