About WINS

Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS)

The Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program was developed as a means for addressing the prevalent gender gap that exists in Information Technology (IT) particularly in the fields of network engineering and high performance computing (HPC).  

Originally introduced as a pilot program** at SC15, the program provides mentorship and travel funding for up to five talented early to mid-career women from diverse regions of the U.S. research and education IT community for a true “hands on” experience in the ground-up construction of SCinet, one of the fastest and most advanced computer networks in the world.

SCinet, the Supercomputing Conference’s (SC) dedicated high-performance research network, provides an ideal “apprenticeship” opportunity for engineers and technologists looking for direct access to the most cutting-edge network hardware and software, while working side-by-side with the world’s leading network and software engineers, and the top network technology vendors.

WINS is a joint effort between the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). It is funded through a National Science Foundation grant* and through Department of Energy funding to ESnet.

SCinet Engineering Opportunities
There are more than 15 teams that comprise SCinet, all focused on specific areas of expertise involved in setting up and operating a research network. Selected candidates will be matched with a mentor in one of these areas based on interest, background, and team availability. Learning and training opportunities include (but are not limited to):

    • Operating and maintaining traditional “IT” services for SCinet;
    • Installing fiber optic network connections;
    • Installing and configuring wireless access points;
    • Installing and configuring wired network devices for conference meeting rooms;
    • Managing internet routing protocols;
    • Configuring wide-area network connections to national telecom providers;
    • Supporting conference attendees, high-performance computing (HPC) and high-performing network demonstrations; 
    • Participating in cybersecurity activities focused on prevention, detection, and countermeasures to protect the resources of the conference.

Travel for Professional Development with SCinet
This grant funds selected participants to travel for the staging, setup, and attendance of the SC conference as a SCinet volunteer. Travel could include up to three weeks (or some portion of these three weeks) depending on the SCinet team needs. SC20 will take place in Atlanta, GA. Participation in the program requires travel in Denver for the following dates (not including travel days):

  • SCinet Staging: Oct 21 – Oct 30, 2020
  • SCinet Setup: Nov 8 – 14, 2020
  • SCinet Live Operations/SC20 Conference and SCinet Teardown: Nov 15- Nov 21, 2020

WINS Selection Criteria
Candidates will be reviewed by a panel of experts from the research and education community for current job relevance, stated support from applicant’s employer, ability to attend the conference (WINS will take care of the travel costs but the participant must be able to set aside time to attend), areas of interest, and desire to participate in SCinet.

WINS Project Measurement
After completion of the conference, participants will be asked to report on their experiences and touch on topics such as which part of the training was new or useful, which learning experiences were effective or valuable, and other targeted questions that will help drive the future of gender diversity outreach efforts. This reflection will be shared with their home institution, SCinet leadership, project PIs, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. 

* NSF 2016 grant #ACI-1640987
** NSF 2015 grant #ACI-144064

WINS SC19 Awardees and WINS returning leads and participants