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An XSEDE-wide effort is underway to expand the community by recruiting and enabling a diverse group of students who have the skills - or are interested in acquiring the skills - to participate in the actual work of XSEDE. The name of this effort is XSEDE EMPOWER ( Expert Mentoring Producing Opportunities for Work, Education, and Research ).

Link to program website

Table of Contents

Participant Highlights

August 1 – October 31, 2021

  • Nicole Avila, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona:
    • "I have truly grown as a scientist and am so proud of my progress due to the XSEDE EMPOWER program." (written September 2021)
  • Nicholas Grabill, Michigan State University:
    • Pinckard, K., Grabill, N.J., & Colbry D. (2021, September 21). Scaling of Evolutionary Search of Algorithm Space to Speed-Up Scientific Image Understanding Workflows. Poster presented at 2021 IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Virtual Conference — HPEC.

  • Kai Pinckard, Reed College:
    • Pinckard, K., Grabill, N.J., & Colbry D. (2021, September 21). Scaling of Evolutionary Search of Algorithm Space to Speed-Up Scientific Image Understanding Workflows. Poster presented at 2021 IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Virtual Conference — HPEC.

May 1 – July 31, 2021

  • Four students presented talks about their EMPOWER projects at the PEARC21 Internship Spotlight (https://pearc.acm.org/pearc21/student-program/pearc21-internship-spotlight/):
    • Christy Marchese, Pomona College
    • Arianna Martin, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
    • Tanya Nesterova, University of Delaware
    • Christopher Sherald, University of Kansas
  • Christy Marchese, Pomona College:
    • Marchese, C. (2021, July 21). Predicting Mental Health Outcomes with Deep Learning. Poster presented at 2021 ACM Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing — PEARC21.

    • "At PEARC21, I attended many presentations, workshops, Q&As, and exhibitor booths. I think PEARC is a really valuable experience for anyone interested in computing. I was able to learn so much in such a short time from workshops, presentations, and experts in the field of computing. I was able to meet people who I know aspire to be. I think especially when it comes to inspiring underrepresented students in HPC, PEARC is an amazing conference to go to. I met so many women in computing that I never knew existed, and I was incredibly inspired by them and their resilience working in the research computing field. I just want to thank you all so much for encouraging me to go to this conference and supporting me through it. I found the EMPOWER program to be an incredibly fulfilling experience in introducing me to research computing, and this conference was just the cherry to top it all off. I had a great time at this conference, and I hope future EMPOWER students will also be able to experience the same amazing opportunities." (written July 2021)
    • "I truly learned a lot from this experience [of participating in EMPOWER], and I am incredibly grateful that I was able to have this opportunity to receive mentorship and use XSEDE's computational resources." (written June 2021)
  • Sudha Vaishnavi Nannur, Wayne State University:
    • "I am very happy to say that this internship is going really well! I have honed my modern computing skills and gained immense perspective on how they can be put to use. This project has provided me with the context to apply skills that I learned in college to produce real - world results. For that, I’d like to thank you for providing me the opportunity to work with [my mentor] and allowing me to explore the different spaces where computing skills can be put to use." (written July 2021)

