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Early Career Provides a Valuable Launching Pad

early career

Huda Ibeid

SC20 Early Career Participant

Huda Ibeid is an HPC performance architect at Intel, working to enable exascale computing. Prior to that, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. She earned her doctorate in Computer Science from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Her research interests lie broadly in the field of high-performance computing, with a particular emphasis on two areas of development: performance models for parallel architectures and applications and scalable numerical algorithms for partial differential equations.

She is a recipient of the Google Women Techmakers Scholarship (2014) and Rising Stars in EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) (2019). Currently, Huda serves on the SC23 Early Career Program (ECP) committee. 

“I attended the Early Career Program at SC20, and it was truly an invaluable experience. Despite the program being shifted online due to the pandemic, it provided me with incredible opportunities to engage in diverse sessions and connect with fellow participants. I found this virtual format to be particularly inclusive, allowing individuals from various geographical locations to participate and contribute. As someone who had recently completed a Ph.D. and postdoc in academia and was transitioning into industry, the ECP served as a timely platform for me to gain invaluable insights and guidance.”

Bruno Abreu

SC22 Early Career Participant

With a background in computational condensed matter physics, Bruno Abreu joined the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois in 2021 as a research programmer after immigrating to the United States from Brazil in 2019. At NCSA, he provides research consulting, facilitation, and application development for large-scale simulations, machine learning, and quantum computing projects in various science fields. He obtained a doctorate in physics in 2018 from the University of Campinas, Brazil, where he studied quantum phenomena, such as superfluidity, using Monte Carlo simulations. He was a visiting scholar with Professor David Ceperley at the University of Illinois in 2015-2016.

These experiences helped him develop expertise with supercomputers, programming languages, and frameworks, such as Python, C/C++, Fortran, OpenMP, MPI, and CUDA. He is also a research affiliate at the Illinois Quantum Information Sciences and Technology Center and a trained National Science Foundation CyberAmbassadors program facilitator.

“SC’s Early Career Program was a fantastic experience that showed me how broad and nonlinear career paths in research computing can be—ultimately making me even more excited about my career prospects. The program covered a well-distributed range of topics, including the importance of mentoring, work-life balance, development of effective communication skills, and several others. It gave me a unique opportunity to network with people from a wide range of backgrounds and institutions, both in early- and advanced-career stages, making me confident to reach out, ask for advice, find collaborators and colleagues, and help others by sharing my experiences. SC is a massive conference, and it can be overwhelming. People with mile-long badges can look intimidating. ECP made it a much smoother and more fruitful experience, setting me up for a successful journey using advanced cyberinfrastructure to boost scientific research. If you are starting your journey, I highly recommend this program!”

Anjali Sandip

SC22 Early Career Participant

Anjali Sandip is a senior lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of North Dakota (UND). Her research interests include numerical modeling, uncertainty quantification, and parallel computing. Anjali’s PI-led research projects have received support from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and NVIDIA. She currently is investigating numerical solution algorithms that optimally leverage exascale hardware capabilities with performance-portable implementations for unstructured mesh applications. Before joining UND, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Nebraska, where she developed patient-specific computational models of the superficial femoral artery/stent interaction to treat peripheral artery disease.

Anjali serves as a mentor for both undergraduate and graduate researchers. She is an active member of the International Association of Computational Mechanics and has delivered numerous presentations and published journal articles. Anjali has bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering. Outside of work, she enjoys reading and all things outdoors.

“I enjoyed being part of SC’s ECP 2022 and connecting with fellow batchmates, established scientists, and researchers from all over the country and the world! The program provided valuable resources on how to build a successful research career. I found the session on grant writing particularly helpful. My biggest takeaway was the network I built.”

Ayesha Afzal

SC20 Early Career Participant

Ayesha Afzal is a researcher at Erlangen National High Performance Computing Center (NHR@FAU) in Germany. She holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in computational engineering. Her doctoral research meets at the crossroads of analytic performance models, performance tools, and parallel simulation frameworks with a focus on first-principles performance modeling of distributed-memory parallel programs in high-performance computing. Ayesha contributes to significant scientific community events as an active speaker, conference program committee member (SC, CLUSTER, ICPP, CSTA), journal reviewer (IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems), and workshop (PERMAVOST@HPDC) or mentoring (WHPC@SC) co-chair.

She has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and scored First Place in the ISC Ph.D. Forum Award 2021 that honors outstanding doctorate work. She was named in “100 Future Leaders Role Model List 2022” supported by Yahoo Finance and won the 2023 WearetheCity Global Award for Achievement.

“The epidemic prevented me from having much of an opportunity to get involved in the HPC community activities and attend events in person to network with HPC specialists. With my participation in ECP@SC22, I had the chance to have conversations with many experienced professionals in the HPC field and had established a few successful networking connections that had a beneficial impact on my career path. I found the program to be engaging, enjoyed the invited talks, and, particularly, the ‘speed networking activity’ and ‘mentor protégé mixer’ were my favorite parts of the workshop-style program. In the pre-conference webinars, irrespective of the fact that a few talks were more concentrated on a funding opportunities forum with a U.S. focus (and not Germany-focus), the general recommendations and guidelines nevertheless had an influence on my learning. I really appreciate the speakers’ and mentors’ provocative thoughts.”

Sagnik Singha

SC22 Early Career Participant

Sagnik Singha graduated with a doctorate in mechanical engineering in the field of computational fluid dynamics in 2021. His training is in mathematical modeling and employing computational numerical approaches to solve partial differential equations, mainly for multiparticle systems suspended in fluids. Presently, he is a research associate at the user support group at Texas Tech University. During his tenure as a graduate student, apart from the technical aspects, he also polished his interpersonal skills. This involved working in a team of diverse computational and experimental researchers, as well as presenting research findings at various depths, depending on the audience at national and international conferences such as American Physical Society and the United States National Congress of Theoretical & Applied Mechanics.

Sagnik cites his current role in augmenting his skills, especially in screening the essential components of his experience and expanding on them in the domain of computational methods and applications. In the future, he wants to apply his physical-modeling background to contribute to addressing high-impact environmental problems by utilizing HPC systems and allied methodologies as tools.

“First, the ECP introduced me to researchers working in a variety of fields like environmental pollution, software stacks, and bioinformatics, to name a few, from prestigious institutions, e.g., national labs, that drive fundamental and applied research. This was very important I felt since most research pipelines have a wide range of experts collaborating to address multiple aspects of the project. It therefore encouraged me to venture out of my domain of research, which is important for my personal future growth. Second, the organizers included us in a variety of social and professional activities to encourage mingling amongst participants and mentors. Through the program, I found a couple of successful mentorship relationships in two early career research staff at Sandia National Laboratories. I also connected with a fellow ECP participant over common methodologies used in our Ph.D. research. Third, it opens one’s perspective about what is possible in the field of research in terms of lateral shifts or vertical leaps in career by interacting with other mentors. These are some of the ways in which the ECP impacted my professional life.”

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