XSEDE Outreach in the Burgh

It seemed like everyone has been taking some sort of spring break so we treated ourselves with a little blog spring break!  We’re back this week to tell you a little bit about the National Science Foundation’s XSEDE (pronounced like exceed)  project.  You can find the official overview of what XSEDE is here.  The Cliff Notes version of the overview is:  In 2011 NSF gave about 16 institutions $121 million dollars over 5 years to provide high performance computing resources and services to scientists and researchers.

One of PSC’s roles in the XSEDE project is to coordinate the Outreach efforts.  Specifically one of the projects is the Speakers Bureau which focuses on coordinating XSEDE presence at various conferences and speaking events with the ultimate goal of recruiting new communities of users.

As part of this initiative XSEDE has participated in the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Emerging Researchers Conference, and American Physical Society’s March Meeting just to name a few.  This week we were excited to participate in the National Society for Black Engineer’s Conference right in here Pittsburgh.

We were really excited about participating in this conference for two reasons:

1) We had to travel a whopping 20 minutes from our offices to get to the convention.

2) The conference had a lot of great talks and activities scheduled and would be a good opportunity for us to meet some potential new users.

XSEDE booth at the NSBE conference in Pittsburgh.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking, oh geez they’re probably those annoying people at conferences that stand there and use gimmicky things to lure you in and then peg you in a corner and talk to you for 20 minutes about something you lost interest in after 2 minutes.

 Don’t worry, that’s not us!  We’re pretty laid back, and we’re there to tell you all about our XSEDE programs that may be of interest to you.  We even have some great visualizations that we bring with us (they’re not in the picture since we don’t leave our electronic equipment in the booth unattended) to show potential new users some examples of what kind of awesome results some of our users are getting.  In addition to the cool science we like to show off, sometimes we even have candy  XSEDE notepads or collapsible water bottles for people that stop by and talk to us.

So next time you’re at a conference check to see if XSEDE is there and we’ll be happy to talk to you about our resources and services, and if you’re lucky we might even have a fun giveaway or some candy to send you home with!

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