Berkeley Lab Hosts Five CSGF Fellows in 2019
July 1, 2019
Berkeley Lab will welcome five Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellows (CSGF) this year. Drawing from diverse scientific and engineering disciplines, the fellows share a common interest in using computing in their research. Each of these talented students is pursuing a doctoral degree in a field that uses high-performance computing (HPC) to solve complex science and engineering problems.
As part of the fellowship, each student must complete a three-month practicum (research experience) at one of the 20 DOE National Laboratories of their choice. This experience is designed to strengthen ties between the national academic community and DOE laboratories, so that the fellowship’s multidisciplinary nature builds the national scientific community.
“This program is a great way to introduce future scientists to national labs as a career choice—I remember as a grad student thinking of career options as private industry or academia, not realizing there was this third option of the national labs,” says CSGF alumnus Dan Martin, of Berkeley Lab’s Applied Numerical Algorithms Group. “This program changed the direction of my career; it took me down the path that I’m on today.”
Martin has served as the liaison between the CSGF fellowship program and Berkeley Lab for 12 years. “I really enjoy this role because I get to find out about all the amazing things happening at the Lab,” he adds. “I get to play matchmaker, figuring out where at Berkeley Lab certain types of science are happening so that I can match the CSGF fellows with the appropriate scientific mentors.”
These are the CSGF Fellows that will spend 12 weeks at Berkeley Lab this year:
Max Bremer, University of Texas at Austin
This summer Max Bremer, a University of Texas at Austin student in the Computational Science Engineering and Mathematics (CSEM) program at the Oden Institute, will be returning to Berkeley Lab for a second time to work with staff scientists Cy Chan and John Bachan in the Computational Research Division (CRD). Bremer will be working on developing a novel timestepping scheme by relying on parallel discrete event simulation techniques and applying them to the simulation of hurricane storm surge.
“Working with John and Cy presents a unique opportunity to leverage their research for the simulation of hurricane storm surge,” says Bremer. “I'm excited because I believe that shifting to this new discrete-event-based programming paradigm has the potential to make algorithms, which were previously too slow, viable for the real-time forecasting of storm surge.”
Yuexia Luna Lin, Harvard
Luna Lin, an applied mathematics student from Harvard University, will return to Berkeley for a second summer in Berkeley Lab’s Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering (CCSE). This summer Lin will be working with mentors Ann Almgren and Johannes Blaschke on a biological application using a fluid-structure interaction numerical method, which she implemented in the AMReX framework last summer. The biological application focuses on the mechanical properties and locomotion of a single-celled parasite called Trypanosoma brucei.
“The research focus of CCSE and CRD at large is very aligned with mine—applying high performance computing to solving PDEs that model complex, multi-physics, multi-scale systems found in nature,” says Lin. “I worked with Ann last summer, and it is a natural extension to continue to work with her and people in CCSE, so that we can take the software we have built and play with some exciting scientific questions.
William Moses, MIT
Mentored by Berkeley Lab scientists Bert de Jong and Costin Iancu, MIT computer science student William Moses will spend this summer in the Lab’s Computational Research Division working on scalable synthesis of high-performance quantum circuits in the face of noise or errors.
“I chose to come to Berkeley for the summer practicum for its open culture and excellence across a variety of disciplines that I'm interested in,” says Moses.
Michael Tucker, University of Hawai'i
Astronomy student Michael Tucker is currently finishing up his second year at the Institute for Astronomy, which is a part of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. His studies are focused on transient objects such as supernovae and tidal disruption events. Under the mentorship of Berkeley Lab scientist Greg Aldering, Tucker will be working this summer on the SuperNova Integral Field Spectrograph (SNIFS), an instrument on the University of Hawai'i 88-inch (UH88) telescope that he uses regularly in his current research. The main goal of the summer is preparing SNIFS and the UH88 for robotic operations.
“SNIFS, the instrument I use regularly for my research, was designed by my Berkeley Lab mentor, Greg Aldering,” says Tucker. “It's a perfect opportunity to get hands-on experience with the instrument I'll be using for my thesis.”
Caitlin Whitter, Purdue University
This summer, Purdue University computer science student Caitlin Whitter will work with her Berkeley Lab mentor Aydin Buluc on developing new algorithms for efficiently computing graph kernels. Graph kernels, functions that quantify the similarity between two graphs, have become a widely used approach in machine learning for performing classification tasks on graphs. Whitter’s research will focus on techniques, such as preconditioning and parallel processing, to reduce computation time.
“I chose to come to Berkeley because of the fascinating research my mentor, Aydin Buluc, and his collaborators are pursuing,” says Whitter. “Berkeley Lab has been a computational research powerhouse for decades, and I knew I wanted to take part in that culture, and also Northern California is a beautiful part of the country that I want to explore.”
About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab
High performance computing plays a critical role in scientific discovery. 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.