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An XSEDE-wide effort is underway Led by the Shodor Education Foundation, EMPOWER ( Expert Mentoring Producing Opportunities for Work, Education, and Research ) is an undergraduate student program whose goal is to expand the community of advanced research computing 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 websitework of the E xtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment ( XSEDE ) project, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation ( NSF ).

EMPOWER was honored by HPCwire with the 2021 Editors' Choice Award in Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Leadership.

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Participant Highlights

Participant Highlights

February 1 – April 30, 2022

  • Anonymous student feedback:
    • "XSEDE Empower has offered me throughout the last year early exposure to areas in the computational world such as machine learning, neural networks, etc that most students would be exposed to at a higher level in their academic career." (written spring semester 2022)
    • "Everything I have learned during the XSEDE EMPOWER program was towards my educational, research, and research development. I am able to conduct so much more computational science than I ever imagined. The conferences that I was able to attend with my research generated from the XSEDE EMPOWER program have granted me friendships, knowledge, public speaking skills, and more confidence. I feel more confident and assured after my year with XSEDE." (written spring semester 2022)
  • Ermias Assefa, Bluffton University:
    • Accepted to summer 2022 internship at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as part of Sustainable Horizons Institute Sustainable Research Pathways Program.
  • Juan David Campolargo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:
    • 15-minute oral presentation at National Conference for McNair Scholars and Undergraduate Research, March 17, 2022.
  • Qili (Samuel) Chen, Michigan State University:
    • "I learned so much from the project I am working on, such as the professional way of organizing a project, working on a Git project with group members, advanced machine learning concepts, and advanced coding skills. Those skill sets are typically not taught in my school. I am so glad I learned those skills. Now I am able to start my personal projects in a professional way." (written April 2022)
  • Yingrong Chen, Emory University:
    • "I am preparing for the research symposium in my school at the end of the semester. I will host an oral presentation." (written April 2022)
  • Dirk Colbry, EMPOWER mentor from Michigan State University:
    • "This program is amazing.  I wish it was still going on as it has been a great source of connection and momentum for my research. The students and I are making good progress on our research. We have submitted papers and gotten the software to a level that will enable me to go after some funding and even hire a graduate student (or two). Working with students from schools other than my own is very helpful.  It broadens the impact of my research and helps me set up connections. My students and I have submitted a publication to PEARC on the work with our SEE-Classify project." (written April 2022)
  • Filipe Correia, EMPOWER mentor from University of Georgia:
    • "Participating in EMPOWER got me and students more acquainted with supercomputing and the XSEDE interface. Also, as someone in the social sciences, it is not very common for us to use this environment, but I think it has promising uses, and this realization would not be possible without EMPOWER and XSEDE. It has enabled me to manage large scale datasets in a manageable time frame and provide students with the opportunity to experience and learn about supercomputing, as it is outside my domain." (written April 2022)
  • Hannah Crouse and Alyssa Van Fossen, Mount Vernon Nazarene University:
    • 20-minute presentation at SURC symposium at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
  • Stephanie DeCarvalho, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth:
    • "I compiled my data into a powerpoint and a presentation for two different conferences where I will be presenting this project." (written April 2022)
    • "Under Dr. Jun Li, I was able to apply for the MA Space Grant through MIT. I am studying the computational investigations of additively manufactured polymer composites.  This research has given me more knowledge about computational analysis. I have also been accepted into three different conferences: COExperience in New Orleans, ASEE Northeast 2022 Conference in Boston, and the Northeastern Regional Student Symposium of Society for Experimental Mechanics conference taking place at UMass Dartmouth." (source:
  • Jessica Egleston, Michigan State University:
    • "Figures I created were highlighted in a poster presentation at the 2022 Biophysical Society annual meeting which was held in San Francisco, California." (written March 2022).
    • Egleston, J. (2022, April 8). Structural Comparison Between Small Multi-drug Resistance (SMR) Transporter Family Members through Molecular Dynamics Simulations. Poster presented at 2022 Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum. Winner of first-place honor.
  • Tim Hartman, University of South Dakota:
    • "Academically, I have been able to learn much more about available hardware and software related to biofilm image analysis. While assisting others in the lab I have been able to brainstorm new approaches to solving problems related to optics and data capture, transmission, analysis, and storage; and the performance requirements for all of these. Professionally, I have been exposed to a variety of tools made available to computational science researchers in the United States. The University of South Dakota’s resources are small compared to many other institutions in the U.S., and simply knowing that these powerful resources exist helps me set the bar higher for what I want to achieve in my career. My EMPOWER work contributed to our bio-image analysis package which is currently under review for publication. I am the paper’s first author. Our hardware limitations and software debugging hindered us from publishing earlier, but my EMPOWER work has taken us that much closer to being approved by a computational biology journal." (written April 2022)
