Important Dates

Applications submitted prior to June 10 have priority for scholarships.

Notification of acceptance will be provided by June 14. Applications submitted after June 10 will be reviewed and accepted based on availability.

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National Science Foundation


Center for Large Scale Distributed Systems

SDSC 2014 Summer Institute:

Data Meets HPC


Ilkay Altintas, Ph.D
Deputy Coordinator for Research, SDSC
Lab Director, Scientific Workflow Automation Technologies
Expertise: Scientific Workflows, Provenance, Distributed Computing, Observatory Systems

Ilkay Altintas, Ph.D. is the Director for the Scientific Workflow Automation Technologies Lab at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), UC San Diego where she also is the Deputy Coordinator for Research. Since joining SDSC in 2001, she has worked on different aspects of scientific workflows as a principal investigator and in other leadership roles across a wide range of cross-disciplinary NSF, DOE and Moore Foundation projects. She is a co-initiator of and an active contributor to the open-source Kepler Scientific Workflow System, and the co-author of publications related to eScience at the intersection of scientific workflows, provenance, distributed computing, bioinformatics, observatory systems, conceptual data querying, and software modeling. Ilkay Altintas received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands with an emphasis on provenance of workflow-driven collaborative science and she is currently an assistant research scientist at UC San Diego.

Christine Bagwell
Division Director, IT Systems and Services, SDSC
Expertise: IT/CI Infrastructure, Enterprise Architecture, Online Learning, Accessibility

Christine heads up the IT Systems and Services Division at SDSC.  The division designs, deploys and operates high-performance production systems, and provides services supporting SDSC researchers, UCSD faculty, researchers, staff and departments; multiple other UC campuses; extramural funding agencies; and industry partners.  Systems and services include SDSC's 18,000 sq. ft. regional colocation facility, the multi-petabyte Cloud and Project storage systems, complex high-speed external and internal networking, state-of-the-art internal cyberinfrastructure for SDSC staff and programs, and Windows and desktop support.   She has worked at UC San Diego for 17 years and before that in industry.   She is an advisory board member and teacher for the Teaching Online certificate program for UC San Diego Extension as well as a teacher for other credentialing and Education courses.  Christine was the founding Chair of the Electronic Accessibility Leadership Team, a group charged by the University of California to make IT resources more accessible for all, especially those with disabilities.   

Natasha Balac, Ph.D. (SI Chair)
Director, Predictive Analytics Center of Excellence, SDSC
Director of Data Application and Service, SDSC
Expertise: Data mining and analysis, Machine learning, Scientific data management, Data-intensive computing

Natasha Balac, Ph.D. is the Director of Predictive Analytics Center of Excellence at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) encompassing many data mining projects including collaborations with UC San Diego Medical School and UC San Diego 's Smart Energy Grid. Natasha received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University with an emphasis in Machine Learning from large data sets. She has been with SDSC since 2003 leading multiple large projects and collaborations across a wide range of organizations in industry, government and academia including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the California Energy Commission (CEC).

Chaitan Baru, Ph.D. (SI Chair)
Associate Director, Data Initiatives, SDSC
Director, Center for Large-scale Data Systems Research (CLDS), SDSC
Expertise: Large-scale data systems, database systems, scientific data management, performance and benchmarking of big data systems, data integration, data analytics.

Chaitan Baru is a Distinguished Scientist and research staff member at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. He has played a leadership role in a number of national-scale cyberinfrastructure R&D initiatives across a wide range of science disciplines from earth sciences to ecology, biomedical informatics, and healthcare. One of his current initiatives is an industry-academia effort to define big data benchmarks and establish a BigData Top100 List (see He also coordinates the SDSC Data Science Institute initiative for education and training in data science. Prior to joining SDSC in 1996, Baru was involved in the development of IBM's early UNIX-based shared-nothing database systems (DB2 Parallel Edition), where he also led a team that produced the industry's first result for a decision support benchmark (TPC-D). Baru has also served on the faculty of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has a B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras; and ME and PhD from the University of Florida, all in Electrical Engineering.

Amit Chourasia
Senior Visualization Scientist

Amit Chourasia leads the Visualization Services group at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). His work is focused on research, development and application of software tools and techniques for visualization. Key portion of his work is to find ways to represent data in a visual form that is clear, succinct and accurate - a challenging yet very exciting endeavor.

Chris Condit
Research Programmer

Chris Condit sits in the Data and Knowledge Systems group at SDSC. He is the primary software engineer on the Neuroscience Information Framework project and works with Solr, Lucene, and semantic search.

