Rosa M. Badia is the manager of the Workflows and Distributed computing group at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and the eFlows4HPC coordinator. She is also a lecturer at the Computer Architecture Department (DAC) at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC)
In this interview, Rosa talks about her long experience as a woman in STEM and as the eFlows4HPC coordinator.
- How did you become interested in computer science? What influenced your decision in taking this career path?
When I was a child, computers did not exist, or at least I did not know that they existed since they were not common, but I was always interested in technology. I got a calculator as a present and I was very excited about it. I was playing with it and disassembling it all the time looking for inside circuits. When I chose my studies for university, I considered multiple science grades but finally I chose computer science because of my interest in technology.
- How has your experience as a woman studying and working in STEM been? Have you faced any challenges?
I have not faced any special challenges for being a woman. I always counted with the support of my family. I do not think that I have faced any particular difficulties than any of my male colleagues. In fact and thanks to the gender balance issues, I think I got better opportunities compared to others.
- What inspired you to conceptualise, create and coordinate the eFlows4HPC project and how has this experience been so far?
We had been involved in the Big data and extreme-scale computing (BDEC) initiative for several years discussing the need for convergence of HPC, Big data and Artificial Intelligence. We realised the need for tools that support the development of workflows for these three disciplines. Thanks to those meetings, I suggested coming up with a BSC-coordinated project proposal that nowadays is the eFlows4HPC project.
- What message would you give to young girls and women who are interested in pursuing a career in STEM?
Well, I would like to encourage young girls and women to use and dedicate their lives to technology. It is a fact that girls have a very good academic performance in technology careers. I have to admit that they have to work hard as these types of technological and scientific careers require lots of effort but they should forget about being a minority as I believe that they can do very well.