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Oklahoma State University
High Performance Computing Center

A unit in the Division of the Vice President for Research

CADRE Speakers

2017 CADRE Conference Speakers      

Morning Speakers

Breakout Session 1
(1:30-2:00 PM)

Breakout Session 2
(2:15-2:45 PM)

Breakout Session 3
(3:15-3:45 PM)

Breakout Session 4
(4:00-4:30 PM)

Dana Brunson -
Opening Address

(Oklahoma State University)

John Towns - Keynote
(University of Illinois, XSEDE, NCSA)

Kelly Gaither - Plenary
(University of Texas, XSEDE, TACC)

Plenary Roundtable

Mary Larson
(Oklahoma State University)
Jason Dupree
(Southwestern Oklahoma
State University)
Stewart Brower
(University of
Oklahoma- Tulsa)
Tara Carlisle
(University of Oklahoma)


Chris Allison (Intel)

Jamene Brooks-Keiffer 
(University of Kansas)
Mark Laufersweiler 
(University of Oklahoma)

Phillip Doehle
(Oklahoma State University)
Jason Henderson
(Oklahoma State University)

Karl Frinkle, Mike Morris & Keith Pearce

(Southeastern Oklahoma
State University)

Jameson Carpenter, Jacob Graham, Nicholas Gauthier, & Nathan Naylor
(Southeastern Oklahoma
State University)

Dan Andresen
(Kansas State University)
Timothy Middelkoop
(University of Missouri)

Cinthya Ippoliti

(Oklahoma State University)
Nicole Sump-Crethar
(Oklahoma State University)

David Monismith Jr.

(Tinker Air Force Base)
Nicholas Oswald 
(Tinker Air Force Base)

Student Panel Session

Jacob Myers
Prabhjyot Singh (SWOSU)
Milena Weaver (OU)
Matthew Whitlock (OSU)

Xan Black

(Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance)
Mark Kinders
(Central Oklahoma STEM Alliance)

Evan Lemley
(Central Oklahoma STEM Alliance)

Tyrrell Conway

(Oklahoma State University)


Mary Larson

(Oklahoma State University)
Kevin Dyke
(Oklahoma State University)
Suzanne Reinman
(Oklahoma State University)

Henry Neeman

(University of Oklahoma)


Phil Alderman
(Oklahoma State University)


Jamene Brooks-Keiffer 
(University of Kansas)
Mark Laufersweiler 
(University of Oklahoma)



Peter Hawrylak
(University of Tulsa)


NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Awards Ceremony



Featured Speakers


Opening Speaker: Dana Brunson
Topic: "State of CADRE at OSU"
Slides: PDF

Abstract: Join Dr. Dana Brunson as she describes the journey over the past year to form the Coalition for Advancing Digital Research & Education (CADRE) at OSU, a multidisciplinary, campus-wide initiative that seeks to help computational and data-driven researchers connect with the resources, training, and people that can help them produce better, faster, and more thorough research than ever before. 

Bio: Dana Brunson is Assistant Vice President for Research Cyberinfrastructure, Director of the Oklahoma State University High Performance Computing Center (OSUHPCC), Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and in the Department of Computer Science, and co-leads the OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure Initiative (OneOCII).

She earned her Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and her M.S. and B.S. in Mathematics from OSU. She is PI on OSU's 2011 and 2015 National Science Foundation(NSF) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grants for High Performance Compute clusters for multidisciplinary computational and data-intensive research. She is also co-PI on Oklahoma's NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure - Network Infrastructure and Engineering CC-NIE grant, "OneOklahoma Friction Free Network" (OFFN), a collaboration among OSU, OU, Langston University and the Tandy Supercomputing Center of the Oklahoma Innovation Institute.

She and her counterpart at University of Oklahoma, Henry Neeman been appointed joint co-leads of the XSEDE Campus Engagement program, which includes the Campus Champions. Dr. Brunson also serves on Internet2’s External Advisory Group on Researcher Engagement and Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center’s Bridges external advisory board.  She also collaborates with the Clemson-led Campus Research Computing Infrastructures Consortium. 


Keynote Speaker: John Towns
Topic: "Research IT at Illinois: Establishing Service Responsive to Investigator Needs"
Slides: SlideShare

Abstract: Over the past two years, an ongoing effort has been underway to further develop the research support IT resources and services necessary to make our faculty more competitive in the granting process. During this discussion, we will first review a yearlong effort in gathering the needs of researchers and distilling a set of recommendations to address those identified needs. This will be followed by a review of elements of a proposal prepared for campus administration articulating a vision and plan to create a dynamic research support environment in which a broad portfolio of resources, services and support are easily discoverable and accessible to the campus research community.

