New to NERSC
September 30, 2010
Praveen Narayanan, Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering
As the newest Computational Science and Engineering Petascale Initiative postdoctoral fellow at NERSC, Praveen Narayanan will be working with researchers in the Computational Research Division's Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering to run numerical experiments using high performance combustion solvers.
Narayanan earned a PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park. His research dealt with understanding non-premixed flame extinction using high performance computing and analytical means. Although he is new to NERSC, Narayanan has been using the facility's system for the past five years.
"I feel like a fish in water in my current position because of my interests in applied mathematics, computing and engineering. The environment could not be more favorable," says Narayanan. "The Berkeley Lab is filled with people who are experts in these aspects, from people who can devise efficient algorithms to solve differential equations, to people who can build systems that can run extremely scalable codes, and people who bring insight using assorted techniques such as data mining, experiments and mathematical analysis of governing equations."
Originally from India, Narayanan has lived in Delhi, Ranchi, Chennai and Bangalore. He came to the United States to pursue a doctorate degree in mechanical/fire protection engineering that the University of Maryland, College Park. In his spare time, Narayanan enjoys playing chess, bicycling, listen to Carnatic and western classical music, and reading.
Annette Greiner, NERSC Web Designer
This month Annette Greiner joins NERSC as a web designer and developer. In this role, she will be using the NEWT API to implement NERSC's science gateways.
Though Greiner is new to NERSC, she is no stranger to the Berkeley Lab. In the early 1990s, she built websites for the Advanced Light Source and the Joint Genome Institute (JGI). Realizing that she would need more training to build good, usable interfaces, Greiner left the Lab in 2008 to study human-computer interaction full time at UC Berkeley's School of Information. Here she gained experience in interaction design, visualization, aesthetics, usability, accessibility, even tangible computing.
Originally from Milford, Mich., Greiner's interest in computing sparked when she was a little girl visiting her father at work. "He was a systems analyst at an insurance company. After showing me the server room with its humming machinery and huge reels of magnetic tape, he set me up at a terminal and opened an editor. I spent most of the day in front of the CRT, enthralled," she says.
She completed her undergraduate education in biomedical science and theater at the University of Michigan, before moving to Chicago to help start a theater company called Theater Oobleck. Eventually, she and her husband Martin would migrate to San Francisco. Some of Greiner's hobbies include bicycling, hiking, knitting, dogs, and theater. In her spare time she volunteers for the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP), which provides accessible sports and recreation for people with physical disabilities. On October 16, she'll be riding in their "Revolution" bike ride, which raises funds for all BORP's programs. To sponsor her, please visit: http://bit.ly/48gzyL .
Hasan Metin Aktulga, Scientific Computing Group
|Hasan Metin Aktulga|
This month Hasan Metin Aktulga joins the Berkeley Lab's Scientific Computing Group as a NERSC Computational Science and Engineering Petascale Initiative postdoctoral fellow. In this new role, Aktulga will work with Iowa State University physicists to develop a code for large-scale nuclear structure calculations. He will analyze the performance profile and algorithmic complexity of their existing code, improve the current code's efficiency and reliability, and develop computational algorithms on petascale high performance computers for nuclear structure calculations.
While pursing a doctorate degree in Computer Science at Purdue University, Aktulga developed a parallel code for large-scale reactive molecular dynamic simulations called SerialReax. A native of Mugla, a city on the southwestern coast Turkey, Aktulga notes that this interest in computing sparked during his first week of high school at the Informatics Olympiads, where students are given three challenging programming questions and only five hours to find a solution.
"Until that point in my life, computers meant only games but I had always wondered what was going on behind the scenes. Informatics Olympiads gave me the chance to discover it. I eventually represented Turkey at IOI 2000 (International Olympiads in Informatics) in Beijing at my senior year in high school," says Aktulga.
Although he has only spent several weeks in the Bay Area, Aktulga is really enjoying the East Bay weather and views from the Berkeley Lab. In this spare time, he enjoys playing soccer and basketball, watching American football, reading Wired and spending time with this wife and kids.