February 1 – April 30, 2021

  • Nicole Avila, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona:
    • "My participation in the EMPOWER program has given me opportunities beyond what I could have imagined. I felt supported and encouraged to do my best for the entirety of my spring apprenticeship. For example, my scientific academic writing has increased dramatically because of the monthly progress reports and publication that I am working on. Specifically, I have gained the ability to present my thoughts more professionally, clearly, and concisely. Professionally, I now have computational experience that I will take on to graduate school. I also have computations that will eventually be published, which has increased my resume. I now have research experience that I could not have attained without the program! The positive experience that I have had at XSEDE has encouraged me to continue onto graduate school for computations!" (written April 2021)
  • Nicholas Grabill, Michigan State University:
    • "I believe the XSEDE EMPOWER program was a fantastic way to get introduced to computational research. I will be doing the Applied Mathematics REU (SUAMI) at Carnegie Mellon University this summer." (written April 2021)
  • Tyler Kibler and Nicolas Null, West Virginia University Institute of Technology:
  • Nicolas Null, West Virginia University Institute of Technology:
    • "Participating in the EMPOWER program has not only helped me learn tons about machine learning, but also has given me a passion for data science and machine learning. I am now seriously considering a career in this field. I started this semester not knowing how to code in python and having very limited exposure to machine learning concepts to being fairly fluent in python and using tons of open source libraries for our project. I am also learning how to be a good team member as I work with a group of two other students on the same project. I would never have considered the machine learning field. It all seemed so complicated to me. After doing a deep dive this semester on machine learning basics, I now understand the core concepts and can apply them to everyday problems. My school does not even offer a machine learning class, so the EMPOWER program alone opened my eyes to this amazing field of study and work." (written April 2021)
    • "I also presented my work to the Artificial Intelligence class on campus and helped introduce the topics of machine learning to the class. With these presentations, we created a well commented Jupyter Notebook that could help others in getting started with machine learning. This included nice looking graphics to represent the results. We published this on my github account so people could use it as a template to start their own machine learning projects. Here is the link to the tutorial notebook we created: https://github.com/Nicolasnull/Machine-Learning-Using-Scikit-Learn" (written May 2021)
  • Arianna Martin, Southwestern Oklahoma State University:
    • Martin, A., & Evert, J. (2021, March). Using OSG to Facilitate Research Computing at a Regional University. Presentation at Oklahoma Research Day, Weatherford, Oklahoma. https://dc.swosu.edu/cpgs_edsbt_bcs_student/30/
    • "On April 10, I took my code and presentation to the Oklahoma High Performance Computing Competition and placed 1st in my division. I also helped coach a high school team at the same competition." (written April 2021)
    • Martin, A., Evert, J., & Sleeper, C. (2021, April). MPI4PY Implementation of Greedy Algorithm for the Shortest Path Problem. Presentation at Southwestern Oklahoma State University Spring Research Fair.

November 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021

  • Zachery Casey, Northeastern University:
  • Kobe Davis, Portland State University:
    • "The XSEDE EMPOWER program impacted me academically by introducing me to the world of HPC. I was able to learn about parallel programs over a variety of systems. This experience motivated me to register for courses on parallel computing, GPU programming, and performance analysis. After graduation, those experiences helped me prepare for, and obtain my current role as a Software Tools Infrastructure Architect at Nvidia. Without the XSEDE EMPOWER program I wouldn't have been exposed to as many topics in HPC or GPU architecture & programming especially. And without that exposure, I may not have been offered my current position. I feel very fortunate to have had access to the education provided by the XSEDE EMPOWER program. Additionally, XSEDE EMPOWER was the sole reason for my exposure to a research setting/environment. Without the program I would not have had the opportunity to contribute to research efforts at Portland State; that experience was invaluable." (written in January 2021)
  • Phan Phu and Carlos Gutierrez, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona:
    • Phu, P.N., Gutierrez, C.E., Kundu, S., Sokaras, D., Kroll, T., Warren, T.H., & Stieber, S.C.E. (2020, December 29). Quantification of Ni–N–O Bond Angles and NO Activation by X-ray Emission Spectroscopy. Inorg. Chem. 60(2), 736–744. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.0c02724
  • Tanya Nesterova, University of Delaware:

August 1 – October 31, 2020

  • Anonymous participant: "The EMPOWER program kept me in school. I was considering taking a gap year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, but my interest in research was strong enough to make me want to stay in school." (written in October 2020)
  • Alan Andonian, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth:

    • "The Empower program has given me the opportunity to research and implement software for the conversion of tomographic images to 3D meshed volumes. The Goal being to take the 3D volume into Abaqus for FEA analysis. Participation in the EMPOWER program has helped me grow my capabilities with Finite Element Software and my ability to do computational research. The EMPOWER program has allowed me to learn about 3D visualization software and the process behind creating a CT to FEA workflow. For research projects I learned the important of creating a plan and documenting steps." (written October 2020)

  • Nicholas Grabill, Michigan State University:

    • Grabill, N. (2020, August 4). Analysis of Scaling Techniques in SEE Image Segmentation Software Utilizing Evolutionary Algorithms. Poster presented at the 2020 MID-SURE Research Symposium, Michigan State University.

