Davidovits and Middleton Share 2018 Howes Scholar Award

July 16, 2018

AMES, Iowa, July 16, 2018 — A theoretical plasma physicist and a computational biologist are co-winners of the 2018 Frederick A. Howes Scholar in Computational Science Award.

The honorees are Seth Davidovits, now a Department of Energy (DOE) Fusion Energy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, and Sarah Middleton, now with pharmaceutical maker GlaxoSmithKline. One or two recent graduates of the DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) are chosen for the award each year in recognition of their research accomplishments and outstanding leadership, integrity and character.

Howes, manager of the DOE Applied Mathematical Sciences Program, was an advocate for the fellowship and for computational science. Friends founded the award after his death in 1999 at age 51. A committee of DOE CSGF alumni and friends selects the honorees. The Krell Institute of Ames, Iowa, manages the fellowship and oversees the Howes Award.

Davidovits will receive an honorarium and engraved award and deliver a lecture at the DOE CSGF Annual Program Review in Arlington, Virginia, on July 16. Middleton will deliver her Howes lecture at the 2019 program review.

Davidovits, a fellow from 2010-14, earned his undergraduate degree in applied physics from Columbia University, where he first learned about modeling physical systems with computers. As a Princeton University graduate student, he developed new techniques to explore turbulent flow in plasma as it’s compressed – processes that occur in fusion experiments, in the generation of X-rays and in astrophysics. In particular, he described – through theory and computation – the interplay between turbulence and heat in these systems. Simulations he’s helped develop have shown that rapidly compressing flowing plasma quickly releases its turbulence as thermal energy, a phenomenon called sudden viscous dissipation. These results suggest ways to mitigate turbulence and harness it to boost efficiency in inertial confinement fusion and z-pinch experiments.

Middleton, a fellow from 2012 to 2016, discovered genetics and neuroscience as an undergraduate at The College of New Jersey and earned a double major in biology and computer science. As a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, she examined how the folding and location of RNA – the cell’s genetic-information translator – in brain cells seeds learning and memory. In lab work, she examined individual mouse neurons and isolated and sequenced RNA molecules within. She used her computational skills to analyze the resulting data sets and created (with advisor Junhyong Kim) NoFold, a program that rapidly locates and groups complex RNA patterns that could represent cellular signals.

Middleton also worked to spread her computational skills among her graduate student colleagues, creating an eight-session boot camp for biologists, aimed at scientists without programming knowledge and experience. The workshop was so successful Middleton had to turn away interested students for each of the three years she directed it. Penn’s Institute for Biomedical Informatics now offers an annual version of the course. During graduate school, Middleton also helped to create an online computational biology and genomics curriculum for high school students.

Davidovits has demonstrated physics concepts at the Plasma Science Expo during the annual American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics meeting, sparking kids’ interests with a Van de Graaff generator or the expansion and collapse of marshmallows under vacuum. This summer he’s supervising a Princeton undergraduate’s project examining plasma for mass separation as a potential nuclear-waste remediation strategy. Davidovits also tutors high school students through Princeton’s Community House After School Enrichment program, which assists underserved youth. He helps with homework problems and educational activities and has assisted students to navigate college selection and financial aid.

Davidovits, a native of Andover, Massachusetts, says he was always interested in science and began tinkering with programming languages as a child. He recently won the 2018 Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award from the American Physical Society. The honor recognizes “exceptional young scientists who have performed original thesis work of outstanding scientific quality and achievement in the area of plasma physics.”

Middleton, a New Jersey native, now works on a range of drug-discovery problems at GlaxoSmithKline, from identifying genes that cause diseases to classifying disease subtypes.

Source: Krell Institute

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Nvidia Debuts Turing Architecture, Focusing on Real-Time Ray Tracing

August 16, 2018

From the SIGGRAPH professional graphics conference in Vancouver this week, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang unveiled Turing, the company's next-gen GPU platform that introduces new RT Cores to accelerate ray tracing and new Tenso Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Coding: The Power of L(o)osing Control

August 16, 2018

Exascale roadmaps, exascale projects and exascale lobbyists ask, on-again-off-again, for a fundamental rewrite of major code building blocks. Otherwise, so they claim, codes will not scale up. Naturally, some exascale pr Read more…

By Tobias Weinzierl

STAQ(ing) the Quantum Computing Deck

August 16, 2018

Quantum computers – at least for now – remain noisy. That’s another way of saying unreliable and in diverse ways that often depend on the specific quantum technology used. One idea is to mitigate noisiness and perh Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Super Problem Solving

You might think that tackling the world’s toughest problems is a job only for superheroes, but at special places such as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, supercomputers are the real heroes. Read more…

NREL ‘Eagle’ Supercomputer to Advance Energy Tech R&D

August 14, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has contracted with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for a new 8-petaflops (peak) supercomputer that will be used to advance early-stage R&a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

STAQ(ing) the Quantum Computing Deck

August 16, 2018

Quantum computers – at least for now – remain noisy. That’s another way of saying unreliable and in diverse ways that often depend on the specific quantum Read more…

By John Russell

NREL ‘Eagle’ Supercomputer to Advance Energy Tech R&D

August 14, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has contracted with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for a new 8-petaflops (peak Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN Project Sees Orders-of-Magnitude Speedup with AI Approach

August 14, 2018

An award-winning effort at CERN has demonstrated potential to significantly change how the physics based modeling and simulation communities view machine learni Read more…

By Rob Farber

Intel Announces Cooper Lake, Advances AI Strategy

August 9, 2018

Intel's chief datacenter exec Navin Shenoy kicked off the company's Data-Centric Innovation Summit Wednesday, the day-long program devoted to Intel's datacenter Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SLATE Update: Making Math Libraries Exascale-ready

August 9, 2018

Practically-speaking, achieving exascale computing requires enabling HPC software to effectively use accelerators – mostly GPUs at present – and that remain Read more…

By John Russell

Summertime in Washington: Some Unexpected Advanced Computing News

August 8, 2018

Summertime in Washington DC is known for its heat and humidity. That is why most people get away to either the mountains or the seashore and things slow down. H Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

NSF Invests $15 Million in Quantum STAQ

August 7, 2018

Quantum computing development is in full ascent as global backers aim to transcend the limitations of classical computing by leveraging the magical-seeming prop Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

By the Numbers: Cray Would Like Exascale to Be the Icing on the Cake

August 1, 2018

On its earnings call held for investors yesterday, Cray gave an accounting for its latest quarterly financials, offered future guidance and provided an update o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17


AMD @ SC17


ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack



DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17


IBM @ SC17


IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17


Lenovo @ SC17


Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17


Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17


Tyan @ SC17


Univa @ SC17


  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This