Bio: John Towns is Deputy CIO for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Executive Director for Science & Technology at NCSA (the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, also at Illinois).  He is also PI and Project Director for the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project and Director of the Illinois Campus Cluster Program. Towns plays significant roles in the deployment and operation of high-end resources and services, and distributed computing projects providing leadership and direction in the development and provisioning of advanced computing resources and services. His background is in computational astrophysics utilizing a variety of computational architectures with a focus on application performance analysis. He earned M.S. degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Illinois and a B.S. in Physics from the University of Missouri-Rolla.



Plenary Speaker: Kelly Gaither, Ph.D.
Director of Visualization, Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)

Topic: "Picture This - Visualizing Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow"
Slides: PDF

Abstract: Visualization is the process of transforming the complex into what can be seen. Visualization began with the use of illustrations and drawings and has evolved to include interactive real-time digital imagery. A significant percentage of our brainpower is devoted to the visual cortex. Through visualizations, the human visual system is the workhorse that drives the understanding of society's most complex problems. 

In tandem with the growth and evolution of visualization, the science community faces two extraordinary and relatively sudden transitions in technology with transformative potential for computational research and education. First is the widespread adoption of high performance computing (HPC). Concurrently, advances in digital technologies (networking, instruments, etc.) have facilitated the generation and capture of observed data at an explosive rate. Visualization holds the key to unlocking the information locked inside what can be insurmountable amounts of numbers and data. 

In this talk, Dr. Kelly Gaither will discuss why visualization is such a powerful tool for understanding the complex. Additionally, Dr. Gaither will illustrate the impact that visualization has had in transforming science in both the past and the present, and the promise it holds for impact in our future's most challenging problems.

Bio: Kelly joined TACC as Associate Director in September 2001. She is now the Director of Visualization. She received her doctoral degree in Computational Engineering from Mississippi State University in May 2000, and received her masters and bachelors degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University in 1992 and 1988 respectively. She has over thirty refereed publications in fields ranging from Computational Mechanics to Supercomputing Applications to Scientific Visualization. She has given a number of invited talks. Over the past ten years, she has actively participated in conferences related to her field, specifically acting as general chair in 2004 of IEEE Visualization.


Plenary Roundtable

Topic: "State of the State: An Oklahoma Libraries Panel"

Abstract: Libraries serve an essential role in connecting scholars and researchers with the ideas and information they need. This panel session provides a glimpse into the various ways Oklahoma libraries are working to meet the needs of researchers and scholars at their respective institutions. 

The Oklahoma Libraries Panel will be moderated by Cinthya Ippoliti, Associate Dean for Research and Learning Services at the Oklahoma State University Libraries.

Mary Larson, Oklahoma State University

Bio: Mary A. Larson is the Associate Dean for Special Collections at the Oklahoma State University Library and a past president of the national Oral History Association. Much of her research has focused on the intersection of oral history methodology and digital technology, and in 2014, she co-edited the book Oral History and Digital Humanities. Her most recent publication focuses on the mediating influences of different media types in the creation, preservation, and dissemination of oral histories.



Jason Dupree, Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Bio: Jason Dupree is the Director of Libraries at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He oversees library operations on both the Weatherford and Sayre campuses is responsible for the implementation of SWOSU’s institutional repository, Digital Commons in 2016.  Under his direction, the SWOSU Libraries is currently migrating to a new library system, WorldShare, to further enhance the libraries’ services and relevance. Much of his career has focused on teaching and using emerging technology in various aspects of library services, including the creation of multimedia spaces in the SWOSU Libraries.  He is a supporter of open access publishing, open textbooks, open source software, and creative commons licensing. Jason previously served as Head of Public Services and Instructional Services Librarian for the Al Harris Library, and he has been a faculty member at SWOSU since 2002. He holds a M.L.I.S.  from the University of Oklahoma and a B.F.A. from Phillips University.



Tara Carlisle, University of Oklahoma

Bio: Tara Carlisle joined the University of Oklahoma Libraries in 2014 as a Digital Scholarship Specialist. She works with campus entities to identify innovative and evolving digital tools and resources that advanced scholarly investigation, while buliding on the traditional cornerstones of research methodologies. She coordinates workshops, events, and lectures related to digital scholarship and her specialization is project planning and management. Previously, Tara as Digital Projects Coordinator at the University of North Texas for the statewide digital respository, the Portal to Texas History. She holds an M.A. in Art History and an M.S. in Information Studies from the University of North Texas and a B.A. from Texas A&M University.


