IDEAS4HPC – co-founded by Prof. Florina Ciorba becomes Swiss Chapter of Women in HPC Advocacy Group to promote Gender Equality in High-Performance-Computing


The four founders of IDEAS4HPC.

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated annually on February 11th. The objective of this annual celebration is to raise awareness about the need to increase the participation of women and girls in scientific fields and reduce gender disparity in all areas of scientific endeavors. This day highlights the achievements of women in science and encourages young girls to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Professor Florina Ciorba, who leads the Higher Performance Computing Group at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Basel, is one of the four founding members of the IDEAS4HPC Association, which in January 2023 became the Swiss chapter of the Women in HPC (WHPC) advocacy group. IDEAS4HPC aims to encourage women to participate in the HPC community. Florina Ciorba also serves as the diversity representative of her Department. Alongside her the Swiss chapter was co-founded by Maria Girone, the Chief Technology Officer of CERN openlab, Sadaf Alam from the University of Bristol in the UK and formerly from the Swiss National Computing Centre, and Marie-Christine Sawley from the International Centre for Earth Simulation and formerly from both the CMS experiment and Intel.

The IDEAS4HPC Association, was established in June 2022 by the leading female computer scientists mentioned above. The association’s main goals include building a diverse and inclusive HPC workforce, promoting the benefits of inclusivity, raising awareness about the under-representation of women in HPC, highlighting diversity and inclusivity initiatives, and inspiring key stakeholders in the HPC community to embrace diversity and inclusivity.

Over the next three years, the chapter plans to provide targeted scholarships, support for participation in top conferences, run training sessions for mentors, and organize events to promote inclusivity and diversity in HPC. The first events include a mini-symposium about “Breaking the Silos to Enhance HPC impact” at the Platform for Advanced Scientific Computing Conference (PASC23) in Davos, Switzerland in June. Florina Ciorba and the other Swiss chapter members will work together to achieve their goals and promote gender equality in the field of high-performance computing.

“I always found diversity to enrich the technical work and culture of the teams and institutions I’ve been part of. Inclusion and equity follow suit. The founding of IDEAS4HPC and the creation of the Swiss Chapter of Women in HPC lay the foundations for an inclusive, diverse and equitable HPC community in Switzerland in general, as well as at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and at the University of Basel” says Florina Ciorba.


At the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, the student-run association We Are Computer Science is committed to increasing diversity and equal opportunities in Computer Science.