  • Umair Khan, Portland State University:

    • "My work in the Reichow Lab, supported by the EMPOWER program, is actually the primary driver of my intent to pursue a computational research career in the life sciences. I have been exposed to a discipline and a community of scientists that I hope to contribute to and be a productive member of throughout my career. Moreover, the connections I've made so far will be invaluable in driving my future plans, into graduate school and beyond. In particular, the EMPOWER program has supported my long-term participation in the lab, particularly over the summer months. Otherwise, I would be unable to dedicate extended and uninterrupted time towards the Reichow Lab's various research projects. Continued support from XSEDE is the reason I have co-authored recent publications." (written October 2020)

  • Tanya Nesterova, University of Delaware:

    • Xu, C., Katyal, N., Nesterova, T., & Perilla, J.R. (2020, October 20). Molecular determinants of Ebola nucleocapsid stability from molecular dynamics simulations. The Journal of Chemical Physics153(15). https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0021491
  • Christopher Sherald, University of Kansas:

    • Sherald, S. (2020, November 6). A first-principles investigation of V2O5 as a sensor. Poster presented at the National Society of Black Physicists 2020 Conference. Won best poster award.
    • "As an aspiring physicist, the XSEDE EMPOWER program has helped me in realizing my career goals in a number of ways. The program is currently helping to familiarize me with programming and supercomputing, to learn more about data analysis, and providing computation resources that will help in speeding up sizeable simulations. My research with XSEDE and my current mentor is being used to create a presentation at the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) conference." (written October 2020)

  • Adith Srivatsa, Georgia Institute of Technology:

    • "My participation with the EMPOWER program has given me a better understanding of ion channels, its mechanism, and its generalizability across all fields. Under the guidance of my mentor, I was able to critically analyze literature, develop novel protocols, and reach out to experts in the field for advice on my scripts. I believe that EMPOWER has allowed me to have a better vision for the direction of simulation research. I hope to continue getting hands-on experience in the future. Two abstracts for poster presentations were submitted to the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting as a result of the work performed under the EMPOWER program. I am the first author on the submission "Molecular dynamic simulations suggest novel PIP2 binding sites for SK2 channels regulation". I am second author on the submission "Utilizing umbrella MD sampling to assess contradictory PIP2 binding site in the membrane embedded SK2-CaM complex to help further understanding of sk2 activation"." (written October 2020)

  • Billy Stone, University of Colorado Colorado Springs:

    • "I'm grateful for the program because it connected me to a professor that could teach me these techniques [in multiscale (quantum mechanical/ classical mechanical) chemical simulations]. I am presenting at the Biophysical Society annual meeting in Feb. 2021, and hopefully a publication will follow shortly after that." (written October 2020)

May 1 – July 31, 2020

  • Alexandra Ballow, Youngstown State University:

  • Umair Khan, Portland State University:
    • Yue B., Haddad, B.G., Khan, U., Chen, H., Atalla, M., Zhang, Z., Zuckerman, D.M., Reichow, S.L., & Bai, D. (2020). Connexin 46 and connexin 50 gap junction channel open stability and unitary conductance are shaped by structural and dynamic features of their N-terminal domains. Unpublished manuscript. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.01.182584
  • Olivia Shaw, University of Delaware:

    • Shaw, O.R., & Hadden-Perilla, J.A. (2020, July 23). TactViz: A VMD Plugin for Tactile Visualization of Protein Structures. Journal of Science Education for Students with Disabilities, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.14448/jsesd.12.0015

  • Tori Zottarelli, University of Portland:

    • Zottarelli, T. & Taylor, B. (2020, July 29). DFT Studies of the Transmetalation Mechanism in Stille Cross-Coupling Reactions. Poster presented at the virtual MU3CCC Conference, Iowa State University.

