Advocating Technological Empowerment

Advocating Technological Empowerment

If it takes impressive talent to launch a research career in physics, imagine what it takes to switch from that field to computational science research and become a leading national advocate for diversity in the computer science field. Since earning a physics doctorate in 1975 from Stanford University, Dr. Roscoe Giles has carved out a successful career that has blended physics and the science of high performance computing. 
 A professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Boston University, Giles conducts computational science research on applications of parallel supercomputers to physics and materials problems. Giles also serves as a team leader for the Education, Outreach and Training Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (EOT-PACI), deputy director of the Boston University Center for Computational Science, and co-director of the Boston University MARINER project. From 1977 to 1983, Giles was an assistant professor of physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Since the late 1980s, Giles has turned his attention to issues relating to the digital divide. He, along with Dr. Bryant York and others, founded the Institute for African American E-Culture (IAAEC) to bring leading computer scientists, curriculum specialists and other prominent Black educational technologists together to develop innovative digital technology for education and economic empowerment of Black Americans.
“Many of us had been talking for years about how to create an organization to serve interests in the Black community instead of being isolated at our respective institutions,” Giles says.
 As executive director, Giles raises money and keeps an eye on the research being carried out by a team of IAAEC members who are faculty at various institutions around the nation. The National Science Foundation-funded group’s research is largely aimed at educational computing initiatives. 
In addition to leading IAAEC, Giles also will be serving as the general chairman of the SC2002 Conference, which is higher education’s premier supercomputing conference. Giles is the first African American chairman of the annual supercomputing meeting, which will be held in Baltimore in November. 
— By Ronald Roach



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