HPC Career Notes

By Oliver Peckham

June 4, 2018

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!

Julian Borrill

Berkeley Lab’s Julian Borrill has been elected co-spokesperson of a next-generation ground-based experiment to study the Cosmic Microwave Background of the Big Bang. The experiment is a collaboration between a number of universities and federal scientific research agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Being elected co-spokesperson is a tremendous honor. CMB-S4 is intended to be the definitive ground-based CMB project, but it will present enormous engineering and data challenges,” says Borrill, who leads the Computational Cosmology Center (C3) in Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division. Borrill also has a joint appointment at UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory.

Tony Chan

KAUST has appointed Dr. Tony Chan as its third president, to assume office on September 1, 2018. Chan joins KAUST after nearly a decade as president of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Chan has been a close partner of KAUST since 2007, when he hosted the founding team of the university for meetings in Washington, D.C. as assistant director of the U.S. National Science Foundation. He has been a member of the KAUST board of trustees since 2011 and, while he was the president of HKUST, he hosted the board of trustees for a meeting in Hong Kong.

“Leading an institution like KAUST is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I look forward to playing a role in not only the next chapter of the university, but in the new era of innovation for Saudi Arabia,” said Chan. “My deep history with KAUST and in higher education has allowed me to see firsthand the significant way the University has influenced the global research agenda, and I believe we are only at the beginning of a bright future.”

Maytal Dahan

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin has announced that Maytal Dahan has been promoted to the position of director of Advanced Computing Interfaces (ACI), which includes the Web and Mobile Applications (WMA) and Cloud and Interactive Computing (CIC) groups, where she will direct the overall strategy and management of science gateways and cloud services.

Dahan most recently served as the manager of Portal and Gateways Infrastructure and has been with the center for 16 years. Dahan is currently a co-principal investigator on multiple National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded projects, including the Science Gateways Community Institute, a $15 million dollar project to promote and engage science gateways.

Yutong Lu

The organizers of ISC High Performance have appointed Prof. Yutong Lu, of the National Supercomputing Center in Guangzhou, China, as the ISC 2019 program chair. As program chair, Prof. Lu is working closely with the ISC program team to define the ISC 2019 topics, while also leading the 2019 steering committee, spearheading the effort to further elevate the value of ISC High Performance for the HPC community.

Lu is the director of National Supercomputing Center in Guangzhou, China. She is also the professor in the School of Computer Science at Sun Yat-sen University, as well as at the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). Her extensive research and development work has spanned several generations of domestic supercomputers in China, which includes her role as the deputy chief designer of the Tianhe supercomputers. She is also leading a number of HPC and big data projects under the support of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Guangdong Province. Her current research interest includes large-scale storage systems, high performance computing, and computer architecture.

Cherri Pancake

The Association for Computing Machinery has elected Cherri M. Pancake as president for a two-year term beginning July 1. Pancake is Professor Emeritus and Intel Faculty Fellow of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University and Director of the Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering (NACSE). She is well known for her involvement with the ACM/IEEE SC (Supercomputing) Conference; she was general chair of SC99 and has held numerous other positions.

As ACM President, Pancake hopes to proactively engage researchers, educators and practitioners in emerging areas of computing through providing conference and publication opportunities that will help drive advances in their fields.

Amanda Randles

Amanda Randles will receive the 2017 Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) at a banquet on June 23 in San Francisco. The association is recognizing Randles, a Duke University assistant professor of biomedical engineering, for developing HARVEY, a massively parallel fluid dynamics simulation of red blood cells moving through the human arterial system. The model, mapping 500 billion fluid points on 1.6 million processors, will provide physicians with new tools to diagnose, prevent and treat disease.

“Amanda has remained keenly aware of the need to translate computational results into actionable data doctors can use to improve patient outcomes and has continued to build collaborations that will allow her use this new computational capability to bridge the gap from the computer to the clinic,” the ACM citation says. “Her cross-disciplinary approach will yield new insights into efficient fluid flow simulations for complex multiscale systems that will be useful well beyond blood flow simulations.” Randles earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and computer science from Duke before earning a master’s in computer science and a doctorate in applied physics, both from Harvard University.

Daniel A. Reed

Daniel A. Reed, Ph.D., has been named senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Utah. Reed, who currently serves on the faculty at the University of Iowa, will start on July 1. At Iowa, Reed holds the university’s computational science and bioinformatics chair and is a professor of computer science, electrical and computer engineering and medicine. From 2012 through 2017, he served as the school’s vice president for research and economic development. Reed is a former corporate vice president and technology policy leader at Microsoft, the founding director of the Renaissance Computing Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was the director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois.

“Dan is an exceptional addition to the university’s leadership team and the thought leadership of our state,” said university President Ruth V. Watkins. “He is a talented scholar and administrator and the perfect fit in our efforts to become one of the country’s premier public universities. I look forward to working closely with him in the years ahead.”

Mark Stickells

Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has announced the appointment of Mark Stickells as the new new director of the Centre, effect July 16, 2018. Mark is an experienced executive and company director with more than 20 years’ involvement in joint ventures, R&D and collaborative industry research programs. Mark’s most recent tenure was Director of Innovation and Industry Engagement at The University of Western Australia (UWA) where he led the development and stewardship of university partnerships with industry, governments and communities.  Previously he was the Director of the Energy and Minerals Institute and CEO of the WA Energy Research Alliance.

“I am both excited and humbled by the opportunity to join Pawsey and would like to thank the joint venture partners for their support,” said Mark Stickells, “Pawsey has a tremendous foundation upon which to build and I am looking forward to joining the team in July.”

Xiaoxang Zhu

PRACE has announced that Dr. Xiaoxang Zhu, of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany, is the winner of the 2018 PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for HPC for her outstanding contributions and impact on HPC in Europe. She is the professor for Signal Processing in Earth Observation (SiPEO) at TUM and head of Department EO Data Science at the Remote Sensing Technology Institute of DLR.

“Winning the PRACE Ada Lovelace award is not only important for my research, in particular,” Zhu commented. “By signaling that Earth observation is becoming a central application field of HPC, it should also encourage young women to become scientists in HPC, or generally in STEM fields.”


Do you know someone that should be included in next month’s list? If so, send us an email at oliver@taborcommunications.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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