February 1 – April 30, 2020

  • Umair Khan, Portland State University:
    • Yue, B., Haddad, B.G., Khan, U., Atalla, M., Reichow, S.L., & Bai, D. (2020, February). Functional Characterization of VJ-gating and Single Channel Conductance of Sheep Cx46 and Cx50 Gap Junctions. Poster presented at the 64th Annual Meeting of The Biophysical Society, San Diego, CA. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2019.11.1573
  • Andrew Roberts, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, participant in spring 2020:

    • Roberts, A., & Evert, J. (2020, March). Using Supercomputers to Control Multiple Robots. Poster presented at Oklahoma Research Day, Weatherford, OK.

  • Vatsal Shah, New Jersey Institute of Technology:

    • Tong, A., Pham, Q.L., Shah, V., Naik, A., Abatemarco, P., & Voronov, R. (2020, February 12). Automated Addressable Microfluidics Device for Minimally Disruptive Manipulation of Cells and Fluids within Living Cultures. ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng., 6(3), 1809-1820. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.9b01969

  • Olivia Shaw, University of Delaware:

  • Lindsey Tam, Pomona College:

    • (email from mentor) "We released V2.0 of the app that was developed in part with the grant from Shodor/EMPOWER program which is mentioned in About section. Lindsey Tam, a Math major from Pomona College worked on the content last summer and led a group of 6 or so students to develop additional functionality using Pomona College’s Hahn grant the rest of the year. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hpc-pondr/id1486499863" (written March 2020)

November 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020

  • Mackenzie Tygh, Haverford College:
    • "I will present my work at the 2020 meeting of the American Astronomical Society."

August 1 – October 31, 2019

  • Hamid Abbasi, Rutgers University, and Christian Wagner, Hood College:
    • "We co-authored a paper, generated a poster, and participated in a joint formal presentation of our work throughout the summer with our mentor and some of his other interns." (written August 2019)
  • Braden Box, Southwestern Oklahoma State University:

  • Matthew Veter, Portland State University:

    • "I will presenting the preliminary data I have collected at a computational conference scheduled on August 22 for dissemination of my findings at the NSF-sponsored PacNOW symposium held in Portland, OR." (written August 2019)

May 1 – July 31, 2019

  • Alfonso Guevara, University of Houston Clear Lake:

    • Guevara, A., & Kindla, N. (2019, July). Solving the Traveling Salesmen Problem with IBM Q Quantum Computers. Poster presented at PEARC '19: Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing, Chicago, IL.

  • David Hughes, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona:
    • "My major is Computer Science, so academically the program has given me exposure to modern subjects in the field. I had a chance to experience various topics like new programming languages, super-computers, advanced math, etc. that are not part of a normal curriculum. The amount of knowledge and experience I gained through the program directly exceeds what any lecture class could possibly give to a typical undergraduate student. Professionally, the program has greatly improved my public speaking skills and abilities to talk about Computer Science. Due to working with my mentor, I have taken part in giving guest lectures, going to research fairs, and talking to individuals and large groups about my research. In the past I dreaded public speaking, but now the XSEDE EMPOWER program has given me confidence in an area that is not directly related to what was written in the project summary. The XSEDE EMPOWER program was instrumental in helping me be chosen to be my University’s College of Science Valediction; this year there happened to be four perfect GPAs vying for the honor, so student research made an enormous impact on the faculty’s decision. Additionally, the aforementioned effects on public speaking skills made it easy for me to give my speech in front of hundreds of people at commencement." (written June 2019)
    • "College of Science to Honor Two Valedictorians." http://polycentric.cpp.edu/2019/05/college-of-science-to-honor-two-valedictorians/. May 17, 2019.

