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Women's History Month, 2017: Mariam Kiran

March 24, 2017


Mariam Kiran

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Mariam Kiran joined ESnet in 2016 as a research scientist working on intent-based networking and engineering intelligent networks for optimizing performance and user experience. Before coming to Berkeley Lab, she was an associate professor at University, focused on software engineering, cloud computing and infrastructure-related issues. She earned a Ph.D. in computer science in 2010 and a master's degree in software engineering in 2007, both from the University of Sheffield.

Why drew you to working at ESnet?
A number of things actually. Initially I found that ESnet as a science networks division was well placed at the intersection of computing problems. Some of the problems they were investigating were very similar to what I was looking at such as multi-domain computations and processing data at speeds. After working here, I find more new problems to investigate and plus you have the resources and use cases to explore them here.

What are some of your proudest achievements?
Since joining, I’ve been working with the research team to develop our prototype tool INDIRA, which allows intent to be automatically rendered onto wide area networks. It is a new and exciting area of research and feel there will be great potential uses coming out from it.

What is your favorite thing about working at ESnet or at the lab in general?
The atmosphere is great. Everyone works well together and they support each other in their ideas and efforts. You end up enjoying coming to work.

What are some of the challenges you have faced being a woman in what has traditionally been a male-dominated field?
I find the first impressions are the hardest to be good. And you have to work hard to improve these in subsequent meetings.

What lessons have you learned along the way that you would share with other women thinking about working in this field, or in a science/technology/engineering position in general?
A bit recurrent theme, work hard and work smart. Identify the main goals important to yourself and work hard on them. This helps you prioritize your tasks. Recently I have found women groups doing meet-up discussions and found them to be useful. They discuss all kinds of experiences and how to cope in situations. I would recommend attending these if possible.

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 7,000-plus 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 Department of Energy 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.