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Voices from the SC23 Communications Team


Join us on a journey to discover the diverse perspectives of the SC23 Communications Team members as they share their personal stories and deep-rooted connections with High-Performance Computing (HPC). From communicators to researchers, their narratives unveil a shared passion for HPC, its transformative potential, and its profound impact on both science and society. In their own words, they explain why they are HPC.

Christine Baissac-Hayden

SC23 Communications, Chair

Why Are You HPC?

In the world of high-performance computing (HPC), I identify as a participant, albeit not in the role of a back-end creator, but I passionately identify with the HPC community and its transformative impact on our daily lives. My passion for the field extends beyond my role as a communicator. Serving as the SC23 Communication Chair, I take great pride in showcasing pioneering leaders and their work, bridging the gap between cutting-edge HPC innovations and their practical applications while fostering collaboration among diverse institutions around the globe.

Since 2016, my commitment to the SC community’s mission has driven me to advocate for its cause. I’ve worked diligently to engage students, spreading awareness and creating a vibrant network within the HPC community. This journey has been deeply fulfilling, enabling me to empower the next generation of HPC enthusiasts and connecting brilliant minds and the broader world through outreach and communication endeavors.

My enthusiasm for HPC goes beyond my role. It stems from the practical benefits I’ve experienced. Back in 2005 when I founded my school in Brest, France, educational materials and curriculum development were arduous tasks. The tools available then were limited, demanding a high level of expertise. Today, HPC has made this process accessible, streamlining content creation, translation and interpretation. I vividly recall the early days of Google Translate and its humorous literal translations. Fortunately, it has come a long way, improving efficiency in tasks that once took hours.

On a personal note, I’m deeply thankful for HPC’s contributions to the medical field, which have been instrumental in developing vaccines and advanced medical equipment that ensure the health and safety of both myself and my loved ones.In essence, I may not be a back-end HPC creator, but I am a passionate HPC advocate, communicator and user. I am HPC.

Charity Plata

SC23 Communications Vice Chair

Why Are You HPC?

For the better part of a decade, I have been steadily more immersed in science, particularly in areas of computational/computer science, data science and applied mathematics. Of late, research areas involving exascale/high-performance computing, large-scale workflows, artificial intelligence/machine learning and quantum computing have permeated that core mix. 

Yet, unlike many who build and use these technologies for seeking solutions to Grand Challenge problems, I am the interested spectator. Better still, I get to be the storyteller, taking in all the innovations, achievements and personalities that make these unique mechanisms so elemental in modern research and detailing the ways they can benefit society. 

Actually, that is my job: communicating the science of computing done by the talented scientists and researchers within the Computational Science Initiative at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. I am a part of a gifted team that draws on all of my skills and entrusts me to tell their highly varied, sometimes vastly technical, stories. At times, I can be an editor, reporter, advisor or even a collaborator. Most importantly (to me), among these computing and technical professionals, I am an equal. Whether attending a project meeting, touring a data center or volunteering at the SC Conference, I am welcome, and my contributions are respected and valued. 

This is why I am HPC.

Kevin jackson

SC23 Communications Student Liaison

Why Are You HPC?

Science has always been utterly fascinating to me. Throughout my youth and early career, I found myself gravitating toward stories about humans probing the mystery of the natural world. Early on, I noticed that just about every scientific story of significance eventually relied on computing. 

In 2020, at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, I found myself acting as Editor in Chief of Science Node. This publication focused on bringing academic HPC news to average readers—people who love science but lack advanced degrees or decades of experience. The challenge was that HPC is a complex field that can be difficult to explain to the layperson, but this was made easier by the fact that I could find stories from every imaginable scientific discipline that at some point relied on HPC. 

While at Science Node, I covered the use of HPC in everything from climate science to human rights violations. I even got a chance to talk to some of the people directing HPC resources toward drug discovery for the COVID-19 vaccine. When you stop and actually think about it, the magnitude of HPC’s impact on the scientific community is nearly beyond comprehension. 

Humans are tool builders, and I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that computers are among the most valuable tools that humanity has ever created. That’s why I work so hard to communicate the work HPC scientists do and help ensure they get the funding they need. That’s why I feel so much respect and admiration for the people who dedicate their lives to mastering this complex and intricate technology. 

That’s why I am HPC.

Isaac Lopez

SC23 Communications Team Member

Why Are You HPC?

My journey into the world of HPC began not as a developer or a scientist but as a communicator—a “comms” specialist with a deep interest in advanced technology and its many applications and utilities for making our lives better. From my very first SC Conference in 2000 in Dallas, Texas, I was entranced by the sheer scale and impact of supercomputing, especially its capability to transform society at large. Since then, I’ve committed myself to amplifying the achievements and nuances of this awe-inspiring community through diverse roles in media and marketing.

OmniScale Media, the agency I co-founded, is a testament to my passion for democratizing advanced technologies like HPC and AI. Our mission is to serve technology communities by bridging the gap between groundbreaking innovations and the betterment of society. This sense of purpose has been both professionally fulfilling and personally rewarding. We are grateful to play a role as we watch our clients pioneer solutions that are not only disruptive but also deeply impactful.

A key career highlight has been the opportunity to work alongside brilliant minds in the industry, promoting not just their technological advancements but also the human stories behind them. Each story serves as a building block in a larger narrative that underscores the transformative power of HPC. For example, our work in highlighting the role of HPC technologies and applications in Alzheimer’s disease research, large language modeling, or even national security applications serves as a constant reminder of what humanity can achieve with the right tools and intellectual resources.

So, am I a coder? No. A data scientist? Far from it. But what I am is an evangelist for a technological revolution that promises to redefine the boundaries of human capability and progress. 

And, that’s why I am HPC.

Bruce Loftis

SC23 Communications Team Member

Why Are You HPC?

In the early 1980s, I was at Colorado State University (CSU). I went to a few classes and did a book report. They gave me a Ph.D. and a faculty position. It was very nice of them. While I was wrapping up my degree, CSU brought in a Cyber-205. CSU was the first American university with a supercomputer (although Purdue claims this as well). I got side-tracked into HPC, and I never got back to water resources engineering (whatever that is).

I worked at a collection of universities with HPC systems. Not that I couldn’t keep a job, but universities got new National Science Foundation grants, and I relocated to help start up the centers. I mostly led the user support groups.

For me, it has been a great career. I have been able to play with the most expensive toys, and I helped researchers use these systems to tackle the most challenging science problems.

I am HPC, and HPC is, indeed, an important part of me.

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