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New Employee Profiles - March 2014

March 1, 2014

Ariful Azad, Future Technologies Group

Ariful Azad

As the newest postdoctoral research fellow in Berkeley Lab Computational Research Division’s Future Technologies Group, Ariful Azad will develop efficient parallel graph algorithms for computing clusters with thousands of processing units. He notes that these algorithms will have applications in analyzing biological networks—like neuron communications in brains and protein interactions—as well as social networks, image recognition and more.

“This work is challenging because of the irregular communications patters in analyzing large graphs and the presence of sequential computations in serial algorithms,” says Azad.

He notes that entertainment (gamming and watching movies) drew him to computers initially, but his undergraduate computer science classes at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology sparked his interest in programming. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in computer science, he moved to West Lafayette, Indiana to work toward a PhD at Purdue University. Internships at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the summers of 2010 and 2011 inspired him to pursue a career at a U.S. National Laboratory—Berkeley Lab was one of his top choices.

A native of Sirajganj, Bangladesh, Azad enjoys the Bay Area weather and diverse academic environment. In his spare time, he likes to travel, watch movies and play indoor games.

Antony Courtney, ESnet

Antony Courtney

This month, Antony Courtney returns to Berkeley Lab as a part time project scientist with ESnet. In this role, Courtney will develop web-based visualization and analysis tools for time-series data. This will allow ESnet staff, the network’s end users and the broader scientific community to understand, optimize and manage network utilization.

“The real start of my programming career was right here at Berkeley Lab. Bill Johnston hired me as a student assistant when I was an awkward, precocious 14-year old Berkeley High School Student. Over the next three years, I got tremendous guidance, mentorship and opportunities from Bill and Brian Tierney, among others,” says Courtney. “I can’t overstate the magnitude of the opportunities and experiences I had then or how valuable they were to my later career.”

After high school and his Berkeley Lab internship, Courtney earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. After a brief stint working at startups in Silicon Valley in the mid-nineties, he moved to New Haven, Connecticut where he completed a PhD in functional programming languages and graphical user interfaces at Yale University. He spent the next eight years living and working in New York City developing an in-house software platform for quantitative risk management and interactive data analysis at a major financial services firm, before leaving to work independently on web-based data visualization tools. Now he’s back at ESnet.

Courtney likes to spend his spare time outdoors, rock climbing, cycling and running. He’s newly married and plans to accompany his wife Eirini back to her native Greece this summer, where they will do some climbing on the Greek island of Kalymnos.


About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

High performance computing plays a critical role in scientific discovery, and researchers increasingly rely on advances in computer science, mathematics, computational science, data science, and large-scale computing and networking to increase our understanding of ourselves, our planet, and our universe. Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences Area researches, develops, and deploys new foundations, tools, and technologies to meet these needs and to advance research across a broad range of scientific disciplines.

Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 13 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’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 energy.gov/science.