  • Diego Losada Rubio, Wofford College:

    • "As first year student I had the opportunity to experience by first hand the world of High Performance Computing and so this was an experience that I will never forget and regret. Thanks to XSEDE EMPOWER Program, apart from learning, working and exploring with my mentor about parallel computing concepts using Little Fe on Physics, I was able to travel to the Petascale Institute and get to know with other students the main ideas of the concepts on parallel computing that I was going to learn right after during that summer and also I was able to go to the PEARC18 and meet lots of passionate and intelligent people that work on the world of High Performance Computing. The XSEDE EMPOWER Program helped me to understand and learn complicated concepts and challenges on parallel computing and simulations. And those challenges that I once overcame are going to help me now in a new summer research experience where I am going to be doing molecular dynamics simulations using a supercomputer." (written May 2019)

  • Tanya Nesterova, University of Delaware:

    • "I attended a National Institutes of Health (NIH) meeting on the structural biology of HIV. I have also produced a poster for a chemistry/biochemistry conference in my university’s department and the Summer Scholars conference. I presented this poster to colleagues in the chemistry and biology field. I also went to the data science symposium in my university and provided a lightning talk and presented my poster in front of other faculty and students who do research in mathematics and computational science. I networked and met people who also do work like mine in chemistry." (written July 2019)
  • Daniel Norment, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona:

  • Ryan Oostland, Bluffton University. "Senior and professor collaborate on research." https://www.bluffton.edu/news/_beaversall/Beavers062019ryanoostland.aspx. June 20, 2019.

  • Manuel E Santiago Rodríguez, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez:

    • Santiago, M., Torres, G., & Araya, G. (2019). High order statistics in Favorable Pressure Gradient (FPG) flows. Unpublished manuscript.
    • "My participation in the XSEDE EMPOWER program had a positive impact on my academic and professional life. Participation helps me increase my knowledge and experience. Now I have a better knowledge of turbulent flow behavior and better programming skills. In my professional life, I would like to participate in future research like this. My participation in the XSEDE EMPOWER program helped me overcome the challenges. It helps me increase my confidence. In the research, we found reasonable results that can help predict the behavior of the turbulent flow population. The results have created an inclination in me for research and graduate school. The mentor I had was excellent." (written June 2019)
  • Bimarsh Sharma, West Virginia University Institute of Technology:

    • Sharma, B., Carter, T., & Rai, S. (2019, June 15). Using NetLogo to Simulate Building Occupancy of a University Building Environment. Presented at the 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Tampa, Florida.

  • Rylee Sundermann, South Dakota State University:
    • Sundermann, R., Stegmeier, N., McClanahan, N., Kimn, J.-H., & Doom, J. (2019, July). 3D Simulations of Biofilms using the Modified Cahn-Hilliard Equation. Poster presented at PEARC '19: Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing, Chicago, IL.

February 1 – April 30, 2019

  • Maritza Anguiano Carrillo, California State University-San Marcos:
    • "My mentor and I have begun a tutorial session for new students wanting to participate in future research." (written February 2019)
  • April Horton, Bluffton University:

    • (email from mentor) "Last week April Horton received offers from two REU programs in Astronomy: The University of Hawaii, and The University of Wisconsin-Madison. Both had a computational slant—based on her EMPOWER project, a computational science course I taught and other programming courses at Bluffton. The University of Hawaii was her top choice for REU; she’ll be headed there soon after spring semester." (written March 2019)

    • "I presented at Bluffton University’s Research Fair for my XSEDE EMPOWER Program internship entitled "Sonification and Visualization of Scientific Data." This poster presentation session allowed me to share my research with other Bluffton students while encouraging them to pursue research opportunities they are interested in."
  • David Hughes, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona:
    • Hughes, D., & Ji, H. (2019, March 1). Novel Randomized Linear Algebra in Apache Spark. Poster presented at the 2019 Student RCSA Conference, Pomona, CA.
  • Xinlian Liu (EMPOWER mentor), Hood College:

  • Felix Quintana, participant in spring 2019:
    • Quintana, F., Kodera A., Horan, B.G., Yamashiro, S., Mittal, J., Watanabe, N., & Vavylonis, D. (2019, March). Mechanism of formin-mediated actin polymerization: alternate delivery of profilin-actin to the barbed end. Poster presented at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society, Baltimore, MD.
  • Bimarsh Sharma, West Virginia University Institute of Technology:
    • Sharma, B., Carter, T., & Rai, S. (2019, February 26). Using NetLogo To Create Building Occupancy Simulation of University Building Environment. Poster presented at the 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol, Charleston, WV.

November 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019

  • Phan Phu, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona:

    • Kundu, S., Phu, P.N., Ghosh, P., Kozimor, S.A., Bertke, J.A., Stieber, S.C.E., & Warren, T.H. (2019, January 2) Nitrosyl Linkage Isomers: NO Coupling to N2O at a Mononuclear Site. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 141(4), 1415-1419. http://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.8b09769

  • Jean Santiago, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez:
    • Santiago, J., Araya, G., Marin, G., & Cucchietti, F. (2018, November). Symbiosis of quasi-streamwise vortices and low-speed streaks in laminarescent boundary layers. Visualization presented at the Gallery of Fluid Motion at the Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics, Atlanta, GA. https://gfm.aps.org/meetings/dfd-2018/5b97f004b8ac31610362f38b

August 1 – October 31, 2018

  • David Hughes, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona:
    • "I created an XSEDE/Bridges user guide and gave a lecture about my project, XSEDE, Bridges, and Spark to the Big Data Analytics course on my campus." (written October 2018)
  • Diego Losada Rubio and Taeyoung Shin, Wofford College:

May 1 – July 31, 2018

  • Mark Hisle, Centre College, and Maxwell Meier, Earlham College:

    • Hisle, M.S.Meier, M.S., & Toth, D.M. (2018, July). Accelerating AutoDock Vina with Containerization. Proceedings of the Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC '18). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 36, 5 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3219104.3219154

  • Jean Santiago, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez:
  • Brian O. Torres Torres, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez:
    • "I was part of the XSEDE EMPOWER program as a learner for one semester where I worked with my professor Ana Gonzalez on a parallel computing project. This opened up many doors for me since it was my first work experience out of my curriculum related to my major and recruiters seem to be very interested in what I did with my professor. By being part of the program I was able to secure a COOP with NAVSEA in Newport for the upcoming semester. In addition, before starting the program I was not sure if I wanted to pursue a graduate degree and now I have decided to do a Masters on Computer Science and I am considering applying for Georgia Tech’s MS in machine learning. Honestly the program helped professionally and academically and it’s something I will never regret doing." (written June 2018)
  • Brandon Ubiera, Hood College:

    • (email from mentor) "First of all, we deeply appreciate this opportunity.  This opportunity of the exposure to HPC and computational research means a lot for a small regional institution like Hood College.  Our EMPOWER intern Brandon Ubiera was able to learn about parallel computing, deep learning, UNIX administration while helping me with system configuration and out-reaching.  We have a student poster accepted by PEARC 18 [...]." (written June 2018)

February 1 – April 30, 2018

  • Phan Phu, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona:
    • Phu, P.N., (2018, March). Quantifying Metal-Nitrosyl Coordination Modes and Oxidation States through X-ray Emission Spectroscopy and Density Functional Theory. Presentation at COMP Undergraduate Workshop, 255th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, New Orleans, LA.
    • "On January 13, 2018, I presented "Spectroscopic and Computational Studies of Metal Nitrosyl Complexes to Elucidate the Mechanism of Nitrite Reductase" at 30th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium in Santa Clara, California"

May 1 – July 31, 2017

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