  • Devon Hood, San Diego State University:
    • "EMPOWER has allowed me to utilize powerful hardware to greatly improve the computation speed of my models which has directly aided in my ability to quickly iterate through experiments. It has also exposed me to a wonderful amount of resources, both with personnel and technical resources, which has improved my abilities as a successful computer scientist. EMPOWER has allowed me to focus more intently on my work which would have been difficult otherwise.  The resources EMPOWER offers is an opportunity to not only increase my productivity, but also my focus." (written April 2022)
  • Dorothy Najjuma Kamya, Swarthmore College:
    • "An important part of a career in research is understanding the work of others in your fields of interest, and the first part of my XSEDE project involved reading and understanding (at a high level at least) some research papers and related code, enough to edit it to run on XSEDE's servers. As an aspiring graduate student, I believe this has prepared me for engagement with others' research, an essential element of graduate school. EMPOWER introduced me to researchers working on very relevant cutting-edge work which I would not have been exposed to otherwise. Being able to make a contribution to a project that predicts the severity of COVID-19 strains without being a bioscientist was a significant achievement for me." (written April 2022)
  • Lisa Liang, University of Connecticut:
    • "Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity to learn about computational chemistry and participate in research on it as a first-year undergraduate. I am so lucky to have been able to be part of the XSEDE program this past academic year!" (written April 2022)
  • Abdullah Al Maruf, South Dakota State University:
    • "XSEDE EMPOWER has enabled me to pursue my passion in computational materials science research, where I was able to computationally design novel energy materials for solid-state electrolytes (SSE) and study/tune their properties (using DFT) for Li-ion batteries application. I also studied electrode materials for Li-ion batteries to optimize the condition for suppressing the dendrite growth (needle-like-structure) which is detrimental for such energy storage device performance. Finally, this research experience allowed me to start pursuing my graduate studies at Dartmouth College in computational geophysics in the upcoming Fall-2022 semester, where I aim to investigate magnetic properties of Fe-S based ancient earth and mars minerals, as well as hydrite formation at extreme conditions, which cannot be studied experimentally (with current technology). Participating in XSEDE EMPOWER has enabled me to gain valuable research experience utilizing XSEDE resources and mentorship (at my university). I gained hands-on experience in high performance computing and parallel programming, and learned to run and debug full scale simulation for research. I presented my research at the Sustainable Energy Materials and Device group at the Electrical Engineering Department of South Dakota State University, and plan to present it at upcoming ACS national conference in Fall. There's a manuscript currently in its final stage of preparation for submissions as well." (written April 2022)
  • Sudha Vaishnavi Nannur, Wayne State University:
  • Dayna Olson, Michigan State University:
    • "My participation in EMPOWER has catalyzed me falling in love with computational sciences. Without EMPOWER, I would not have had as much time or resources to continue exploring my interest in the Vermaas lab, where I was able to learn about molecular dynamics simulation and other forms of computational biology.  Since participation in the program, I have added a minor in Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering and plan to pursue this path in grad school. I have presented my work from this semester at my colleges undergraduate research symposium. We are in the process of writing up last semester's project, which I will be a co-author on." (written April 2022)
    • Presentation at 2022 Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum.
  • Maria Pantoja (EMPOWER mentor), Cal Poly Pomona:
    • "I was able to work with one student at UCSD on Distributed HyperParameter Optimization and based on this research, I did submit a visiting scholar proposal to Argonne National Lab that was accepted and I will start this July working there. I was able to work for a longer period of time with an undergraduate student to do research. I do work for a teaching institution with a very small master program so most of the time we need to do research with undergraduates. Undergraduates are very busy with school work and smaller stuff , so what xsede allowed me to do is to work with a student that is supported by this grant (so doesn't need to look for extra work) and did also allow a continuity. Plus Xsede Empower did the main job of searching for students interested and super motivated in HPC."
  • Tyler Prine, University of Alabama:
    • "I have submitted my first conference abstract on the topic of the fully compressible Rayleigh-Taylor Instability to the International Workshop on the Physics of Compressible Turbulent Mixing (IWPCTM). The workshop will be held in Atlanta, Georgia in July 2022." (written April 2022)
  • Ciara Richardson and Madison Winkeler, Murray State University:
  • Briana Sobecks, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:
    • "Participating in EMPOWER helped me discover a passion for computational research, specifically for applications in chemical engineering and biophysics. As I have gone through my undergraduate career, I continue using the computational skills I developed during my time in EMPOWER. This experience inspired me to pursue a doctoral degree in chemical engineering." (written April 2022)
    • Sobecks, B., Chen, J., & Shukla, D. (2022). Dual Role of Strigolactone Receptor Signaling Partner in Inhibiting Substrate Hydrolysis. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 126(11), 2188–2195.
  • Wenhuan Tan, Bellevue College:

November 1 – January 31, 2022

  • Students attending the 2021 Sustainable Horizons Institute Sustainable Research Pathways Workshop:
    • Sudha Vaishnavi Nannur, Wayne State University
    • Wenhuan Tan, Bellevue College
  • Nicole Avila, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona:
    • Inorganic Chemistry Undergraduate Poster Presentation Award at the 2021 Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Diversity in STEM Conference.
    • "I completed and participated in the SACNAS conference using my XSEDE EMPOWER research. After I spent much time practicing presenting my research, I finally presented to two judges. I was able to answer questions about the science behind my project and even questions regarding the spectra I have generated. I am happy to announce that I won the Inorganic Chemistry award. I plan to present my XSEDE EMPOWER research with more judges at the SCCUR conference on November 20th. I have already begun writing a new outline considering questions I was asked at the SACNAS conference." (written November 2021)
  • Spencer Bryngelson (EMPOWER mentor), Georgia Institute of Technology:
    • "It has been invaluable to work with students at different universities and from different backgrounds. At the same time, the students are selected such that the pool is filled with folks interested in my research. This makes things very convenient for me, and seems like a smart way to link up students and researchers. Having extra students available and their ability to interact with the group has been valuable for everyone involved." (written January 2022)
  • Yingrong Chen, Emory Oxford College:
    • Presented research at the 2021 Southeastern Regional Meeting of American Chemical Society (SERMACS) (LinkedIn post), Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference, and Oxford Research Scholars Spring Symposium.
    • "I feel that computational tools can accelerate and open new perspectives for my scientific research, and I have decided to be a computational biochemist in the future. I have gotten to learn computational chemistry in a systematic way. This is a valuable opportunity since most colleges do not offer computational classes at the undergraduate level." (written January 2022)
  • Damien Cooper, University of Southern Mississippi:
    • "At the beginning of November, I presented research based on this project at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) in Birmingham, AL." (written December 2021)
  • Luis Cueva Parra (EMPOWER mentor), University of North Georgia:
    • "My participation in the XSEDE EMPOWER program has impacted positively my academic career. My supervisor values this effort with our students, and it is reflected in my faculty evaluations. In addition, the Computer Science Department, which I am a faculty for, is recognized for these opportunities for the students. The XSEDE EMPOWER program provided the structure and financial support for students, who helped me to make progress in my research agenda. Without this support, it would be difficult to find students who devote time and effort to this extracurricular activity (learning HPC and contributing to a research project). Most students have a full schedule including part-time or full-time job that limit their availability. The support of XSEDE EMPOWER program is particularly important in non-research universities and predominantly teaching institutions with no Graduate programs." (written January 2022)
  • Sudha Vaishnavi Nannur, Wayne State University:
    • "I have learned a lot throughout this semester at XSEDE. I am quite grateful for this program because it has given me such an incredible foundation in my machine learning and data science journey. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this." (written December 2021)
  • Tanya Nesterova, University of Delaware:
    • Ni, T., Zhu, Y., Yang, Z., Xu, C., Chaban, Y., Nesterova, T., Ning, J., Böcking, T., Parker, M.W., Monnie, C., Ahn, J., Perilla, J.R., & Zhang, P. (2021, November). Structure of native HIV-1 cores and their interactions with IP6 and CypA. Science Advances, 7(47).
  • Bianca Ortega, Kean University:
    • "I have acquired such a generous amount of knowledge and skills in less than a year that I would not trade for anything. I am honored to be an intern for such an amazing program that has inspired me for the future." (written December 2021)
  • Ciara Richardson and Madison Winkeler, Murray State University:
  • Nitin Sukhija (EMPOWER mentor), Slippery Rock University:
    • "This project allowed me to further my research skills related to working in the data provenance, machine learning, cybersecurity, and high-performance computing areas. From the beginning of finding and reading academic papers, to how to develop and execute provenance workflows, how to utilize new tools such as Apache hop on HPC systems, and the overall provenance data framework, I have gained immense of experience in domain of cybersecurity and data lineage research field. Moreover, the research work has lead to collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Labs researchers and having diverse experience in multiple domains was extremely rewarding.  Furthermore, the research work has also resulted in a potential paper which might be presented at PEARC22 or other peer reviewed ACM or IEEE conference. This project also facilitated the students to collaborate and network with research scientists from different domains from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)  which will aid in achieving student's goal of attending a high research graduate school in coming years. The participation in EMPOWER program enabled me and my student to work with scalable provenance data analysis tools on XSEDE systems which was not possible at my current institution due to scalabilty challenges." (written January 2022)
  • Wenhuan Tan, Bellevue College:
    • "EMPOWER gave me a chance to wake my dream and confidence up.  I never thought I could get connected with science before I joined EMPOWER. I realized my passion for research and curiosity for the truth behind data and phenomenons. I decide to continue pursuing further education after finishing the undergraduate program. EMPOWER enabled me to participate in a research project, which was beyond my expectations. From EMPOWER, I found my potential talent in data science and machine learning, which also enhanced my interest and confidence in the IT field. I joined the SPR workshop and submitted a poster and a proposal for the summer internship with the help of my mentor." (written January 2022)
  • Josh Vermaas (EMPOWER mentor), Michigan State University:
    • "The real power for the EMPOWER program has been in increasing accessibility of my computational research to new and emerging researchers. I'm a new assistant professor, with no grants but enough time to devote to meeting with a handful of undergraduates a few times a week to help them along in their first steps as computational scientists. Without the support the EMPOWER program provides, only the well-heeled students can access this tremendous undergraduate research experience, as they'd be doing the same work for college credit alone. Having the EMPOWER program offer this kind of hands on training democratizes the types of undergraduate researchers I can recruit. This means that my lab is bigger than it otherwise would be, and my postdocs have the opportunity to gain mentoring experience that a newly started lab would not be able to provide. Concretely, I think that the EMPOWER program has doubled the number of undergraduates working in the lab." (written January 2022)
  • Benjamin Walls, Northeastern University:
    • From Michael Cianfrocco, Benjamin's EMPOWER mentor from University of Michigan:
      • "The EMPOWER program has helped us make critical steps towards developing an open source web platform for cryo-EM software. Prior to EMPOWER, we had several approaches but were unclear as to the best approach. Our EMPOWER student Ben Walls helped us create a plan and execute key steps towards creating a Java-based web platform. He brought significant expertise in Node.js and React to show us that the future of our web platform should use these tools for an intuitive software platform. We could not have done this without Ben." (written January 2022)
  • Raquel Yupanqui, University of North Georgia:
    • Yupanqui, R. (2021, November). Developing and Implementing Machine Learning Models to Analyze EEG Data Using MNE Libraries. Poster presented at Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (GURC) 2021. YouTube video

