2018 Participants

SIGHPC announces 16 students to take part in inaugural computing competition during SC18

ACM's Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing (SIGHPC) has announced the 16 undergraduates chosen to compete in the inaugural Computing4Change competition. Co-located with the SC18 conference in Dallas, TX, Computing4Change introduces students to the potential of computing to create positive change in our society. Students learn to work as part of a team, applying data analysis and computational thinking to a social challenge while experiencing the latest tools and techniques from computing and data science.

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

  • Claire Fiorino, San Diego State University

  • Alexandra Rose Hanson, Clackamas Community College

  • Noah Hradek, University of Texas at El Paso

  • Thomas Johnson, Elizabeth City State University

  • Kalika Lacy, Purdue University

  • Tunrayo Lumpkin, South Carolina State University

  • 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

  • Itzel Bailon Vazquez, Community College of Denver

  • Harrison Waide, Binghamton University/SUNY

We also want to give a special thanks to the mentors who are graciously volunteering their time and expertise to help make this event a success. These volunteers will each be working with one of the teams of four, guiding them through their process of data analysis and discovery.

  • Erika Bailon, University of Colorado, Boulder

  • Lodewijk Brand, Colorado School of Mines

  • Roberto Barranco, University of Texas at El Paso

  • Bethel Tessema, Colorado School of Mines

All Computing4Change participants receive travel support to attend SC18 in Dallas, TX (USA), where the competition will be held. The winning team will receive $500.