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SC16: Kelly Gaither Starts Advanced Computing for Social Change

Published on November 15, 2016 by Jorge Salazar

Kelly Gaither, Director of Visualization, Texas Advanced Computing Center.

Podcast host Jorge Salazar interviews Kelly Gaither, Director of Visualization at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Gaither is also the Director of Community Engagement and Enrichment for XSEDE, the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, funded by the National Science Foundation.

XSEDE identified 20 graduate and undergrad students to participate in a week-long event called Advanced Computing for Social Change. The event is hosted by XSEDE, TACC and SC16.

The SC16 Social Action Network student cohort will tackle a computing challenge. They will learn how to mine through a variety of data sets such as social media data encompassing a number of years and across large geographic regions. To complete their analysis in a timely fashion they will learn how to organize the large data sets to allow fast queries.

The students of the SC16 Social Action Network will also use a computational modeling tool called risk terrain modeling that has been used to predict crime using crime statistics. This technique was first introduced to TACC in work done with the Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. The work used statistical data to predict child maltreatment in an effort to put programs in place to prevent it.

Kelly Gaither: Advanced Computing for social change is an initiative that we started to really use our collective capabilities, here at TACC and more broadly at supercomputing centers across the nation, to work on problems that we know have need for advanced computing. You can think of it as data analysis, data collection, all the way to visualization and everything in between to really work on problems of societal benefit. We want to make a positive change using the skill sets we already have.

The SC16 supercomputing conference takes place in Salt Lake City, Utah November 13-18, 2016. The event showcases the latest in supercomputing to advance scientific discovery, research, education and commerce. 

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Advanced Computing for Social Change


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