Stewart Brower, University of Oklahoma - Tulsa

Bio: Stewart M. Brower, MLIS, AHIP, is Director of the Schusterman Library, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. He received his Masters of Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma in 1993, and has worked primarily in medical libraries across the United States, including the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Washington University School of Medicine, and the University at Buffalo. Mr. Brower is co-founder and editor of Communications in Information Literacy, an award-winning open access library sciences journal, and he was recognized for his contributions to the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association by being named Librarian of the Year in 2013.




Afternoon Speakers - Breakout Sessions


Topic: "Did you Know? Intel's Contributions to Research Computing"

Abstract: Highlights on Intel's contributions to community and open-source intiatives and their impact on research computing.

Chris M. Allison, Intel

Bio: Chris M. Allison has focused on research computing for more than 15 years. He is an HPC Specialist for Intel's HPC and Accelerators Technical Sales Team. Chris works with universities, labs and industry partners across the country. As a University of Kansas Jayhawk alum, Chris has close ties to the midwest, and he is excited for the opportunity to present the latest updates from Intel for researchers at institutions in the midwestern region.



Topic: "What's So Super About Supercomputing?"
PDF     |     Appendix

Abstract: Part 1 of this session offers a bare-bones introduction to high performance computing, also known as HPC, supercomputing and many other monikers. CADRE attendees who are new to computing and attempting to learn about researchers' data-intensive work should consider familiarizing themselves with the computing environement often used to conduct that work. Bibliometric analysis, quantitative statistical analysis, and geographic data visualizations are jsut a few examples of computationally-intensive work underway in humanities, social sciences, and other science fields. This session will prepare you to attend subsequent computing-focused breakout sessions without fear!

Part 2 of this session provides CADRE attendees who are new to computing a time and space for discussing and questioning content, terminology, workflows, concepts, or anything else encountered during the day's plenaries and sessions. Jamene and Mark will facilitate this debrief, suggest takeaways and strategies for moving forward, and invite one or two computing professionals to address topics with additional expertise.

Jamene Brooks-Keiffer, University of Kansas

Bio: Jamene Brooks-Kieffer brings a background in electronic resources to her work as Data Services Librarian at the University of Kansas. She regularly teaches on data management practices to audiences of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates. She has engaged library professionals in in-person and virtual programs at venues including Electronic Resources & Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, and a Great Plains Network / Greater Western Library Association webinar series.


Mark Laufersweiler, University of Oklahoma

Bio: Dr. Mark Laufersweiler has, since the Fall of 2013, served as the Research Data Specialist for the University of Oklahoma Libraries. He is currently assisting the educational mission of the Libraries by developing and offering workshops, seminars and short courses, helping to inform the university community on best practices for data management and data management planning. He is the university’s representative as a member of the Software Carpentry Foundation and is an active instructor as well. He is a strong advocate of open source software and open access to data.




Topic: "Finding the Right Tools for a Computing Researcher's Toolkit: Software and Data Carpentry"

Abstract: Since 1998, Software Carpentry has been teaching researchers across the globe the computing skills they need to get more research done in less time. Since 2016, Data Carpentry has been introducing skills for data management and analysis across multiple research domains. Learn about OSU’s robust Carpentry team of instructors and helpers as it enters its second year of Software Carpentry workshops and prepares for its first Data Carpentry workshop.


Phillip Doehle, Oklahoma State University

Bio: Phillip Doehle is an education and training assistant for the OSU High Performance Computing Center and an adjunct instructor in Mathematics for Northern Oklahoma College. He received his master's in Mathematics from OSU in 2016 and his bachelor's in Mathematics from Whitworth University in 2010. He studied Chinese literature and language for one year at Ningxia University in China. Phillip served as a graduate teaching assistant from 2015-2016, working half of his assistantship time with the OSU Mathematics department and the other half with the OSU HPC Center. In 2015, he attended his first Software Carpentry workshop, and within a year, he completed the process to become a certified Software Carpentry instructor. Phillip has instructed for five Software Carpentry workshops at OSU and is preparing to become certified in Data Carpentry. He serves as the OSU HPC Center liaison for the OSU Carpentry community.

