Texas Women in HPC brings together a diverse community of professionals in industry, academia, and government, from the advanced computing community across the state.

TXWHPC Theme & Book Club: Data Bias

As we discussed at the Rice event, our TXWHPC Theme for 2022 is "Data Bias". This topic is in the news on an almost daily basis... Here are three recent examples that were discussed at the Rice Workshop:

Check out this Washington Post Live Webinar from Feb 2022 on the "Path to Gender Equity" about product design in medicine, the automotive industry, and the police/military/fire departments.

For our Summer Book Club, we will read Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Product designers use a "one-size-fits-all" approach to everything from pianos to cell phones to voice recognition software, when in fact this approach is designed to fit men.

Book Club Discussion date TBD! To sign up, email us at texaswhpc@gmail.com

Watch the video here! (It's about an hour long.

Video: TXWHPC Workshop at Rice Conference

Our post-conference workshop on March 18 was a success! There were three presentations and lots of discussion.

TXWHPC Co-Chair Melyssa Fratkin introduced the session and gave a brief overview of how things have changed (or not) for Women in HPC and the energy industry, including why and how much diversity matters across industries.

Dr. Olayinka Opeke gave a presentation about her company, SmartGas, and how it's changing the lives of women in Nigeria.

Jessica Dagostini spoke about her Masters thesis project, which brought together HPC and energy exploration.

TXWHPC Workshop at Rice Energy HPC Conference - March 18, 2022

Texas Women in HPC is excited to announce our fourth annual Workshop in collaboration with the Rice Energy HPC Conference (formerly the Rice Oil & Gas HPC Conference). The Conference will be held on March 1-3, 2022 in Houston. In an effort to include as many presenters as possible, our virtual workshop will be held on March 18, 2022.

This is a call for lightning talks from early career researchers in HPC, especially as it relates to oil & gas, alternative energies, and other affiliated fields. We are seeking to showcase women and/or members of racial/ethnic groups that are currently underrepresented in the computing and energy fields.

What is a lightning talk? A lightning talk is a short presentation that emphasizes the outcome of work completed. In general, lightning talks spend little time discussing background motivation and instead emphasize the objective and outcome of work completed.

Submission Content

The deadline for Abstract submission is March 1, 2022.

Notifications will be sent by March 8, 2022.

Final presentations must be submitted by March 15, 2022.

You may make minor adjustments to the presentation after final submission and bring an updated copy to the virtual conference.

Submission Requirements

Submissions that do not meet the below requirements may be rejected without review.

  • Language—All submissions must be in English.

  • Abstract—The maximum size of the abstract is 250 words.

  • Non-commercial—Presentations and abstracts must not be commercial in nature. (i.e. no sales pitches)

  • Submission format—Abstract submissions are accepted in PDF format.

Please send your abstract to: texaswhpc@gmail.com by March 1, 2022.

A downloadable (PDF) version of the Call for Lightning Talks is available here.

TXWHPC Roundtable at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC Conference - March 12

Join us on Friday, March 12 from 9am - 12noon CST, for a Roundtable discussion of the impacts of COVID-19, nationwide demonstrations against racial injustice, and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement on our culture and daily life. In particular, we will address how the events of 2020 impact women in the workplace in HPC and Oil & Gas. This will be the third annual gathering of TXWHPC at the Rice OGHPC Conference.

The discussion will cover three main topic areas:

  • the changing paradigm of women in the workplace - how working from home during the pandemic has impacted women, and the realities, challenges, and opportunities of going back to work in 2021.

  • the range of responses by corporations to the BLM movement, and how women, in particular, have been impacted by discriminatory treatment as a result of institutional inequality and systemic racism

  • The differences in attitude and impact of male allies - how working from home changed their outlook and ability to make a difference.

We will hear from speakers from industry and academia on these varied topics, and produce a set of concrete recommendations to support Women in HPC/Women in Oil & Gas going forward.

Registration for the Virtual Conference, which will take place on March 5, as well as the Workshops on March 12, is FREE! More information, including the conference agenda, is available here: http://rice2021oghpc.rice.edu/

Upcoming TXWHPC Lunch & Learn

TXWHPC is pleased to be partnering with Austin Women in Technology for their April virtual Lunch & Learn: Computing for the Endless Frontier.