August 1 – October 31, 2021

  • Daniel Adams, University of Mount Union:
    • "I wrote a scientific report as well as created a poster highlighting the main topics of my project that will be presented at the University of Mount Union during the fall semester in front of the Eastern Great Lakes Section of the American Physical Society." (written August 2021)
  • Ermias Assefa, Bluffton University:
    • Accepted to the 2021 Sustainable Horizons Institute Sustainable Research Pathways program.
  • 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. I have been working on creating and editing my poster for the SACNAS conference and SCURR conference I will present at." (written September 2021)
  • Spencer Brady and Kristopher Erlitz, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona:
    • Monaco, S., Baer, R.P., Giernacky, R.P., Villalba, M.E., Garcia, T.M., Mora-Perez, C., Brady, S.E., Erlitz, K.D., Kunkel, C., Jezowski, S.R., Oberhofer, H., Lange, C., & Schatschneider, B. (2021, September). Electronic property trends of single-component organic molecular crystals containing C, N, O, and H. Computational Materials Science, 197.
  • Colin Campbell (EMPOWER mentor), University of Mount Union:
    • "The program allowed me to mentor an undergraduate student for a formative summer research experience. These kinds of experiences are fantastic for students looking to immerse themselves in a field of research and gain marketable skills. I am grateful that the EMPOWER program was able to fund my student and I hope the program will be able to support other students in the future. My student will be presenting his work during the Eastern Great Lakes Section of the American Physical Society (APS) this November." (written October 2021)
  • Dirk Colbry (EMPOWER mentor), Michigan State University:
    • "The EMPOWER students are outstanding additions to our team.  Our research has advanced greatly due to the program.  Their work has significantly progressed the development of our SEE-Insight software and has resulted in at least one publication and authoring of multiple scientific software packages. My work is in the preliminary stages and working with the EMPOWER students has resulted in me being able to write one grant proposal and have two additional proposals to be submitted.  This could not have been done without the help of my undergraduate students." (written October 2021)
    Damien Cooper, University of Southern Mississippi:
    • Will be presenting a poster at the November 2022 Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Birmingham, AL.
  • Matthew Donahue (EMPOWER mentor), University of Southern Mississippi:
    • "EMPOWER really has given me the opportunity to have a student focus on using computational methods for my synthetic organic work. Through regular discussions with my student, I as a PI have learned more about using computational chemistry as an asset to facilitate traditional wet bench research" (written October 2021)
  • Precious Fadimiroye, University of Houston-Clear Lake:
    "We worked to prepare a presentation for the Robotics for Risky Intervention and Environmental Surveillance Conference in October, University of Houston-Clear Lake:
    • "We worked to prepare a presentation for the Robotics for Risky Intervention and Environmental Surveillance Conference in October." (written October 2021)
    • "On October 8th, we attended a four-hour conference (TC-17 VRISE2021; virtual) where we presented research to a group of participants from around the globe and TC-17 members of IMEKO." (written October 2021)
  • Nicholas Grabill, Michigan State University, and 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.