Jason Henderson, Oklahoma State University

Bio: Jason Henderson is a visiting assistant professor at Oklahoma State University and serves as a Digital Services Librarian the Edmon Low Library's Digital Resources and Discovery Services department. His primary areas of responsibility include working with scholarly publishing initiatives, open education resources, and maintaining various online resources. Before OSU, Jason worked as the Digital Resources & Metadata Librarian for Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Jason serves as the OSU Library liaison for the OSU Carpentry community. He attended his first Software Carpentry workshop in 2016 and has recently become a certified instructor for Software Carpentry.



Topic: "Leveraging High Performance Computing Resources to Help Tackle an Open Problem in Abstract Mathematics"

Abstract: An open problem in abstract mathematics is finding the lengths and multiplicities of the disjoint cycle decomposition (DCD) of the composition of permutations. Using toplogical arguments, it has been proven that the composition of N cycles can be decomposed into at most N cycles of distinct lengths. However, the topological approach does not yield the actual formulas for the lengths and multiplicites of the resulting DCD's. A completely different approach is required to arrive at the formulas.

To this end, we have written HPC code to compute the DCD of the composition of cycles. This code has evolved over the last two semesters in various ways, each version allowing us to compute DCD's of larger sets of permutation compositions, while at the same time reducing the space required to store them. Our current phase of computational research involves writing HPC code to analyze the large data sets we have created. Of great important is the ability to test conjectures against the data sets. We will detail our experiences and results found thus far and our future goals. 

Karl Frinkle, Professor, Mathematics - Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Bio: Karl Frinkle is an applied mathematician who earned his PhD from the University of New Mexico. He is deeply interested in numerical and computational mathematics, and most recently in high performance computing (HPC). Karl joined the SE Mathematics department in 2005, and teaches a wide variety of classes, from logic for Honors Students, to linear algebra and complex analysis for math majors. He also tries to teach one HPC programming course through the CS department each semester.

Mike Morris, Retired Professor, Computer Science - Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Bio: Mike Morris' degrees are in math, but he has always said he wound up on the business end of a computer. He taught Computer Science (CS) in the early 80s after working as an Operations Research Analyst for Conoco in Ponca City OK. Mike left teaching and spent 15 years doing various things in the CS industry before returning to Southeastern Oklahoma State to once again teach CS, where he remains, even after officially retiring in 2016.

Keith Pearce, B.S. in Computer Science (2016) - Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Jameson Carpenter, (computer science student) Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Jacob Graham, (computer science student) Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Nicholas Gauthier, (computer science student) Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Nathan Naylor, (computer science student) Southeastern Oklahoma State University



Topic: "Birds-of-a-Feather Session: XSEDE Region 4 Campus Champions"

Abstract: The XSEDE Campus Champions program supports campus representatives as a local source of knowledge about local, regional and national High Performance Computing and Cyberinfrastructure information, including XSEDE resourses. Campus Champions Daniel Andresen and Timothy Middlekoop would like to invite everyone - any current Campus Champion, possible Campus Champion, or those who are just curious - to join Region 4 Campus Champions (from AR, KS, LA, MO, NE, OK and TX) to discuss the program, what you can expect to gain from participating, short term and long term goals, and future visions for the program.

Daniel Andresen, Kansas State University

Bio: Daniel Andresen, Ph.D., is a professor of Computing & Information Sciences at Kansas State University and Director of the Institute for Computational Research. His research includes embedded and distributed computing, biomedical systems, and high performance scientific computing. Andresen coordinates the activities of the K-State researching computing cluster, Beocat, and advises the local chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He is a National Science Foundation CAREER Award winner, and has been granted research funding from the NSF, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and industry. He is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, the IEEE Computer Society, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Society for Engineering Education, and has been an XSEDE Campus Champion since 2011.


Timothy Middelkoop, University of Missouri

Bio: Dr. Timothy Middelkoop is the Director of Research Computing Support Services in the Division of Information Technology at the University of Missouri and an Assistant Teaching Professor in the department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at the University of Missouri. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in 2006 and his M.S. and B.S. from Florida State University in 1998 and 1996 respectively. His research interests include cyberinfrastructure, large-scale (HPC) and multi-core scientific computing, computational optimization, clean energy optimization and control, energy management, integrated design systems, distributed sensor networks, and multi-agent systems. He has industry experience in designing web-based applications and embedded systems. Dr. Middelkoop is a member of the Industrial Engineering honor society Alpha Pi Mu, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), and is a Certified Energy Manager.


