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IU showcases excellence in high-performance computing, networking

Nov 6, 2023

Indiana University will confirm its place as a powerhouse for high-performance computing and advanced networking at the world’s premier supercomputing conference this month.

IU will display the breadth and depth of its high-performance computing expertise and contributions in an exhibition similar to this one ... IU will display the breadth and depth of its high-performance computing expertise and contributions in an exhibition similar to this one from 2022. Photo courtesy of SC Photography

IU will showcase the people and projects that make it an international leader in the uses and applications of IT in higher education at the 2023 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis Nov. 12 to 17, in Denver. The annual event, which IU has participated in for more than 25 years, attracts about 12,000 of the top minds in technology and the world’s leading tech companies, research organizations and universities.

Themed “IU at Scale,” the university’s 2023 exhibition displays the extensive depth and breadth of IU’s high-performance computing expertise and contributions.

Highlights include:

  • IUniverse: A virtual 3D environment for highlighting IU research, featuring virtual rooms and live participation via webcam, chat and avatar interactions.
  • IU Alumni — Then and Now: A motion-media exhibit featuring former students and former staff as well as current students.
  • IU Party 360: A customized 360-degree photobooth experience to celebrate IU life.

IU’s leadership will be evident beyond this exhibition. Whether it’s seasoned professionals at the helm of powerful computer networks or ambitious undergraduate students taking their first steps, Hoosiers are making their mark in the field.

Running the world’s most powerful (temporary) network

Hans Addleman, technical director for IU International Networks, has a pivotal role at this year’s conference: He’s the chair of the conference network, SCinet. This goes beyond ordinary conference Wi-Fi; SCinet is the fastest and most powerful network in the world for the conference’s duration.

Two people work with network wires Hans Addleman and Brenna Meade set up for the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis. Photo courtesy of SC PhotographySCinet does supply network connectivity for thousands of conference attendees. But more importantly, it’s where the world’s high-performance computing experts push the boundaries of networking technologies and innovations through workshops, demos and collaborative opportunities.

Addleman will manage nearly 200 volunteers from around the world; $40.5 million in hardware, software and services donated by industry leaders; and at least 350 wireless access points. He served as SCinet deputy chair in 2022, when he shadowed the chair to prepare for his lead role for 2023.

“Chairing SCinet is a major undertaking, of course, but I’ve come to love the relationships I’ve made and the SCinet hive mind I’m now a part of,” Addleman said. “These are 200 of the best and brightest network engineers coming together every year to build this incredible network.”

In addition to Addleman’s leadership, IU has 11 other staff in key positions across all aspects of SCinet networking. That’s the most IU staff members to ever take part in SCinet.

The undergraduate experience: Making career connections

For Max Williams, a senior computer science major in the IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, this conference is a smorgasbord of opportunities.

He will be in Denver for about two weeks, volunteering on SCinet’s network research experimentation team. He’ll help set up the network, laying miles of fiber-optic cables, which will be a new experience for him.

Although computers are his passion (and his major), Williams hasn’t quite narrowed down his chosen specialty in the field.

“Going to SC will help me to find a path I truly want to go down,” he said. “I’m currently interested in AI broadly, but I’m not sold on anything just yet. SC will be a good way for me to meet people in the field, make connections and get a job down the line.”

Another student opportunity at SC23 is IndySCC, a companion to the SC Student Cluster competition. IU and Purdue University undergraduates will again join forces to build, operate and tune powerful cluster computers with an emphasis on education and inclusion. The SC23 IndySCC chair is IU’s own Le Mai Weakley, a staff member in the research software and solutions division of University Information Technology Services.

Creating more opportunities for women

Brenna Meade, senior network architect at International Networks at IU, is now at the helm of an innovative program to widen the pipeline of women in the field of network engineering. Meade has been named program director for WINS, the Women in IT Networking program.

WINS will also soon be under the leadership of Indiana University. This transition, effective Nov. 20, aims to maintain and expand the program’s success promoting diversity in the fields of network engineering and high-performance computing.

WINS began in 2015 as a joint effort between the Energy Sciences Network, the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and SCinet. Its success led to a three-year award from the National Science Foundation.

Meade is also a proud alumna of the WINS program.

“WINS changed my career and my life dramatically,” she said. “I’m honored to help other women experience the same career-altering opportunities that I did through WINS. I’m excited to bring more women into the field of networking.”

When WINS started, fewer than 14% of SCinet volunteers were women. Now, that number has tripled, with several alumni moving on to SCinet management roles. Meade is one of them.

In addition to her WINS work, at this year’s conference Meade is SCinet co-chair for both the Network Research Exhibition and Experimental Networks SCinet teams. These related roles give Meade a front-row seat to the latest and most innovative demonstrations in network testbeds, emerging network hardware, protocols and advanced network-intensive scientific applications.

New leadership for International Networks at IU

IU named Edward J. Moynihan as the new director of International Networks, effective Nov. 1. Moynihan brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record in global networking and IT management to this crucial role.

IU will celebrate Moynihan’s new role, and 25 years of international networks, at a reception in the conference booth Nov. 14.

Author

University Communications and Marketing

Ceci Jones

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