Parinaz Barakhshan is a first-year Ph.D. candidate and Research Assistant at the University of Delaware, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She has research interests in optimizing compilers, programming methodologies, tools, and performance evaluation for high-performance computing. Parinaz also happens to be an XSEDE student campus champion helping researchers with access and support to high-performance computing resources at UD. This past August she was offered the opportunity to attend the Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC19) conference in Chicago as part of her role as an XSEDE student campus champion, so she simply could not pass it up.

Parinaz attended the conference with the goal of discussing and advertising the newly developed Xpert Network. Through monthly online meetings, face-to-face meetings, and discussion platforms, the Xpert Network aims to create a platform in which engineers and scientists using CDI (computational and data-intensive) research can exchange practices and expand their toolboxes.

The PEARC conference occurs annually in order to provide a forum for discussing challenges, opportunities, and solutions amongst participants in the research computing community. While Parinaz attended to advertise and discuss her own research, she returned with widespread knowledge about other research computing projects as well.

The conference featured a mentor program for student volunteers, which provided the mentor and mentee with the opportunity to form a professional working relationship and educational support system. Parinaz credited this program and the support of her mentor, Jason Yalim, with helping her make the most of her opportunities at the conference.

Throughout the conference, Parinaz attended poster presentations, workshops, tutorials, and networking events that helped update her on new technologies and build relationships with researchers from various institutions. Parinaz used these conference events as well as a Birds of Feather session (an informal meeting based around discussion) to advertise and discuss her work with other researchers.

As the XSEDE student champion, Parinaz already brings a tremendous amount of knowledge to campus. By attending the PEARC conference this past August, she was able to return with even more information on new technology and research that will greatly benefit the campus community in the future.

Parinaz Barakhshan is a University of Delaware graduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. As the XSEDE Student Campus Champion, she is mentored by Anita Schwartz, UD-IT’s XSEDE Campus Champion and Rudolf Eigenmann, Research Group advisor.