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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

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.