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XSEDE Names 2016 Campus Champions Fellows

XSEDE names 2016 Campus Champion Fellows

Five Fellows paired with cyberinfrastructure experts for a year

The National Science Foundation's Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) program has named the fifth cohort of Fellows for its Campus Champions (CC) program, pairing a Champion with a member of XSEDE's Extended Collaborative Support Services (ECSS) staff to work on real-world science and engineering projects for about one year.
Campus Champions are local faculty, staff and researchers at over 200 U.S. institutions who advise researchers on the use of high-end cyberinfrastructure (including XSEDE resources) at their respective campuses. The goal of the CC Fellows program is to increase expertise on campuses by including CCs as partners in XSEDE's ECSS projects.
"The CC Fellows program provides a unique opportunity for a select group of individuals to learn firsthand about the application of high-end cyberinfrastructure to a diverse range of science and engineering challenges," said Nancy Wilkins-Diehr, co-principal investigator with XSEDE and an associate director with the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego. "Under the XSEDE program, we have brought together some of the best expertise in high-end computing applications, and we are excited about the new program to broaden the impact of that expertise."
Five Fellows have been selected to participate in the first round of the XSEDE CC Fellows program:
  • Emily Dragowsky, a research computing technologist in the Advanced Research Computing Group, Information Technology Services at Case Western Reserve University, paired with David Bock, a senior visualization programmer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dragowsky is an experimental and computational physics researcher who is interested in enhancing her understanding of XSEDE resources to provide improved service to the Case Western community. Dragowsky and Bock are supporting PI Doron Kushnir's project simulating collisions of white dwarfs. Kushnir is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Collisions of white dwarfs are an important component in understanding the expansion of the universe. The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) Stampede supercomputer will be used as a resource for this project.
  • Xinlian Liu, an associate professor in the department of computer science at Hood College, paired with David Walling, a software developer at the TACC, University of Texas, Austin. They are supporting principal investigator Christopher Warren, an associate professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University. Working with Walling, Liu will build skills interfacing with colleagues in the digital humanities while contributing computer science expertise. The Bridges system at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) will be used for this project.
  • Francesco Pontiggia, research computing specialist at Brandeis University, paired with Rich Knepper,manager of campus bridging and research infrastructure at Indiana University. Their project focuses on creating job submission, data transfer and other tools to bridge between campuses and XSEDE.
  • Jack Smith, a research staff member with Marshall University and cyberinfrastructure coordinator at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, paired with Lan Zhao, a senior analyst/programmer at the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing at Purdue University. Smith has extensive experience in many programming areas, as well as chemistry and material science, and would like to learn more about science gateways. They are working on the WaterHUB project of PI Venkat Merwade, an associate professor of civil engineering at Purdue. WaterHUB, a science gateway for sharing hydrologic data and modeling tools in an interactive environment. The Comet supercomputer at SDSC will be used for this work.
  • Tsai-wei Wu, a data visualization specialist at Purdue, paired with Sudhakar Pamidighantam, a principal software engineer in the Research Technologies division at Indiana University. Wu has experience with MPI, differential equations and Fourier methods, and would like to learn additional skills such as adaptive multigrid schemes, code optimization or 3D visualization. They are working on the project of PI Zhen Guan, visiting assistant professor of math at University of California Irvine to study 2D semiconductors and their heterostructures. The Stampede supercomputer at TACC will be used for this work.
Accepted Fellows, with the support of their home institution, make a 400-hour time commitment and are paid a stipend to allow them to focus time and attention on these collaborations. The program also includes funding for two visits, each ranging from one to two weeks, to an ECSS site to enhance the collaboration. Most Fellows and mentors will meet at XSEDE16, July 17-21 in Miami. Fellows will present their work at XSEDE17.
"The Fellows will expand their influence even further by creating a network of individuals with these unique skill sets," added Wilkins-Diehr. "In addition to the technical knowledge gleaned from their experiences, the individual Fellows will benefit from their personal interactions with the ECSS staff and will acquire the skills necessary to manage similar projects on their own campuses."
Further information on the Campus Champions Fellows program is online at