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Computer Scientist Horst Simon Named Deputy Director for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

September 13, 2010

Contact: Pamela Patterson, pjpatterson@lbl.gov, 510-486-4045

BERKELEY, CA—Horst Simon, an internationally recognized expert in computer science and applied mathematics, has been named Deputy Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

"Horst is a strong leader who has helped to lead a tremendously productive program in high performance computing that is world-class," said Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos. “As Deputy Director he'll help me lead major scientific initiatives, oversee strategic research investments, and maintain the intellectual vitality of Berkeley Lab."

Prior to this appointment, Simon served as Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences. In his capacity as Associate Lab Director, Simon helped to establish Berkeley Lab as a world leader in providing supercomputing resources to support research in fields ranging from global climate modeling to astrophysics. He is also an adjunct professor in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. In that role he worked to bring the Lab and the campus closer together, developing a designated graduate emphasis in computational science and engineering. In addition, he has worked with project managers from the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and other agencies, helping researchers define their project requirements and solve technical challenges.

Simon joined Berkeley Lab in early 1996 as director of the newly formed National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), and was one of the key architects in establishing NERSC at its new location at Berkeley Lab. Under his leadership NERSC enabled important discoveries for research across a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines. Simon was also the founding director of Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division, which conducts applied research and development in computer science, computational science, and applied mathematics.

Simon’s research interests are in the development of sparse matrix algorithms, algorithms for large-scale eigenvalue problems, and domain decomposition algorithms for unstructured domains for parallel processing. His algorithm research efforts were honored with the 1988 and the 2009 Gordon Bell Prize for parallel processing research. He was also member of the NASA team that developed the NAS Parallel Benchmarks, a widely used standard for evaluating the performance of massively parallel systems. He is co-editor of the biannual TOP500 list that tracks the most powerful supercomputers worldwide, as well as related architecture and technology trends.

He holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the Technische Universtät, in Berlin, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley. Simon succeeds Jay Keasling, who served as interim Deputy Director. Keasling will return to his duties as Chief Executive Officer of the Joint BioEnergy Institute.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides solutions to the world’s most urgent scientific challenges including clean energy, climate change, human health, and a better understanding of matter and force in the universe. The Lab is a world leader in improving our lives and knowledge of the world around us through innovative science, advanced computing and technology that makes a difference. Berkeley Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the DOE Office of Science. Visit our website.


About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 6,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.