  • Stephen Harnish (EMPOWER mentor), Bluffton University:
    • "My experiences mentoring EMPOWER students in HPC research this past and recent years have led to several benefits: enlarging my lists of applications of concepts of mathematics or computer science for class room use; participation in the 2019 Sustainable Horizons Institute Sustainable Research Pathways program; participation in UC Berkeley's Applications of Parallel Computers offering for Bluffton students; several new lines of research for me and my students; strengthening my students' motivation for and success in pursuing graduate studies in data science, computer science, applied mathematics or physics; and multiple presentations of EMPOWER-supported research at the Joint Mathematics Meetings and at the Miami University and at Midwest Relativity Meetings. Thank you for offering XSEDE EMPOWER over recent years. It has really opened up new opportunities for my students and myself." (written October 2021)
  • Hannah Johnson, Lane College:
    • "Our work has been prepared for submission to a conference in high-performance computing." (written August 2021)
  • Umair Khan, Portland State University:
    • Tong, J.J., Khan, U., Haddad, B.G., Minogue, P.J., Beyer, E.C., Berthoud, V.M., Reichow S.L., & Ebihara, L. (2021, August 19). Molecular mechanisms underlying enhanced hemichannel function of a cataract-associated Cx50 mutant. Manuscript submitted for publication.
  • Jonathan Lyon (EMPOWER mentor), Murray State University:
    • "The EMPOWER program has helped me professionally in several ways. First, it has helped me recruit talented undergraduate students into my research lab. Second, it has helped bring funding to support the science majors in my department, allowing them the financial security to spend a large amount of time learning and performing the research project rather than pursue work from other sources. Third, XSEDE has provided a collection of training resources to aid me in mentoring these students. EMPOWER has helped me considerably as I transitioned to a new institution.  The EMPOWER program aided a former student at Kennesaw State University continue her research project with me remotely while I moved to Murray State University in the Fall 2020.  The program has made it easier to recruit, train, and mentor talented students at Murray State University while transitioning my research laboratory at a primarily undergraduate institution." (written October 2021)
  • Emily Maroni, University of Mount Union:
    • "We are working to submit an abstract to the ACS spring conference in San Diego." (written October 2021)
  • David McDowell, University of Houston-Clear Lake:
    • "On October 8th, we attended a four-hour conference (TC-17 VRISE2021; virtual) where we presented research to a group of participants from around the globe and TC-17 members of IMEKO." (written October 2021)
  • Phan Phu, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona:
    • "EMPOWER provided me an opportunity to learn computational chemistry and new skills that were not offered through coursework at my school. It allowed me to conduct chemistry research and gained research experiences that were valuable prior to my application to graduate school. With the findings I gained during this internship, I received the ACS COMP award and presented my research at the 255th American Chemistry Society National Meeting in 2018. At the meeting, I attended graduate school workshops and learned about the opportunities in chemistry. This really inspired me to attend graduate school where I am currently a third year graduate school at University of California, Irvine." (written October 2021)
  • Steve Reichow (EMPOWER mentor), Portland State University:
    • "This has been a rewarding experience that provided excellent structure to undergraduate mentorship and research training. The provided research experience was a critical component to defining the students career trajectory, and is now applying their skills at a graduate program at UCSF."
  • Ciara Richardson and Madison Winkeler, Murray State University:
    • Winkeler, M., Richardson, C., Carlin, R., & Lyon, J.T. (2021). Structural evolution of SinPd2 (n = 1-17) clusters. Manuscript in preparation.
  • Bohdan Schatschneider (EMPOWER mentor), California State Polytechnic University-Pomona:
    • "EMPOWER has enabled me to employ 10 undergraduate researchers (UGRs) over the last 4-5 years. The large majority (8) of these researchers were from underrepresented minorities (URMs) in the sciences. The ability to put these UGRs to work and have them generate useful data has allowed me to generate 3 publications over the last 4-5 years that would not have been completed otherwise. It has also allowed for these URMs to complete senior projects that they would have otherwise opted out of because of a need to work. As a result of performing research, 5 of these URMs are now in graduate programs or are preparing to partake in a graduate program. EMPOWER really does just that, it allows PI's to empower UGRs to explore research opportunities and other lines of employment." (written October 2021)
  • Wenhuan Tan, Bellevue College:
    • "From my previous understanding, I thought research was a tough and boring job but after one and half months of experience working within XSEDE, I found research is an amazing and super interesting job. When I found the trends and changes over the years from a mass of environment-related data, I couldn't be more excited; when I created a map with a few lines of code, I felt that I created an artist work; when I was told that the findings I got may be referenced by a research paper, I couldn't be more proud. This job brought too much amazing experience for me. From the experience working with XSEDE, I am more confident to be a software engineer or a data scientist in the future." (written October 2021)
  • Dave Toth (EMPOWER mentor), Centre College:
    • "At a small liberal arts college, providing an experience like EMPOWER for students is looked upon extremely favorably.  When it comes time for me to apply for promotion to full professor, this is something that will be helpful. Without support from EMPOWER, I couldn't have done the research with my students (there was no funding for them without that)." (written October 2021)
  • Yigui Wang, Southern Connecticut State University:
    • "EMPOWER program provide me an opportunity to work with students to do research not only at SCSU but also across USA. The current public universities, especially primary undergraduate institutions put all resources on full-time teaching faculties. Without EMPOWER program, I will be limited to do research of others and without opportinities to teach students" (written October 2021)
  • Madison Winkeler, Murray State University:
    • "EMPOWER has impacted me professionally by helping me to step out of my comfort zone and pursue participation in a virtual presentation that requires a professional abstract which I have not done previously. It has also impacted me academically by providing a real-life understanding of some topics I have learned throughout the last few years. For my major, coding classes are not something that is required and I am not one to add any more classes than I need. Without EMPOWER I wouldn't have been able to learn my first coding language through EXPANSE. I have also been introduced to other programs such as Inkscape and GaussView which has been a great experience as they are programs I could be using in the future. A labmate and I are currently co-authoring an abstract and presentation of our current research to do at a university-led event entitled Scholar's Week. Specifically, we will be doing a virtual poster presentation about our current research and what we hope to accomplish in the future." (written October 2021)
  • Raquel Yupanqui, University of North Georgia:
    • "Being able to participate in the EMPOWER program has helped me realize my passion for research and the impact research can have on the world. I will be applying to PhD programs to continue exploring my field and hopefully add meaningful knowledge to it. Being able to work with my mentor has taught me a lot about doing research and what it entails. Being able to use the Expanse supercomputer has allowed me to process large amounts of data quickly and efficiently which is an important part of my work. I will be presenting my research from EMPOWER at the Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (GURC) in November." (written October 2021)


  • Four students presented talks about their EMPOWER projects at the 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. Photo

    • "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)