HPC Career Notes: May 2020 Edition

By Mariana Iriarte

May 1, 2020

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!


Yuichiro Ajima

Yuichiro Ajima was selected for the Medal with Purple Ribbon in the 2020 Spring Conferment for his contributions to science and technology in Japan. A senior architect within Fujitsu’s System Development division, Ajima was selected for his work in the “Development of high-dimensional interconnect technology for massively parallel computers” project. He developed a way to construct large-scale parallel computers by connecting processors at a high dimension. The tech was integrated into supercomputer Fugaku and K computer, and the Fujitsu Supercomputer PRIMEHPC FX1000.

The Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon is awarded to individuals in Japan who contribute to scientific fields and have outstanding accomplishments in academics, arts and culture, or sports.

Maria Balcan

Maria Florina “Nina” Balcan received the 2019 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award for her contributions to minimally-supervised learning. Balcan is an associate professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Balcan’s work in machine learning has solved long-lasting open problems and enabled research for modern AI systems

The award recognizes young computer professional of the year, who are 35 years of age or less at the time the contribution was made. They are selected based on a recent significant technical or service contribution. Balcan will receive a prize of $35,000.

Paul Cormier

Red Hat’s Paul Cormier succeeds current IBM President Jim Whitehurst as president and chief executive officer of Red Hat. Cormier previously served as Red Hat’s president of Products and Technologies and has been with the company since 2001. During his tenure at Red Hat, Cormier has spearheaded over 25 acquisitions and assisted with developing a full and modern IT stack.

“When I joined Red Hat, it would have been impossible to predict how Linux and open source would change our world, but they are truly everywhere,” Cormier said. “The transformations I see happening in our industry are exciting, as they present new challenges and opportunities. The opportunity for Red Hat has never been bigger than it is today, and I am honored to lead the company to help our customers solve their challenges and to keep Red Hat at the forefront of innovation.”

Ed Fiore and Bruno Hald

Quantum Corp. announced the addition and promotion of Ed Fiore and Bruno Hald, respectively, establishing two general manager positions with P&L responsibility to lead the company’s primary and secondary storage product lines. Fiore will serve as VP and GM of Quantum’s Primary Storage division. He was a co-founder of Atavium before it was acquired by Quantum, where he developed source code and intellectual property and will continue to do so under his new role of VP and GM at Quantum.

Bruno Hald was promoted to VP and GM of the company’s Second Storage division. He has been with Quantum for over 25 years and currently leads the engineering teams for the archive and data protection product portfolio. AS VP and GM, he will use his experience to address customer’s needs in the secondary storage space.

Bethany Goldblum

Bethany L. Goldblum was selected as the 2020 recipient of the Krell Institute’s James Corones Award in Leadership, Community Building, and Communication. Goldblum is a research engineer at the Department of Nuclear Engineering and executive director of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium. She is a nuclear scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also the Nuclear Policy Working Group’s founder and director and leads the Bay Area Neutron Group.

Goldblum was chosen for her contributions to nuclear physics and nonproliferation. She was also selected for her mentorship of early-career scientists and her support for science communication. Goldblum will accept an engraved award and $2,000 honorarium at a ceremony to scheduled to be held later in the year.

Dave Gwyn  and Keith Moran

Nutanix announced the promotions of Dave Gwyn and Keith Moran. Gwyn was promoted to the newly created position of worldwide sales chief operating officer, while Moran was promoted to senior vice president of sales of the Americas. Moran and Gwyn will be responsible for helping to drive the company’s go-to-market sales and operations, and at the same time, transition the company to a subscription business model.

Moran started at Nutantix about six years ago as a regional sales director. He has over a 20-year career in technology sales and holds a B.A. from College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. Gwyn started at Nutnatux as director of federal sales over eight years ago. He was promoted to worldwide sales chief operating officer from his most recent position as senior VP of sales in the U.S. West, East, Public Sector, and Latin America. He started his sales career at companies such as Sybase, BEA, and VMware.

Brice Hill

Xilinx, Inc. appointed Brice Hill to the position of executive vice president and chief financial officer. Under these new roles, Hill will oversee all aspects of the financial management of the company. He brings over 30 years of experience in finance. He comes from a 25-year career at Intel, where he held the role of CFO and COO within the Technology, Systems and Core Engineering Group, where he managed the financial aspects of the company’s manufacturing, research and development, and product engineering operations.