Topic: "Turning Challenges into Opportunities: How Librarians are Adapting in a Digital Research Environment"

Abstract: The digital age finds research libraries taking on new roles as they become more deeply collaborative in the creation, archival and dissemination of knowledge. While some of these new roles emerge easily from traditional library activity, others are relatively new introductions to a research librarian's repertoire. This session explores some of these emerging functions, and includes several examples of how OSU libraries are developing the infrastructure, outreach and training programs to meet the needs of the university's faculty and researchers as their need for advanced digital resources continues to grow.

Cinthya Ippoliti, Oklahoma State University

Bio: Cinthya Ippoliti is the Associate Dean for Research and Learning Services at the Oklahoma State University Library where she provides administrative leadership for the library's academic liaison program as well as services for undergraduate and graduate students. Previously, she was head of Teaching and Learning Services at the University of Maryland Libraries where she was in charge of the spaces, services and programming offered by the Terrapin Learning Commons as well as coordinating the Libraries' first year instruction program. Cinthya is the co-author of User-centered Design for First-Year Library Instruction Programsand she has presented both in person and virtually at conferences such as Association of College and Research Libraries and Library Orientation Exchange on topics such as discovery-based learning, outreach, technology partnerships and ebook usability.


Nicole Sump-Crethar, Oklahoma State University

Bio: Nicole Sump-Crethar is head of Digital Resources and Discovery Services at the Oklahoma State University Library. She completed her Master of Science in Library and Information Science in 2005 at the University of Illinois. Nicole spent 6 years working at a private law firm library in Chicago before moving to Tucson, Arizona, and taking a position at the Oro Valley Public Library. In 2008, Nicole joined the Digital Library Services department at OSU where she first worked as an assistant professor working with bibliographic management software and open access journal publishing. She has been in her current position for over a year and oversees the library's digitization and metadata, cataloguing and web services teams. Nicole also works closely with the OSU Library Research and Learning Services department on research data services, including consulting on data management plans with faculty. 




Topic: "Radar Cross Sections using the Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method"

Abstract: Large objects, such as ships, anechoic chambers, and aircraft, often require maintenance due to material defects. These defects must be repaired to maintain the desired Radar Cross Section (RCS). To avoid some of this maintenance, we propose to determine defect tolerances by simulating the RCS of such objects using the parallelized Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method (FDTD). Our presentation includes a discussion of the implementation of a parallelized FDTD method with MPI. We then discuss the implementation of parameter sweeps with the FDTD method to investigate the RCS of objects with added defects. Finally, we present preliminary results comparing pristine PEC, Dielectric, and Dielectric-Coated PEC spheres and flat plates to those with simulated defects of varying size.


David R. Monismith Jr., Tinker Air Force Base

Bio: Dr. David Monismith is a computer scientist in the 559th SMXS at Tinker Air Force Base. His current work includes parallelization and parameter sweeps for code to compute Radar Cross Sections using the Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method (FDTD). From 2015 to 2016, Monismith was an independent researcher in the Oklahoma City area. During this time, he worked with Drs. John Shaw and Himadri Chakraborty on an XSEDE allocation entitled, "Computational Simulations of Electronic Motions and Excitations in Nanostructured Surfaces by Ion-Surface and Adsorbate-Surface Charge-Transfer Interactions". From 2012 to 2015, Dr. Monismith was an Assistant Professor at Northwest Missouri State University where he served as XSEDE Campus Champion, Graduate Directed Projects Coordinator, and PI on two U.S. Army subcontracts. 

Dr. Monismith earned his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Tulane University and both his master's degree in Electrical Engineering and doctorate in Computer Science from Oklahoma State University. His current research interests include parallel algorithms, parallel programming, and optimization of high performance codes. 

Nicholas Oswald, Tinker Air Force Base

Bio: Nicholas Oswald is an Electrical Engineer at Tinker Air Force Base’s SMXG Innovation and High Performance Computing Center. He is currently working as a technical expert/lead of the Radar Cross Section simulation group.

Nicholas graduated with his masters from Oklahoma State University in 2010. He is currently working on a Ph.D. at OSU in Computational Electromagnetics (CEM). His research is to simulate the change in the RCS when a defect (scratch or other aberrations) is applied to an object that is composed of a perfect electric conductor that has been coated with a dielectric surface. Other interests include simulation of electrically large scale objects utilizing techniques applied to the computational domain, or parallelization and GPU acceleration. 