Jerry Greenberg, Ph.D.
Research Programmer Analyst

Jerry Greenberg received his B.S. in chemistry from UCLA and M.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry from UCSD. He is in the User Services group and is responsible for applications on Gordon and Trestles.

Amarnath Gupta, Ph.D.
Director, Advanced Query Processing Lab, SDSC
Expertise: Information Integration, Semantic Information Infrastructure, Graph Data Management, Event Modeling

Amarnath Gupta received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Jadavpur University in India. He is currently a full Research Scientist at the San Diego Supercomputer Center of UC San Diego, and directs the Advanced Query Processing Lab. His primary areas of research include semantic information integration, large-scale graph databases, ontology management, event data management and query processing techniques. Before joining UC San Diego, he was the Chief Scientist at Virage, Inc., a startup
company in multimedia information systems. Dr. Gupta has authored over 100 papers and a book on Event Modeling, holds 13 patents and is a recipient of the 2011 ACM Distinguished Scientist award.

Kai Lin, PhD
Research Programmer

Kai Lin is a Programmer Analyst at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego. Kai Lin’s current research interests include databases, data management, cyberinfrastructure, geoinformatics, and software engineering.  

Glenn K. Lockwood, Ph.D.
User Services Consultant, SDSC

Glenn K. Lockwood is a user services consultant at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and provides all manner of support to users of its high performance computing resources provided through NSF's XSEDE program. My scientific background is materials science, and I have specific expertise in silica, water-mineral interfaces, and molecular dynamics simulations. Supercomputing is a hobby-turned-profession for me, and although my interests in the field are broad, they all converge on understanding the demands for and uses of cyberinfrastructure to make supercomputing less obtuse and more accessible to researchers and the public.

Vishu Nandigam, M.S.
Technical Project Manager / Co-Investigator, SDSC

Viswanath (Vishu) Nandigam works in the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Developement Group at the San Diego Supercomputer Center where he is actively involved in several data intensive initiatives. He is the Co-Investigator and technical lead of the NSF funded OpenTopography Facility. He is also the informatics lead at the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center where he works on several NCI/NIH funded translational cancer research projects. His research interests include scientific data acquisition and management, data intensive application development, parallel and federated database systems and information integration. 

Wayne Pfeiffer, Ph.D.
Distinguished Scientist, SDSC
Expertise: Supercomputer performance analysis, Novel computer architectures, Bioinformatics

Wayne Pfeiffer studied math, physics, and nuclear engineering in college and graduate school. After obtaining a PhD from Caltech, he joined General Atomics where he did research and development related to nuclear fission and fusion. Subsequently he helped found SDSC and served as a department manager and deputy director. In recent years he has been doing research in computer performance analysis and bioinformatics. Besides his work, he enjoys outdoor activities such as running, cycling, mountain climbing, and skiing.

Julia Ponomarenko, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator, UCSD San Diego Supercomputer Center
Expertise: Bioinformatics, Immunoinformatics, Databases and Software, Protein Structure, Genomics

Julia Ponomarenko, Ph.D., is Principal Investigator for the National Institute of Health. Her research involves the development of the Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Resource (IEDB), computational studies of gene transcriptional regulation in mammals, and protein/DNA structural informatics. Julia is also Director and Instructor of the Bioinformatics courses for the Biomedical and Bioinformatics graduate programs at UCSD and Lecturer at UCSD Extension.  Dr. Ponomarenko obtained her M.Sc. in Physics from Novosibirsk State University (ranked among the top three universities in Russia) and Ph.D. in Biology from the Russian Academy of Science.  During her career in Russia and for the last 11 years at SDSC, she has initiated, lead, and developed several high-profiled bioinformatics resources and did pioneering work on predicting gene regulatory sites and effect of SNPs in eukaryotic genomes, using DNA structural information. 

Paul Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Research Programmer / Analyst
Paul Rodriguez received his PhD in Cognitive Science at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 1999. He spent several years doing research in neural network modeling, dynamical systems simulations, time series analysis, and statistical methods for analysis and predictions in fMRI data. He has more recently worked in data mining for health care fraud identification, and optimization of data intensive network flow models.

Robert Sinkovits, Ph.D (SI Chair)
Scientific Applications Lead, SDSC
Expertise: High-performance computing, performance tuning and analysis, software parallelization, network analysis, structural biology

Robert Sinkovits, Ph.D. leads the scientific applications efforts at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. He has collaborated with researchers spanning a large number of fields including physics, chemistry, astronomy, structural biology, finance and the social sciences, always with an emphasis on making the most effective use of high end computing resources. Before returning to SDSC, he was the primary developer of the AUTO3DEM and IHRSR++ software packages used for solving the structures of icosahedral and helical macromolecular structures, respectively. He has approximately 50 journal publications, book chapters and conference proceedings. He is also an avid cyclist and mountain climber, having summited nearly 300 peaks.

