May 8 — The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin today 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, which are computer interfaces designed specifically to support a particular type of scientific research with an emphasis on supporting the entire scientific process from start to finish.
“I’ve always been passionate using web and cloud technologies to help advance science,” Dahan said. “Whether it’s helping researchers predict the next huge natural disaster, helping cure and detect diseases, or providing researchers with powerful data analysis infrastructure, our interfaces and services impact science by making researchers more efficient and accessible.”
ACI continues to grow its offerings of science-as-a-service capabilities from the web layer down to the cloud infrastructure, while expanding its reach to various communities and scientific domains.
“Maytal is a fantastic leader, and I couldn’t ask for someone more capable to run this critical aspect of the center,” said TACC Executive Director Dan Stanzione. “We’ve shown the impact supercomputers can have on literally thousands of research problems. ACI is about accessibility – making this powerful innovation capability usable to tens of thousands more people, regardless of their level of computational expertise, supercharging their productivity, and promoting reproducible science as well. Maytal and her team can really transform what ‘advanced computing’ means to most researchers.”
TACC’s ACI group plays a key role in many national initiatives including the NSF-funded eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) by leading the XSEDE web site, user portal, and online user documentation. XSEDE is a single virtual system that scientists use to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise. The ACI group also helps researchers find solutions to their problems through DesignSafe, a web-based research platform that provides computational tools needed to manage, analyze and understand data for natural hazards.
The focus for both web interfaces and cloud infrastructure is how to model the user’s interaction to meet their technical skill set and enable researchers to focus on the science instead of the technology, according to Dahan.
“The ACI team is helping to change the world by creating science gateways, tools and services to help researchers find solutions to their problems, execute their science more effectively, and solve their problems in ways that weren’t accessible before.”
In addition, the ACI group recently launched a four-month professional internship program focusing on individuals who want to become software developers in a high performance computing (HPC) environment. “It gives us a chance to shape and impact the next generation,” Dahan said. “Interns will actively collaborate to investigate the latest technologies by working alongside ACI developers to gain insights and expand web development skills.”
Dahan earned her master’s in Software Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin as well as a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of California San Diego. She has authored numerous papers and publications on subjects including science gateways, portal development, middleware, and application programming interfaces, also known as APIs. Before joining TACC, Maytal worked at the San Diego Supercomputer Center in the Grid Portals Architecture Group.
TACC designs and operates some of the world’s most powerful computing resources. The center’s mission is to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies. TACC’s environment includes a comprehensive cyberinfrastructure ecosystem of leading-edge resources in high performance computing, visualization, data analysis, storage, archive, cloud, data-driven computing, connectivity, tools, APIs, algorithms, consulting, and software.