“Xilinx has impressed me with its leadership team, vision, long-term growth strategy, and broad portfolio of differentiated technologies in adaptive computing, from the cloud, to edge, to endpoint devices,” Hill said. “I can’t imagine a more exciting time to join Xilinx. I look forward to the opportunities ahead.”

Sarit Kraus

The Association for Computing Machinery selected Sarit Kraus for the 2020-2021 ACM Athena Lecturer Award. She was recognized for her contributions to artificial intelligence, especially to multi-agent systems, human-agent interaction, autonomous agents, and nonmonotonic reasoning. She is also recognized for her service as an educator and mentor, and for her conference, editorial, and leadership roles.

Kraus is a professor of Computer Science at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. She will receive a cash prize of $25,000 for the award, with financial backing from Two Sigma. She will also give an invited talk at a major ACM conference of her choice. The ACM Athena Lecturer Award started in 2006 to recognize women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science.

Stuart Levy

Stuart Levy, a senior research programmer at the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, won the Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence Award for his contributions to scientific visualization. Levy has held the role of senior research programmer at NCSA since 1997. He’s focused his work on the convergence of technology, design, and dense science.

The Council of Academic Professionals forms the committee to evaluate all those nominated and select six recipients for the CAPE Award. Nominees are judged on work, personal, and professional contributions. Selected winners receive a $1,000 prize, a commemorative plaque, and will be honored at a reception hosted by the Chancellor.

Dan Martin

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project tapped Dan Martin as the team lead for the ECP’s Earth and Space within the Application Development area. Martin is a computational scientist and group lead for the Applied Numerical Algorithms Group in Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division. He will be the team lead for the ECP’s Earth and Space Science project portfolio that includes ExaSky, ExaStar, EQSIM, and E3SM-MMF.

“One of the exciting promises of the coming exascale age is the expertise to push our ability to do science into places that were inaccessible until now,” Martin said. “I’m excited that my role in ECP will support the practical development of this capability to study specific scientific problems.”

Michael Papka

Northern Illinois University selected Michael E. Papka as a 2020 Presidential Research, Scholarship, and Artistry Professor. Papka is the director of the Data, Devices, and Interaction Laboratory (ddiLab). He is considered an expert in supercomputing and big data visualization. He is an NIU alumnus and serves as division director of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility.

“That experience ultimately led to me to Argonne and to my career as a scientist, and later on, as a decision-maker at the laboratory,” Papka said. “I decided to return to an academic setting because I know how early exposure to research opportunities can put students on a path to a successful research career—and we need more bright minds involved in the research.”

Daniela Rus

Daniela Rus, an MIT Professor and director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, was tapped to serve on the president’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Rus is the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and the deputy dean of research for the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing.

“I’m grateful to be able to add my perspective as a computer scientist to this group at a time when so many issues involving AI and other aspects of computing raise important scientific and policy questions for the nation and the world,” Rus said.

Angela Wilkins

Angela Wilkins joins Rice University’s Ken Kennedy Institute as executive director. She replaces Jan Odegard, who recently left to take the role of senior director at the Ion. She is the founder of Mercury Data Science and has served as director of clinical research at the Center for Science & Law. Wilkins holds four patents, has also served as chief scientist at Mercure Fund, and had an advisory role for the Texas Medical Center Startup Accelerator.

“I am very excited to be working with Lydia to continue the success of the Ken Kennedy Institute, especially at such an interesting time,” said Wilkins, who took over the post during the coronavirus lockdown. “The first week has been hectic,” she admitted. “But Jan and team have been amazing helping me catch up — and I’m looking forward to eventually seeing my office!”

Elena Zokhidova

Tachyum Inc. promoted Elena Zokhidova to vice president of finance from senior director. Zokhidova joined Tachyum in June 2019 and is credited with boosting the company’s revenue. She is credited with the successful closing of Tachyum’s series A funding round and the completion of several corporate government transactions.

Before Tachyum, Zokhidova served as the financial business controller of Nvidia’s GeForce business unit. Prior, Zokhidova was the FBC at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). She is a graduate of the Tashkent Financial Institute in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

To read last month’s edition of Career Notes, click here.

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

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