HPC Career Notes: July 2019 Edition

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high-performance computing community. Whether it’s a promotion, new company hire, or even an accolade, we’ve got the details. Check in each month for an updated list and you may even come across someone you know, or better yet, yourself!


Chelsea Harris

Chelsea Harris, a postdoctoral researcher in astronomy and astrophysics at Michigan State University, has been named a recipient of the Frederick A. Howes Scholar in Computational Science Award. Her research focused on Type IA supernovae – she used simulations to examine how they interact with the gas surrounding them to better understand the stars that spawned them in the first place.

Harris – an alumna of the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship – earned her undergraduate degree in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her master’s and doctoral degrees in astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley. She also coordinates the Stellar Mentorship program at Michigan State.

Na Meng

Na Meng, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Meng’s project, titled “Data-Driven Debugging of Complex Program Changes,” funded at $500,000, will span five years with the goals of increasing programmer productivity and improving software reliability.

“This project addresses this problem by helping computers and developers better understand, check, and apply complex changes,” Meng said. “The project’s novelties are new methods and tools to characterize, model, validate, and suggest complex changes.”

Adam Riesselman

Adam Riesselman, a machine learning engineer at Insitro (a Bay Area drug discovery company), has also been named a recipient of the Frederick A. Howes Scholar in Computational Science Award. Riesselman’s research has used computation to connect DNA sequences with the physical traits or diseases they produce. His machine-learning models group and categorize families of biological data to understand which genetic mutations are beneficial or neutral versus those that are harmful.

Riesselman – another alumnus of the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship – received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Drake University and his doctorate in biomedical informatics from Harvard University. Riesselman also represented computational biology at career fairs for the Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program (HPREP).

Brent Schroeder

SUSE has announced that Brent Schroeder has been named global chief technology officer to lead SUSE’s Office of the CTO. Schroeder has more than 25 years of technology and development experience in the IT industry, including work at Quest Software, Dell, NCR, HP and Compaq. He received bachelor’s degrees in computer science and business management from Iowa State University.

“The Office of the CTO has been a key part of SUSE’s success in behalf of our customers and industry initiatives,” Schroeder said. “As we navigate and select from the many difference-making technologies affecting the enterprise, I anticipate an even greater focus on driving digital transformation with computing solutions that span the edge to the core data center to the cloud.”

Michael Zentner

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) has announced the appointment of Michael Zentner as director of Sustainable Scientific Software. Zentner joins SDSC following nine years with Purdue University, where he was an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Purdue Foundry and a senior research scientist. Zentner continues as a senior research scientist and director of the HUBzero Platform for Science and Engineering.

“Michael brings with him a wealth of expertise and insight that will be of strong value to SDSC, UC San Diego, and the national academic research and data science community,” said SDSC Director Michael Norman. “He will be an asset as SDSC addresses the challenges of supporting its software and services in a financially and reputationally sustainable manner. Michael has significant experience in developing startups out of the university, and will assist SDSC in creating new services and partnerships with the private sector and other funders.”

ACM SIGHPC Election Results

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has announced the results of its ACM SIGHPC election for the July 2019 to June 2022 term. SIGHPC will be chaired by John West, the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). The vice chair will be Ron Perrott, a visiting professor at the University of Oxford’s e-Research Centre. The treasurer will be Christine Elizabeth Harvey, Lead High Performance & Analytic Computing Engineer at the MITRE Corporation. Finally, Torsten Hoefler (of ETH Zurich) and Michela Taufer (of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville) will serve as at-large members.

Atos Joseph Fourier Award Winners

The 1st Prize winners in the Numerical Simulation category.

Atos and GENCI have announced the winners of the 2019 Atos Joseph Fourier Award, which aims to accelerate research and innovation by rewarding projects in the fields of numerical simulation and AI.

Numerical Simulation

  • 1st Prize: Professor Elie Hachem and his team at Mines ParisTech, for his work on parallel anisotropic meshing and immersed methods for high fidelity computational mechanics.
  • 2nd Prize: Dominique Aubert and Pierre Ocvirk, from Strasbourg University, and their team, for the GARLHYC project (GAlaxies and Reionization simuLations using HYbrid Computing).

Artificial Intelligence

  • 1st Prize: Pierre Yves Oudeyer, Research Director at INRIA Bordeaux, for his project on Deep Curiosity-driven Autonomous Machine Learning.
  • GENCI Special Prize: Filippo Vicentini and Alberto Biella, from Paris Diderot University, who have developed an algorithm which creates a link between AI and quantum physics, increasing the simulation capabilities of future generations of computers.

“It’s really exciting to see such high-quality projects in the fields of HPC and AI,” said Sophie Proust, Group CTO at Atos. “I’d like to congratulate all the scientists and researchers for their hard work and innovative ideas. At Atos we’re proud to be supporting innovations that will lead to tangible industrial applications.”

ORNL Crossroads Fellows

Oak Ridge National Laboratory welcomed seven technology innovators to join the third cohort of Innovation Crossroads, the Southeast’s only entrepreneurial research and development program based at a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory. Selected through a merit-based process, these scientists and engineers will have the opportunity to advance their technologies by working with world-class science experts and unique capabilities at ORNL, such as Summit, the nation’s most powerful supercomputer.

The fellows include:

  • Jesse Thornburg: Learning-Based Monitoring and Control for Optimizing Commercial Refrigeration Operations
  • Alex Lewis: Microbial Electrolysis for Production of Renewable Hydrogen from Organic Waste
  • Leila Safavi-Tehrani: Advanced Production of High Purity Radioisotopes for Nuclear Medicine
  • Hicham Ghossein: Innovative Processing of Advanced Fiber Nonwoven Mats Through a Hydroentanglement System
  • Trevor McQueen: Next-Generation Sample Preparation Device for Cryo-TEM Studies
  • William Fitzhugh: Industrial Scale Production of Semiconducting Carbon-Nanotubes via Resonant-Dielectrophoresis
  • Jesse Claypoole: Advanced Multi-Spectral Light Field Imaging Sensors

The CEO of Numerical Algorithms Group

Dr. Rob Meyer, the current CEO of Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG), is stepping down later this year after a “long and successful tenure.” NAG is now searching for “an experienced and highly capable individual to lead NAG through the next stage of its development.”

“The appointed candidate will bring a successful track record as a commercially astute senior leader and will be a demonstrably capable manager of people and resources,” writes NAG. “The ability to lead through consensus is essential. This is a rare and exciting opportunity to lead and shape a specialist and highly respected software company.”

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