The event will take place on Friday, April 24, at 11am CDT.

Melyssa Fratkin, Industry Programs Director at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, and Co-Chair of TXWHPC, will give a presentation about the current landscape of systems at TACC, including Frontera, the #5 system in the world, currently being used by a host of national and international researchers on COVID-19 projects. She will discuss how TACC's advanced computing systems are used, and how usage is changing, as well as recent research results and future plans.

For more information, and to register for the event, see https://www.awtaustin.org/event-3708363

Panelists, L-R: Melyssa Fratkin, Amy Rueve, Beverly Jurenko, Priscilla Black, and Soumya Seetharam

Amy Rueve speaks about being an intern at BP

Priscilla Black gave pointers about diversity in recruiting and hiring practices

TXWHPC Round Table at Rice Oil & Gas HPC Conference was a Big Success!

On Monday, March 2, TXWHPC sponsored a Round Table Discussion on Growing a Diverse Talent Pool in HPC for Oil & Gas. Moderated by Beverly Jurenko, former Director, Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, the panelists discussed best practices in D&I, "impostor syndrome," generational differences in the workplace, and overcoming obstacles.

Ms. Jurenko opened with a few slides on the definitions of D&I, and a description of the current status of women in HPC/IT and in oil & gas. She defined Diversity as a mixture of people with differences that could be visible or invisible. (Invisible differences may include religion, physical ability, or medical conditions).) Inclusion, in this domain, is when we can be our authentic selves in the workplace, and feel we belong. The end goal, when both diversity and inclusion are taken into account, is Equity, which encourages us to hire the “Best Person” rather than “Best Fit” for a job.

Panelists included:

  • Priscilla Black, consultant

  • Melyssa Fratkin, TACC

  • Amy Rueve, BP America

  • Soumya Seetharam, formerly Anadarko

The panelists touched on finding support within your company. Ms. Seetharam outlined the difference between 'mentors' and 'sponsors' - the former can help with your personal growth and your career direction; the latter should be able to suggest your name for a promotion, for example. All agreed that "impostor syndrome" is valid, and that having friends and mentors who can provide support (and possibly a "kick in the pants") is vital, as women are far less likely to apply for a job when they don't possess 100% of the qualifications. Ms. Black shared her experiences as a recruiter, and suggested ways that screening and hiring processes could be improved, from targeting new communities, to ensuring that the hiring and interviewing panels are as diverse as possible.

As one of only two female interns on an oil & gas engineering project prior to graduation, Ms. Rueve related that she was dismayed that the male interns were invited to participate in more hands-on activities, while the women just watched. However, her current job at BP is in a very diverse part of the organization.

TXWHPC will be back at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC Conference in 2021! Stay tuned for our other planned events in 2020.

TXWHPC Returns to the Rice Oil & Gas HPC Conference

We will be presenting a Roundtable discussion at the Rice OGHPC Conference on Monday, March 2 at 10:30am. The WHPC Roundtable: Growing a Diverse Talent Pool in HPC for Oil & Gas will discuss the challenges of growing and retaining a diverse talent pool, particularly in the oil & gas industry. Experts from industry and academia will discuss the issues of diversity, inclusion, and retention, share success stories, and offer suggestions for real solutions. This session will emphasize that realistically increasing diversity in the workplace requires careful planning and support at all levels.

Confirmed Panelists include:

  • Cristina Beldica, Intel Corporation

  • Priscilla Black, consultant

  • Carolyn Devany, Data Vortex Technologies

  • Melyssa Fratkin, TACC

  • Amy Rueve, BP America

  • Soumya Seetharam, Anadarko

  • Beverly Jurenko, formerly Anadarko (Moderator)

The Conference continues Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday, with presentations from HPC experts in industry, academia, and government. Speakers include Emeka Emembolu, VP Reservoir Development, Gulf of Mexico & Canada, BP; Gabriella Rowe, Executive Director, The Ion; Bradley McCredie, Corporate VP, GPU Platforms, AMD; Vincent Saubestre, CEO & President, Total EP Research & Technology USA; and Steve Scott, SVP, Senior Fellow, & CTO, Cray (a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company).

