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Developing a successful HPC mentoring program

Scott Callaghan, Elsa Gonsiorowski, Weronika Filinger, & Ilya Zhukov

In Preparation March 6, 2024, SCEC Contribution #13411

The International High-Performance Computing Summer School (IHPCSS), established in 2010, addresses the challenge of training the next generation of HPC users by providing a platform for students and early career researchers to learn about HPC. The program includes technical training, science talks, and a strong mentoring component aimed at building a supportive community. We describe the evolution of the mentoring program as it has become more formalized and inclusive, with dedicated sessions focusing on career development, interpersonal skills, and networking.
The mentoring process involves the matching of mentors and mentees on the basis of shared interests and backgrounds, with a focus on career and work/life topics rather than technical mentoring. The IHPCSS also includes returning mentors, former IHPCSS students who return to serve as near-peer mentors, providing valuable insight into career progression in HPC. The key mentoring sessions are tailored to support participants in different aspects of their professional life, e.g. the \textit{Career Paths} provides insights into different career paths, helping participants to make informed decisions about their future; the \textit{Goal Setting} session helps participants to set clear and achievable goals, fostering a strategic approach to personal and professional development; the \textit{Career Skills Breakouts} aims to enhance participants' practical skills, such as communication and networking skills, through interactive activities and guided practice, equipping them with essential tools for success in their academic and professional endeavours. Student frequently express that the mentoring components are the most valuable parts of the IHPCSS.
Regular evaluation and feedback ensures continuous improvement of the mentoring program, making our experience a valuable resource for other institutions interested in establishing similar initiatives in HPC or related fields.

Key Words
high performance computing, mentoring, computational modeling, education and training

Callaghan, S., Gonsiorowski, E., Filinger, W., & Zhukov, I. (2024, 03). Developing a successful HPC mentoring program. Oral Presentation at PEARC '24.