Registering for SC15? You can sign up to mentor a student at the same time.
If you plan to attend SC15 in Austin, consider signing up as a mentor to help students get the most out of the conference and make a difference in their careers. Organized as part of the Students@SC program, the Mentor-Protégé Program is designed to support the growth of a vibrant HPC community by connecting newcomers at the SC conference with experienced conference attendees.
For many of the students, SC will be their first conference and can be an overwhelming experience. A mentor can help them make the best use of their time and make personal connections with the HPC community.
SC15 is encouraging conference attendees who have attended SC one or more times in the past to sign up to be mentors by checking the appropriate box when they register for SC. Mentors will also choose their discipline on the registration form to help make the best matches. Mentor volunteers are asked plan their travel arrangements so they can attend a Monday afternoon mixer for mentors and protégés from 3:30-5:00 p.m. on November 16.
The mentors share their experiences from previous SC conferences and their expertise in high performance computing with their student protégés who are participating in program components that include Student Volunteers, HPC for Undergraduates, the Student Cluster Competition, the Doctoral Showcase and the ACM Student Research Competition.
The suggested commitment for mentors and protégés is a pre-conference e-mail or phone contact, attendance at the November 16 Mentor-Protégé Program Mixer and another meeting during SC15.
- Further details can be found at http://sc15.supercomputing.org/sites/all/themes/SC15images/SC15Suggestions%20for%20Mentors.pdf
For the past 15 years, the annual SC conference has welcomed hundreds of students to the week-long conference held every November, providing an entry into the community of high performance computing and networking. For SC15 in Austin, the student programs will be coordinated as a broader program to recruit a diverse group of students, ranging from undergrads to graduate students, as well as researchers who are in the early stages of their careers after graduating.
Through various programs, students can get their first introduction to supercomputing, compete in a grueling contest to assemble and run a computing cluster, learn about career options from mentors, present their research through posters and presentations, and participate in professional development sessions. For the first time, a focused program is also planned for early career scientists.
Making a difference
Thanks to the SC14 Mentor-Protégé Program, University of Delaware Ph.D. Student Maria Ruiz gained valuable experience by attending the 2015 Data Science at Scale Summer School at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Following that program, she was able to continue working with her SC14 mentor Jim Ahrens, who leads the Data Science at Scale Team in the Applied Computer Science group at LANL.
Ruiz first met Ahrens at the Mentor-Protégé Program mixer held at the start of SC14. Ruiz says she was thrilled to have a mentor who is engaged with related research and understands it well enough to discuss advanced topics in the field. As her mentor, Ahrens was impressed by Ruiz’s enthusiasm and knowledge. He helped orient her to the conference and suggested names of people she should meet. Later that week, Ruiz attended some of Ahrens’ conference talks and followed up by sharing her resume, which led her to LANL this summer.
Because it’s difficult to find mentors in a specific field from outside of your university, Ruiz said, the SC Mentor-Protégé experience fostered new connections that will ultimately help her make a greater research impact and open up more opportunities in the future. From Ahrens’ perspective, the connection was a win-win, because he found a capable student for his summer program whom he may not have met otherwise. He felt fortunate for having the opportunity to guide Ruiz’s conference experience and is excited that she is planning to contribute to and participate in SC15 this year.
If you have already registered for SC15 and would like to be a mentor, send an e-mail to email@example.com.