Topic: "How Can Students Take the Reigns with Advanced Computing Resources"

Abstract: As advanced computing and digital resources become more necessary for both undergraduates and graduate students alike, many students are finding ways to become more involved with and more informed about these resources outside of the traditional classroom environment. The student speakers in this session will discuss how they explore these resources through a variety of avenues, including student organizations, conferences, competitions, and workshops, and how they share their experience and knowledge with other students.


Jacob Myers, President of the Information Security & Assurance Club (ISAC)
Junior, Computer Science, Oklahoma State University                                                                  


Prabhjyot Singh, Former president of the SWOSU Computer Club
Member of the Robotics Club and First Tech Robotics (SWOSU)
Student Intern, Blue Waters Student Internship Program at NCSA
Senior, Computer Science, Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU)



Melinda Weaver, Graduate student

School of Library Information Science (SLIS), University of Oklahoma



Matthew Whitlock, President of the OSU Cyberinfrastructure Association

Junior, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Oklahoma State University




Topic: "The Interdisciplinary Microbe: Research from the Center for Integrative Microbiome Science"

Abstract: RNA sequencing is a genomics technology that allows scientists to take a snapshot of gene expression from a single cell or population of cells at the level of single nucleotides. RNA-Seq can determine the biological response to environmental stressors or mutations and mechanisms of gene regulation. RNA is purified from cells, fragmented, and deeply sequenced. Each dataset consists of 1 billion bases and the typical experiment contains 40 datasets. Each raw data file is 1 Gb and processed datasets are 10-100 Gb. We developed a system that enables scientists to process, analyze, and visualize datasets via a web interface. The system runs on the Oklahoma State University Cloud, hosted by the OSU High Performance Computing Center. This toolbox enables scientists to deduce the roles of genes and individual gene regulation features, which is an important step in determining genome function.

Tyrrell Conway, Oklahoma State University

Bio: Dr. Tyrrell Conway is a professor and department head for the OSU Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Conway was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and has been married for 31 years to Sharri Conway, an elementary school teacher. They have two children. Conway graduated from Oklahoma State University with a doctorate in Microbiology. He previously held faculty appointments at the University of Florida, University of Nebraska, Ohio State University, and the University of Oklahoma. Amongst several scientific discoveries, Conway is the co-inventor of U.S. Patent number 5,000,000 for genetically engineering E. coli to make biofuels, and he published the first DNA microarray paper on E.coli. He was the first scientist to systematically determine what carbon sources are used by E. coli to colonize the animal intestine. Conway is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology. If he had more time, he would read more novels and go fishing more often.



Topic: "Oklahoma STEM Alliances: Engaging and Preparing K-12 Students and Educators for Futures in STEM and Computing"

Abstract: The Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (TRSA) and Central Oklahoma STEM Alliance (COSTEMA) are leading nonprofit advocates in the state of Oklahoma for STEM education that work to ensure that education policy initiatives on a local, state and federal level appropriately identify the needs and deploy vital resources responsibly and effectively to ensure every student has access to the best possible STEM education. TRSA works to increase awareness and access to STEM resources and activities in northeastern Oklahoma while also growing a STEM ecosystem in the region to support STEM education events, activities and initiatives such as the Tulsa Resource Area for STEM Educators (TRASE). Through hands-on and co-learning programs, COSTEMA encourages young students to pursue STEM classes and opportunities in order to develop them as leaders who are inspired, educated and prepared for a world of emerging STEM careers. This session addresses how TRSA and COSTEMA approach K-12 STEM education through a variety of interdisciplinary intiatives focusing on engaging activities and events for students, professional development opportunities for Oklahoma K-12 STEM educators, and partnerships with industry and higher education institutions.

Xan Black, Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance

Bio: Xan Black is the Program Director of the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (TRSA). Xan’s drive, passions, and leadership of the Alliance supports all aspects of STEM education. She aligns the experience and wisdom of community partners with the need of educators and schools. She is responsible for project management, strategic planning, program implementation and more. Xan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas Tech University in 1981. She worked for eight years in the energy industry in Oklahoma. In 2007, Xan earned a Master of Education degree with emphasis in Middle and Secondary School from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. She taught secondary math and science for 11 years at Mingo Valley Christian School.


Mark Kinders, University of Central Oklahoma/Central Oklahoma STEM Alliance

Bio: Mark Kinders, a 31-year veteran of public higher education, is Vice President for Public Affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), serving the 1.5 million residents of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. His responsibilities include federal, state, business and community relations. With a long history of community and public service to his credit, Kinders specializes in facilitating groups into start-up, expanding their influence, guiding strategic planning and assisting in facilitated decision-making. During his time at UCO, he has served as inaugural president of COSTEMA, a collaboration that seeks to improve K-12 STEM education to 150,000 school children in nine school districts in Oklahoma and Logan counties, to include Oklahoma City and Edmond public schools.

