Thursday, February 12, 2009

HSCC Testimonial: Mackale Joyner (Kansas City)

BDPA members sometimes lose sight of why our organization exists. We get so tied up with meetings, procedures and such that we forget the human lives that are being touched by our volunteer efforts and charitable donations. Our blog tries to put human faces on our efforts.

Take Dr. Mackale Joyner as an example. He recently shared his memory of the BDPA high school computer competition program.


The BDPA national computer competition was very exciting and the conference affirmed my desire to pursue a career in software engineering. I enjoyed learning a new language and spending months preparing for the competition. It was encouraging to see so many people at the competition with my background that shared similar interests. I would later learn that the BDPA national competition was a good experience for college, as I had to learn several new programming languages while in college in a short time span. I am greatly appreciative for all those involved in sending the Kansas City team to the national conference, especially our coaches who spent many hours helping us prepare for the competition.

The BDPA has made a vital impact in my education endeavors. After acceptance to Rice University, I had the opportunity to visit Rice during Owl weekend. Owl weekend is a weekend in April where all accepted high school seniors stay on campus to experience what college life is like at Rice. This is a good opportunity for seniors who have not decided on a college to experience what life might be like at a particular university. When I arrived at Rice, someone from the admission office greeted me. When I told her my name, she immediately identified me as the person who competed in a national computer programming competition. She was referring to the BDPA national competition that I competed in the summer after my junior year in high school. She went on to tell me that the competition really distinguished my application from others and was one of the main reasons why Rice accepted me. The door that the BDPA helped open at Rice subsequently led to other doors being opened, which enabled me to complete my PhD in Computer Science at Rice University.


Dr. Joyner was a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science at Rice University. His research advisor was the late Ken Kennedy. In fact, global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. selected Mackale as the first recipient of Cray's HPC graduate fellowship fund award in honor of the late Ken Kennedy. Mackale's research interests include developing compilation strategies for object-oriented languages in high-performance scientific computing.

He was simply a high schooler in Kansas City when BDPA met him. Now he is one of the top high performance computing experts in the world. Dr. Joyner is one of the reasons that BDPA exists! I hope that all BDPA members are smiling at his story as much as I am...

4 comments:

Matthew Lampkin (Hartford) said...

Great testimonial..It really shows what this organization is all about..Starting youth off early on the right path..With the proper work ethic and goals, our Youth can achieve great accomplishments.

Villager said...

Matthew - There are so many great BDPA stories. We just have to find energy to collect and share them with each other. I hope that this BDPA Foundation Blog is serving a good purpose in that regard.

Are you in touch with any of your HSCC alumni from Hartford? How about the young people from that won the national championship? Where are they today?

Matthew Lampkin (Hartford) said...

This year is actually our first year as a Chapter at making a huge effort to keep in touch with our college students, alumni. This is my 4th year with the chapter, so I am not sure how to find those students from back in the 90s. But rest assured we are doing as much as possible to to keep that link with our college students now that participated in HSCC. More stories to follow.

Villager said...

Matthew - We have been documenting HSCC alumni for the past few years. I will send you what we have for the Hartford HSCC alumni. I can share similiar information for any other interested chapter...