Mahidhar Tatineni, Ph.D.
Research Programmer Analyst

Mahidhar Tatineni received his M.S. & Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA. He currently leads the User Services group at SDSC and has done many optimization and parallelization projects on the supercomputing resources including Gordon.

Steven Tuecke
Globus Project Lead
Deputy Director, Computation Institute
University of Chicago & Argonne National Laboratory

Steven Tuecke is Deputy Director of the Computation Institute (CI) at The University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, where he is responsible for leading and contributing to projects in computational science; cloud, high-performance and distributed computing; and CI strategy and operations. His primary focus is on co-leading the Globus project, with Dr. Ian Foster, to develop cloud-based, software-as-a-service data management solutions to accelerate research. Prior to CI, Steven was co-founder, CEO and CTO of Univa Corporation from 2004-2008, providing open source and proprietary software for the high-performance computing and cloud computing markets.  Before that, he spent 14 years at Argonne as research staff.

Rick Wagner, Ph.D. Candidate
HPC Systems Manager
Expertise: Linux Clusters, Astrophysics

Rick Wagner is the High Performance Computing Systems Manager at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and a Ph.D. Candidate in Physics at the University of California, San Diego focusing his research on analyzing simulations of supersonic turbulence. In his managerial role, Rick has technical and operational responsibility for two of the NSF-funded Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) HPC clusters, Trestles and Gordon, and SDSC's Data Oasis parallel file systems. He has also worked with Argonne National Laboratory on coupling remote large-scale visualization resources to tiled display walls over dynamic circuits networks on the Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network. Rick's other interests include promoting the sharing of astrophysical simulations through standardized metadata descriptions and access protocols, and he is currently serving as the Vice-Chair of the Theory Interest Group of the International Virtual Astronomical Observatory. His latest side project involves working with undergraduates to develop course materials on parallel programming for middle and high school students using Raspberry Pis.

Doug White, Ph.D.
External Faculty, SFI and Emeritus Professor, Institute of Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, UC Irvine

Doug has put his expertise in network analysis and cross-cultural databases and research together into the first online social science Gateway for complex networks (at Gordon) and for cross-cultural research (on Trestles and a UCI Virtual Computer). He is a mathematical anthropologist and complex networks researcher who did engineering, physics, comparative literature, and fieldwork with native american and mesoamerican Indians as an undergraduate, integrated existing cross-cultural databases as a graduate student, created the first online access to anthropological databases in New England colleges and coauthored with Murdock at Pittsburgh the first cumulative (multiauthored) ethnographic database, the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample. He developed the analytic methods of structural cohesion applied to social networks, invented the contemporary methods for studying the dynamics of kinship networks up to the scale of 100,000s of families (Florence, Nord-pas-du-Calais, American elites) with archived databases hosted at the French NSF, was the Alex von Humboldt stipendium professor at Cologne and Distinguished Professor at the EHESS for six  years off and on and research professor in the EU ISCOM
Doug White continued
project before retiring, focusing on nonextensive physical models for historical Eurasian city networks. He founded the World Cultures eScholarship journal and edits that of Structure and Dynamics and Related Sciences.

Nicole Wolter
Research Programmer Analyst

Nicole Wolter has over 10 years of experience in High Performance Computing, optimizing and modeling performance. She has been an integral part of the Gordon Data Mining and predictive analytics effort.

Frank Wuerthwein, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics, UCSD
Expertise: High Throughput Computing, Experimental Particle Physics

Frank Würthwein is a Professor in the Physics Department at UCSD working on the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). His past physics interests included the successful search for the Higgs boson. Looking forward, he is mostly interested in the search for Dark Matter at the LHC, especially in the context of Supersymmetry. He is presently coordinating the Supersymmetry search program of CMS. His contributions to the CMS experiment are in computing. He is part of the management team of the Open Science Grid, and the XSEDE user advisory committee.

Choonhan Youn, Ph.D.
Senior Application Programmer/Analyst
Expertise: Web/Grid computational portal system, Grid/Cloud computing environments and middleware technologies, Service-oriented architecture

Choonhan Youn is a Scientific Researcher at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. He has been actively involved in various projects such as GEON (Geoscience Network), NEES (Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation), TEAM (Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring) Network, and NMR Portal Project.