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Hopper Fellow Brings ML, Math, and Algorithmic Expertise to NERSC

February 25, 2022

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Richard Barnes

Richard Barnes, who first came to Berkeley Lab in 2018 as a research assistant in the Computing Sciences Area and has been a consultant to the Lab since 2020, is the newest Admiral Grace M. Hopper Postdoctoral Fellow. He joined NERSC in November 2021, where he is working on a variety of projects, including bringing HPC to bear in new science areas with novel algorithms, methods, and the use of NERSC’s supercomputing systems. 

Barnes earned his Ph.D. with UC Berkeley’s Energy & Resources Group and Department of Computer Science in 2020. His current research interests include developing and deploying methodological advances in high-performance computing, machine learning, and communication-avoiding algorithms to address analytical challenges in diverse fields of application, often by leveraging graph algorithms.

Over the last 10 years, Barnes has worked with a number of academic institutions, including MIT and the University of Minnesota; national labs, including Berkeley Lab, Brookhaven, Oak Ridge, and NREL; and technology firms, including Facebook, Google, Apple, and NVIDIA. Through these collaborations, he has applied his machine learning and mathematical expertise to a broad spectrum of data challenges, including preventing electoral gerrymandering (MIT), optimizing the use of electric vehicles in public transit systems (Berkeley Lab), enabling the training of massive neural networks (Facebook), accelerating global climate models (U. Minnesota), and improving vehicle routing engines (Apple).

In addition to his Ph.D., Barnes has a master’s in computer science from UC Berkeley and a master’s in ecology from the University of Minnesota, where he also earned a BS in physics and a BA in philosophy. He is also an alumnus of the DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship and the Berkeley Institute for Data Science at UC Berkeley.

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.