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Wednesday, July 20 • 9:00am - 9:20am
WDD: Access and Inclusion in XSEDE Training

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Computing in science and engineering is now ubiquitous: digital technologies underpin, accelerate, and enable new, even transformational, research in all domains. Access to an array of integrated and well-supported high-end digital services is critical for the advancement of knowledge. Driven by community needs, XSEDE (the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) substantially enhances the productivity of a growing community of scholars, researchers, and engineers through access to advanced digital services that support open research. 
An XSEDE strategic goal is to extend use of high-end digital services to new communities by preparing current and next generation of scholars, researchers, and engineers in the use of advanced digital technologies via training, education, and outreach. The mission of XSEDE’s Under-Represented Community Engagement (URCE) program is to raise awareness of the value of advanced digital research services and recruit users from new communities. In collaboration with XSEDE training and education programs, the URCE program works with the faculty and students that are non-traditional users of XSEDE resources and helps them in utilizing XSEDE's advanced digital research services and ecosystem. 
The focus of this work are individual researchers, research teams, faculty, staff, and students who have limited or no exposure. These are first time users. The institutions that the URCE program works with are small, minority, and resource limited; and the individuals are under-represented minorities and women. In order for first time users to be successful, they need training, practice, user support, extended collaborative support, and software tools and environments including gateways to allow them to rapidly join the community and become productive. 
Over the past four years, the URCE program has organized and facilitated training across the country at a variety of institutions ranging from small private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) such as Philander Smith to the University of Texas at El Paso which is a large public Hispanic Serving Institution and in collaboration with research intuitions that have significant diversity initiatives on their campuses. Every URCE training workshop has included extensive post workshop evaluation and the participants progress in engaging with XSEDE services is tracked so we can identify deepening engagement and persistence. 
This type of success has been achieved because training has evolved due to our reflection on the post workshop feedback and data. The practices that have been incorporated include providing the motivation for using these types of services, promoting the simplest access through gateways, careful tailoring of the content to the audience, and developing persistence after the event.

avatar for Lorna Rivera

Lorna Rivera

Research Faculty, Georgia Institute of Technology

Wednesday July 20, 2016 9:00am - 9:20am EDT