April 7, 2023 I Am HPC Exascale Inclusivity STEM Share this page: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email By Charity Plata Computer Scientist Sidafa Conde is a graduate of University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a doctorate in engineering and applied science that focused on scientific computing. As a self-professed “tinkerer,” Conde found he liked using mathematics and computational methods to tackle complicated problems. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Conde has gravitated to artificial intelligence and machine learning (previously he was a performance optimization engineer at Mythic-AI), where he sees the potential to transform big data analyses into real-world solutions in business and beyond. Conde also has a firm interest in bringing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and its colleague STEAM, which adds an “A” for “arts,” to the forefront, especially in building the inclusive and diverse workforce that will fuel HPC’s future. An “A” for “Advocate” Learn more about how Sidafa Conde is an “A” for “Advocate,” including his take on how HPC is a natural platform for helping young people realize their career goals, why he thinks exascale is so transformative, and why he proudly says, “I Am HPC.” Sidafa Conde Computational Scientist | STEM/STEAM Advocate Sidafa on Linkedin Q: What single event most made you realize you wanted a career in HPC/computing? Sidafa: During my time in the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded CSUMS program at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, I was first introduced to the world of scientific computing. Programs like CSUMS are designed to introduce students to new fields and give them the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, and it achieved just that for me. I had never really explored this area before, but I was fascinated by the incredible power and potential of these systems to process vast amounts of data and perform complex simulations. I changed my focus from accounting to computational math, and I’m happy with my decision. Q: What do you consider your biggest contribution to the HPC/computing community? Sidafa: I am very happy with my research, the publications, and the many awesome projects I’ve been fortunate to work in my career. However, I consider my work with STEAM the Streets on STEM/STEAM outreach and advocacy as my most important contribution to the computing community. Encouraging underrepresented youth to explore the world of computing and other STEM fields is crucial for creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce that benefits everyone. By simply sharing my knowledge and experience with young people, I hope to help inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to pursue their dreams and make a meaningful impact in their chosen field. Q: In the past 35 years, what is the most significant overlooked breakthrough that has impacted the field in your eyes? Sidafa: The exascale milestone represents a remarkable achievement in the world of HPC/computing, made possible through the innovative work of mathematicians, engineers, and computer scientists. The complex algorithms and numerical methods used in HPC and computing systems require a deep understanding of advanced mathematics and scientific computing, and the researchers who develop these technologies are often at the forefront of their fields. The exascale milestone is a testament to the tireless efforts of these researchers, who have pushed the boundaries of what is possible and paved the way for new discoveries and breakthroughs in a wide range of scientific disciplines. It’s truly awe-inspiring to witness the progress being made in this field. I, like many others, am excited to see what the future holds as we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible through advanced mathematics and engineering. Q: What would you like to see change about, within, or among the HPC/computing community? Sidafa: It’s crucial to reach out to diverse populations early on in high school to encourage their interest and involvement in various fields. By doing so, we can create a more inclusive and diverse workforce that benefits everyone. It’s essential to provide these students with resources and support, including mentorship, networking opportunities, and exposure to a range of career paths. Initiatives like these can help break down barriers and make it easier for underrepresented groups to pursue their dreams and achieve success.