2014 Workshop Keynote Speakers

Monday, June 23rdDr. Diane Baxter, San Diego's Supercomputing Center

Picture of Dr. Diane Baxter, San Diego's Supercomputing Center

Diane Baxter is the Associate Director for Education at UC San Diego’s Supercomputer Center (SDSC), where she leads education, outreach, and training (EOT) programs that introduce students, researchers, and educators to the high-performance and data-intensive computing tools that fuel discovery in computational sciences and engineering. With the growing importance of data-intensive computing across the disciplines, SDSC’s EOT programs are expanding beyond traditional STEM fields. SDSC creates partnerships to introduce teachers and students to the foundation principles and practices of computing; essential knowledge and skills for all to succeed in the rapidly evolving digital global economy.As SDSC’s lead within EOT activities for the national networks of high performance computing centers that serve the academic research community (TeraGrid then XSEDE) her roles have primarily focused on understanding audiences’ needs. She is the P.I. for an NSF’s CE 21 program entitled Computing Principles for All Students’ Success (ComPASS). On a 2011 NSF Task Force on Cyberlearning and Workforce Development, she chaired a sub-committee on K-14, Informal, and Lifelong Learning. An abiding passion for broadening participation in STEM has fueled her career.Prior to SDSC, Dr. Baxter was Education Curator at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography for nearly 15 years. She led the team there that published (through NSTA) Forecasting the Future (FtF): Exploring the Evidence for Global Climate Change. This interdisciplinary curriculum for 4th through 12th grade explored evidence from multiple research fields, asking HOW scientists know what they claim. Students learned tools and techniques practiced by scientists, to gather and analyze data, and through hands-on exploration gained insights into what the evidence tells us about global change. FtF was developed with support from the UCSD Center for Clouds, Chemistry, and Climate (C4).As Development Director for the San Diego Botanic Garden, Diane was instrumental in launching the “Seeds of Wonder” Children’s Garden, introducing young children to nature through safe outdoor exploration. “Seeds of Wonder” was the pilot for a subsequent, much larger children’s garden, the Hamilton Children’s Garden, for which Diane was part of the design committee.Dr. Baxter received her Ph.D. in Zoology (Botany minor) from Duke University in North Carolina, where her research focused on the role of habitat variability in the population ecology of a salt marsh snail. Her research insights into the value of a diversity of perspectives and scales to better understand the world form a consistent philosophy that has permeated her subsequent activities.

Title: Why Me? . . . OR . . . Why Not Me? Becoming Part of the Solution

Abstract: Global climate change is real. It is significant for ALL living beings, affecting our lives in ways we can’t yet fully imagine or understand. The more we explore global change processes and impacts through computational models and simulations, the more clearly we realize that the challenges and their solutions cross the boundaries of our conceptual “boxes.” Solutions will engage multiple disciplines, cross geographic borders and involve diverse cultures. They will require novel perspectives, creativity, and willingness to explore new ideas. While the challenges appear daunting, they might also pose an opportunity for innovative outreach. Computational geosciences have an unparalleled opportunity to engage and benefit from a broad diversity of participants. At the same time, there is a powerful message for catalyzing broader engagement. People are more likely to invest their time and talent when they have a personal reason to engage and they see that their input is critical to a solution. The challenge and the opportunity for us is to help students see that the real question is not why they should participate, but how they could possibly NOT participate. If they see themselves capable of making meaningful contributions to an important survival challenge through their own perspectives, skills, and knowledge; their barriers to participation – both external and internal - may shrink. This workshop is at a wonderful time and place to re-imagine ways to fully engage women, minorities, and those with different special abilities in seeking solutions to global change challenges through study and participation in computational geosciences.

Tuesday, June 24thDr. Juan E. Gilbert, University of Florida

Picture of Dr. Juan E. Gilbert, Clemson University

 Dr. Juan E. Gilbert is the Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Chair and the Associate Chair of Research in the Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department at the University of Florida where he leads the Human-Centered Computing Lab. Dr. Gilbert has research projects in spoken language systems, advanced learning technologies, usability and accessibility, Ethnocomputing (Culturally Relevant Computing) and databases/data mining. He has published more than 140 articles, given more than 200 talks and obtained more than $24 million dollars in research funding. He is a Fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science. In 2012, Dr. Gilbert received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama. He was recently named one of the 50 most important African-Americans in Technology. He was also named a Speech Technology Luminary by Speech Technology Magazine and a national role model by Minority Access Inc. Dr. Gilbert is also a National Associate of the National Research Council of the National Academies, an ACM Distinguished Scientist and a Senior Member of the IEEE. Recently, Dr. Gilbert was named a Master of Innovation by Black Enterprise Magazine, a Modern-Day Technology Leader by the Black Engineer of the Year Award Conference, the Pioneer of the Year by the National Society of Black Engineers and he received the Black Data Processing Association (BDPA) Epsilon Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution. In 2002, Dr. Gilbert was named one of the nation's top African-American Scholars by Diverse Issues in Higher Education. In 2013, the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association at Auburn University named their Distinguished Lecture Series in honor of Dr. Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert testified before the Congress on the Bipartisan Electronic Voting Reform Act of 2008 for his innovative work in electronic voting. In 2006, Dr. Gilbert was honored with a mural painting in New York City by City Year New York, a non-profit organization that unites a diverse group of 17 to 24 year-old young people for a year of full-time, rigorous community service, leadership development, and civic engagement.

Title: Societal Impacts through Research and Diversity: Who We Are and What We Do

Abstract: Can you change the world? Dr. Gilbert and his team believe you can. In this talk, Dr. Gilbert will discuss a few societal issues and how innovations in research can help solve some of society's most pressing problems. Dr. Gilbert will also discuss how diversity plays a role in addressing these issues and how his lab has taken on some very controversial topics that have significant societal implications. Young people think STEM disciplines work with artifacts and phenomenon. Dr. Gilbert will demonstrate how STEM can be used to help others and resulting in societal impacts that can change the world.