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SIGHPC Group to Host Students for Computing4Change Competition at SC18

Today the well-meaning SIGHPC group from ACM announced that their Computing4Change competition has received an unprecedented number of applications. As an effort to bring Bright Young Minds into the HPC community, the competition is targeted at students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds who want the following:

  • Learn to apply data analysis and computational thinking to a social challenge
  • Experience the latest tools and techniques for exploring data through visualization
  • Expand skills in team-based problem solving
  • Learn how to communicate ideas more effectively to the general public
SIGHPC received hundreds of applications from citizens of 31 countries, with over 60% coming from non-US citizens. 45% of applicants were female or non-binary gender, and four percent of applicants identified as having some form of disability. Of the applicants from the US, over half are from groups underrepresented in computing. More than 160 universities were represented, including students from more than 100 majors ranging from law and urban planning to engineering and economics.
The applications were reviewed and evaluated by a panel of experts from diverse backgrounds across race, gender, discipline, and nationality. Selections were based on applicant’s vision for using technology to affect positive change in an issue relevant to them; overall potential for impact in their chosen fields and home institutions; and the extent to which they can serve as ambassadors to increase diversity in the workplace.
The 16 participants are citizens of 5 countries. 63% of awardees identify as female, 12% of awardees identify as having a disability, and 50% have never attended a professional conference. Among awardees from the US, 33% are Black/African American, 25% Latinx, 19% White, and the remaining are Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or of Mediterranean descent. Students are from 16 different universities, 44% of which are classified as resource constrained by the Carnegie Classification of institutions of higher learning. SIGHPC congratulates the accepted participants:
  • Stephanie Boggs, Jackson State University
  • Edgar Chavez, California State University, Los Angeles
  • Noah Hradek, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Thomas Johnson, Elizabeth City State University
  • Kalika Lacy, Purdue University
  • Tunrayo Lumpkin, South Carolina State University
  • Shreya Madasu, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • Peizhu Qian, Simmons College
  • Madelyn Reyes, Lipscomb University
  • Shanelle Roman, Yale University
  • Hoano Rosario, Chaminade University
  • Nicholas Sarkauskas, The Ohio State University
  • Maya Simon, University of Iowa
  • Ariel Turnley, Spelman College
  • Itzel Bailon Vazquez, Community College of Denver
  • Harrison Waide, Binghamton University/SUNY
The competition will take place in November. The winners will receive travel support to attend SC18 in Dallas for the competition thingy and awards ceremony.

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