Kinders holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, a Master of Arts in History from University of Wisconsin - River Falls, a Master of Public Affairs through the Executive Program at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Arkansas.


Topic: "Flying Below the Radar: Some Unexpected Data Sets for Researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences"
Part 1 (PDF)      |       Part 2 (PDF)

Abstract: As digital humanities and new data visualization techniques become more popular with researchers, many scholars turn to well-known, packaged databases like Project Gutenberg of JSTOR for data sets. What they may not realize is there is a wide range of other resources available that often fly below the radar and are sometimes underappreciated. The speakers in this session will provide information about a few of those data sets and discuss how they can be used for humanities and social sciences research.


Mary Larson, Oklahoma State University

Bio: Mary A. Larson is the Associate Dean for Special Collections at the Oklahoma State University Library and a past president of the national Oral History Association. Much of her research has focused on the intersection of oral history methodology and digital technology, and in 2014, she co-edited the book Oral History and Digital Humanities. Her most recent publication focuses on the mediating influences of different media types in the creation, preservation, and dissemination of oral histories.



Kevin Dyke, Oklahoma State University

Bio: Kevin Dyke is a Spatial Data Librarian at the Oklahoma State University Library. He earned his Master's degree in geography from the University of Minnesota. He oversees the Oklahoma Digital Maps Collection, which is home over to 8,000 maps, and also teaches workshops about web mapping and geographic information systems. OSU Library Map Room




Suzanne Reinman, Oklahoma State University

Bio: Suzanne Reinman is Interim Head, Government Documents, a regional depository library for the U.S. Government Printing Office, and she manages the Patent and Trademark Resource Center at OSU Libraries. Federal government agencies are publishing most of their materials online and are responsible for large data sets, supported at the agency level or at, an open data repository. Government, university, and public interest organizations have been working to ensure that government data is accessible and preserved. DataLumos at the University of Michigan and Data Refuge at the University of Pennsylvania are two programs that are working to preserve federal government data. The Environmental Data and Government Initiatve (EDGI) is also working to archive public environmental data. 






Topic: "Why Storage for Big Data is Hard"

Abstract: The data tsunami is upon us, with "volume, velocity and variety" exploding. As data collections grow, finding affordable mechanisms to preserve these collections is becoming increasingly crucial. This is especially so because extant business models for large-scale, long-term storage are very challenging under current research funding models, typically because (a) storage costs are impractically high, and/or (b) file owners have to continue paying recurring charges even after the relevant research funding has expired. Among the key issues are: (i) the cost of storing large datasets (ii) over the long term, while making the datasets both (iii) accessible by the owner and (iv) discoverable and accessible by others, while (v) using shorter-term funding, such as a 2-5 year grant, with (vi) minimal recurring costs, providing (vii) multiple copies for resiliency at (viii) minimal costs per TB per copy per year. In this talk, we'll discuss a way to address all of these issues via a combination of an established technology and innovative business model, providing the lowest cost to researchers, over the longest period of time, with the greatest reliability.

Henry Neeman, University of Oklahoma

Bio: Dr. Henry Neeman is the Director of the OU Supercomputing Center for Education & Research (OSCER), Assistant Vice President Information Technology - Research Strategy Advisor, Associate Professor in the College of Engineering, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Oklahoma. Neeman co-leads the XSEDE Campus Engagement program, which includes the Campus Champions, with Oklahoma State University's Dana Brunson.

Neeman received his BS in computer science and BA in statististics with a minor in mathematics from the State University of New York - Buffalo (1987) and both his MS in computer science (1990) and Ph.D. in computer science (1996) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Prior to coming to OU, Neeman was a postdoctoral research associate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at UIUC after having served as a graduate research assistant at both NCSA and the Center for Supercomputing Research & Development.

In addition to his own teaching and research, Neeman has collaborated with dozens of research groups, applying high performance computing techniques in fields such as numerical weather prediction, bioinformatics and genomics, data mining, high energy physics, astronomy, nanotechnology, petroleum reservoir management, river basin modeling, and engineering optimization. He serves as an ad hoc advisor to student researchers in many of these fields. Neeman's research interests include high performance computing, scientific computing, parallel and distributed computing and computer science education. 




