June 25, 2020

Racism and HPC

In this special video episode of his This Week in HPC podcast, Addison Snell is joined by Tony Baylis of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Dr. Jesse Bemley, of Joint Educational Facilities, William Burke of George Washington University, Jim Ganthier of Dell Technologies, and Dr. Valerie Taylor of Argonne National Laboratory for an in-depth discussion about racism and the HPC industry in America.




TONY BAYLIS is the Director of the Office of Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Programs for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, overseeing the laboratory’s interactions and successful execution in building, partnering, and collaborating with governmental, educational, industrial, and community interests. Tony has spent his career at some of the world’s foremost supercomputing facilities, beginning at NCSA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned his degree. In addition to his role at LLNL, Tony has served in student outreach roles for the SC conference series, he is the Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair for ACM SIGGRAPH, and he is a Board Member for the EmpowHer Institute.


DR. JESSE BEMLEY is a lecturer at Bowie State University, Maryland’s oldest HBCU, and is the Director of Joint Educational Facilities (JEF). In his work at JEF, Jesse introduces parallel and advanced computing techniques to inner-city high school and college students. He remains involved with Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), where in his role as National BDPA Education Chairperson, he helped to introduce the BDPA High School Computer Competition, which today has over 20 participating teams from BDPA chapters across the country. Under the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF), the Dr. Jesse Bemley scholarship program directly serves minority youth in technology and facilitates the emergence of minorities into the technology industry.


WILLIAM BURKE is a Senior HPC System Engineer at George Washington University, whose Research Technology Services group manages HPC, Cyberinfrastructure, and Cloud. His 15 years in HPC technical roles crosses industry, government, and academia in multiple fields. His experience spans the NIH, including an assignment with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAIAD), and roles across pharmaceuticals (Novartis, Radpharm, Merck), genomics (The Jackson Laboratory), and financial services (Merrill Lynch, Aetna). William has a Master’s degree in Information Technology from Harvard University.


JIM GANTHIER is the Senior Vice President for Customer Solutions Strategy and Advocacy at Dell Technologies, where he was previously SVP and GM for all HPC strategy and solutions. Prior, he held global marketing and GM positions for the enterprise server group at HPE, giving him global insights and experience on HPC solutions from the top-two vendors in the HPC market. Jim is a seasoned executive with a technical background; prior to his MBA from Florida Atlantic University, he received a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Florida International University. In 2019, Jim was named one of the Top Ten Blacks in Technology by the Austin Black Business Journal. He was named one of HPCwire’s People to Watch of 2016 and is the recipient of 14 US patents, with several pending.


DR. VALERIE TAYLOR is the Director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory, where her research is in the area of performance analysis and modeling of parallel, scientific applications. She is also the Executive Director of CMD-IT, the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in Information Technology, whose mission is to ensure that under-represented groups are fully engaged in computing and to promote innovation that enriches these communities. Valerie previously served as head of the computer science and engineering department and senior associate dean of academic affairs in the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. She earned her Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.



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