Read more about the conference, and register here:


Please note that workshop registration is separate from conference registration, and carries an additional fee. Attendees may use the following code for a 25% discount on workshops and registration: TXWHPC25.

Are you coming to Denver for SC19?

Join us on Monday, November 18 at 7:15pm at the TACC Booth (#1353) for a Texas Women in HPC SC19 kickoff social! Come by and say "Howdy!" and meet other TXWHPC members, grab a sticker or a button, and start your SC19 off with a smile.

Summer Mixer Recap

This small but mighty group had a great time on July 11 at Data Vortex - read about it here, and join us next time!

TXWHPC Summer Mixer - July 11

Join us for a night of mingling and talks at our Summer Mixer: PechaKucha Night!

PechaKucha is a storytelling format, in which the presenter shows 20 slides for 20 seconds of commentary each (6 minutes and 40 seconds total). Great practice for a lightning talk!

We’ll provide the finger foods and beverages, you provide the short, thought-provoking presentations on whatever topic you choose. The key to a great presentation is to talk about something you love. Share your latest research projects or creative work, or speak about travels, hobbies, your favorite recipe -- or any other topic that you’re passionate about!

Who: Texas Women in HPC, women in technology, data, machine learning, or any other related field.

When: Thursday, July 11, 2019, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Where: Data Vortex Technologies office, 2303 Rio Grande Street, Austin, Texas 78705

Register here! (Select 'yes' if you want to give a PechaKucha talk, and please provide a talk title.)

Slides will be due on Monday, July 1. Remember, the slides will advance automatically every 20 seconds, so be prepared to keep talking!

We look forward to seeing you all, and your amazing presentations.

Workshop Speakers: - Melyssa Fratkin, Industry Programs Director, Texas Advanced Computing Center- Natalie Berestovsky, Data Scientist, Anadarko - Samantha Krebsbach, HPC Engineer, ExxonMobil - Natasha Pitanga, IT Application and Infrastructure Manager, Shell - Garima Kochhar, Distinguished Engineer, Dell EMC- Carolyn Devany, President, Data Vortex Technologies- Reed Devany, Director of Communications, Data Vortex Technologies
Slides (PDF) from this event are available here:
Diversity & RetentionUnconscious Bias

TX WHPC Workhop at Rice OGHPC Conference

The Texas Women in HPC Workshop at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC Conference was a great success! Thanks to everyone who participated.

In our discussion of "Hiring, Developing and Retaining an Inclusive Workforce," we touched on the lack of women (and minorities) in both HPC and the energy industry, and the benefits of diversity and inclusion to a company's bottom line.

A key component of diversifying the workforce is recognizing that all of us are subject to forms of unconscious bias, which can inadvertently disadvantage those who are in an underrepresented group. The workshop offered suggested ways to attract diverse talent, including blind resume screening, paying attention to the wording of job descriptions, and seeking candidates in new places.

Rice Oil & Gas HPC Conference

Join us at our next event! We'll be hosting a Workshop at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC Conference in Houston. See the event website for more information. The Workshop, "Hiring, Developing and Retaining an Inclusive Workforce," will be held on Monday, March 4, from 8:30am to noon.

The Conference continues Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday, with presentations from HPC experts in industry, academia, and government. Speakers include some amazing women: Toni Collis, Chair and Co-Founder, Women in HPC & CBDO, Appentra Solutions; Trish Damkroger, Vice President, Intel Data Center Group, and Lori Diachin, Deputy Director, Exascale Computing Project.

Read more about the conference, and register here:


We are offering a 25% discount to Texas Women in HPC members and affiliates. Use the coupon code TXWHPC -- this code applies to both the Workshop and the main Conference registration fee.

Inaugural Event Recap

Thanks to everyone who attended our inaugural event at Intel Austin on November 9. Our 50+ participants enjoyed an excellent keynote presentation and a lively panel discussion. Click here to read more and see the photos!

TXWHPC Inaugural Event November 9

Texas Women in HPC (TXWHPC) and Intel Austin are partnering to host a Women in HPC Celebration prior to SC18. The event will feature talks by Texas leaders in HPC, a panel of women in industry and academia, and networking opportunities. The event will take place at the Intel Austin site on Friday November 9th from 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM. All are welcome to join us for this exciting event! Register here to guarantee attendance.

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