Topic: "High Performance Computing Education and Workforce Development: Needs, Hurdles and Solution Approaches"
Slides: PDF

Abstract: High performance computing (HPC) draws on a number of different educational topics, and the problems HPC is used to solve are often multi-discplinary. Those working in HPC need a breadth of knowledge and depth in core HPC skills for current economic trends that are driving significant growth in the use of HPC resources including: big data, medical informatics, and finite element modeling. Universities and colleges can provide a stream of Bachelor's graduates to fill these openings. However, this can be difficult to fit into a 4-year degree plan unless planning is done early. This talk will address the issues of HPC education and workforce development and faciliate an open discussion of approaches for higher education to prepare the next general of HPC professionals. The talk will include an overview of a new Computer Science/HPC minor at the University of Tulsa and HPC education and possible solution approaches for goals of this program and similar programs at other institutions.

Peter Hawrylak, the University of Tulsa

Bio: Peter J. Hawrylak, Ph.D., received his B.S. degree in computer engineering (2002), his M.S. degree in electrical engineering (2004), and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering (2006) from the University of Pittsburgh. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, with a joint appointment at the Tandy School for Computer Science, at the University of Tulsa. He has published more than 40 publications and holds 13 patents in the areas of radio frequency identificatio (RFID), energy harvesting, and cyber-security. His research interests include RFID, security for low-power wireless devices, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and digital design. Dr. Hawrylak is a member of the IEEE and IEEE Computer Society, and is currently the Secretary of the Tulsa section of the IEEE. From 2012 to 2013, he served as a chair for the RFID Experts Group (REG) of the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM). He received AIM Inc.'s Ted Williams Award in 2015 for his contributions to the RFID industry. Hawrylak is the Publication Chair of the International IEEE RFID Conference, and he is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Radio Frequency Identification Techonology and Applications (IJRFITA) journal published by InderScience Publishers, which focuses on the application and development of RFID technology. Dr. Hawrylak is also the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE RFID Virtual Journal, which provides a single source for high-quality and high-impact publications in the areas of RFID and Internet of Things (IoT).



Topic: "Exploring Implications of Agricultural Drought in Oklahoma Through Simulation Modeling"

Abstract: The climate of Oklahoma and the southern Great Plains is characterized by high inter-annual variability including large swings in rainfall. These alternating cycles of wet and dry conditions have profound implications for agriculture within the region. This presentation will address the use of agricultural systems modeling to conduct computational research exploring the agricultural implications of drought within Oklahoma.  The presentation will consist of a brief introduction to agricultural systems modeling followed by a discussion of methods and preliminary results from on-going efforts to conduct "in silico" analysis of drought impacts.

Phil Alderman, Oklahoma State University

Bio: Dr. Phil Alderman grew up internationally as the child of a U.S. Air Force officer. The cross-cultural and cross-linguistics experiences of his childhood led him initially to pursue a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Florida. However, through part-time work as an undergraduate research assistant, Dr. Alderman was exposed to simulation modeling and its potential for use in agricultural research. This interest led him to pursue an M.S. degree modeling physiological aspects of perennial grass regrowth followed by a Ph.D. doing integrated socioeconomic-biophysical modeling of soil fertility dynamics and household welfare in northern Ghana. After that, Dr. Alderman worked for nearly three years in the Global Wheat Program of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT). While there, he collaborated closely with international wheat modeling efforts to research climate impacts and adaption strategies for wheat. Since joining the OSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Dr. Alderman has continued to pursue interdisciplinary research into the agricultural impacts of climate variability. The goal of his research is to provide meaningful information and decision-support resources to enhance the resource use and resilience of agricultural systems in Oklahoma and around the world.




NCWIT: Aspirations in Computing Awards Ceremony

2017 Oklahoma Region Awards




The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing builds a talent pool for the growing technical workforce and helps academic and corporate organizations celebrate diversity in 

computing by honoring young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. Award recipients are selected based on their 

aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing; leadership ability; academic history; and plans for post-secondary education.


The Aspirations in Computing Educator Award identifies outstanding educators who play a pivotal role in encouraging young women to explore their interest in computing and technology, and recognizes these educators for their efforts to promote gender equity in computing. Over the past four years, more than 160 educators have been recognized and have received more than $150,000 in professional development funding to improve their computing education skills.

Dr. Ashlee Ford-Versypt (OSU Chemical Engineering) is the 2017 ceremony’s keynote speaker.