June 4 — Bronson Messer—a computational astrophysicist, Distinguished Scientist within the Scientific Computing and Theoretical Physics teams on the US Division of Vitality’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge Nationwide Laboratory (ORNL), and a former Jeopardy! champion—has been named the brand new director of science for the Oak Ridge Management Computing Facility (OLCF).
As director of science, Messer can be liable for the scientific outcomes of the OLCF’s consumer applications. The OLCF, a DOE Workplace of Science Person Facility at ORNL, was established in 1992 with the mission to speed up scientific discovery and engineering progress by offering world-leading computational and knowledge capabilities in addition to high-performance computing experience. Messer will assist set the OLCF’s technique for pursuing such open-science analysis and facilitating the DOE’s scientific missions.
“Finally, we’re liable for implementing programs, insurance policies, platforms—the entire computational ecosystem that may really enable folks to get science performed,” Messer stated. “On the OLCF, this will imply science that’s primarily data-driven or makes use of AI or makes use of large-scale simulation of massive bodily programs. I need to guarantee that they’re all performed on the requisite stage of high quality.”
Messer’s predecessor as OLCF director of science, Jack Wells, turned director of the newly shaped Workplace of Strategic Planning and Efficiency Administration at ORNL on January 1.
“We’re very blissful to welcome Bronson into this position, following in Jack Wells’ footsteps,” stated Georgia Tourassi, director of the Nationwide Heart for Computational Sciences (NCCS) at ORNL. “Throughout his tenure as director of science, Jack supplied excellent service whereas increasing OLCF’s attain throughout many scientific domains. His organizational dedication and inclusive method to numerous computational analysis communities have been unparalleled.”
The director of science is the principal level of contact for OLCF customers who’re scientists from tutorial analysis establishments, industrial labs, or different federal businesses. Messer pledges to proceed nurturing the sense of belief amongst these researchers “that’s been constructed upon them understanding now we have their greatest pursuits at coronary heart,” he stated. Messer goals to additional domesticate this confidence by marshalling the OLCF’s HPC specialists to help customers in absolutely using the ability’s supercomputer property, serving to triage issues on the backend to make sure their codes run easily, and making cautious choices that steadiness customers’ wants with the ability’s sources.
“Our mission is to discipline true leadership-scale compute capabilities, however they’re finite. In a world the place you have got finite sources, invariably the OLCF goes to should make judgments,” Messer stated. “I believe it’s vital that everyone who’s a consumer, or a potential consumer of the ability, has belief in these judgements. The best way to instill that belief is to make it clear to them that we perceive what they’re doing, we perceive how they do it, and we additionally perceive what would get of their approach. And I believe the director of science has to assist lead the cost on all of these fronts.”
Messer bought his first job at ORNL as a 16-year-old freshman on the College of Tennessee (UT) in the course of the summer season of 1987. He was liable for working an ellipsometer to measure the polarization of sunshine coming off supplies, equivalent to rubies, supposed to be used in optics; it was pushed by an Apple II pc with a program written in Primary. Since then, computer systems (far more highly effective ones) have been ever-present in his schooling and work as an astrophysicist, together with the Cray T3E at Goddard Area Flight Heart’s summer season institute or the Intel Paragon XP/S 150 at ORNL the place he labored as a graduate analysis assistant within the late ’90s.
After receiving his PhD in physics from UT in 2000, Messer turned a postdoctoral analysis affiliate at ORNL, after which in 2003 joined the College of Chicago as a analysis affiliate on the Flash Heart for Computational Science. Lastly, in 2005, he returned to ORNL as an R&D affiliate and has held quite a few titles since then, together with appearing director of science for the NCCS and appearing group chief for the lab’s Scientific Computing Group.
As a scientist, Messer has primarily targeted on the explosion mechanisms and phenomenology of supernovae (each thermonuclear and core-collapse), particularly neutrino transport and signatures, dense matter physics, and the main points of turbulent nuclear combustion. He’s presently the DOE Workplace of Superior Scientific Computing Analysis’s principal investigator for the Scientific Discovery by means of Superior Computing “Towards Exascale Astrophysics of Mergers and Supernovae” venture finding out the phenomenology and observational penalties of core-collapse supernovae. In the meantime, he’s additionally contributing to the Exascale Computing Challenge’s ExaStar program, which is constructing the next-generation code for explosive stellar astrophysics in a wide range of settings, together with core-collapse supernovae and neutron star mergers.
At the same time as he undertakes his new place as OLCF director of science, Messer stated he’ll proceed his personal analysis—with some assist.
“The excellent news is I’ve a number of college students and postdocs working with me presently, and it’s already to the purpose the place I attempt to mentor them as greatest I can they usually do quite a lot of the onerous work,” Messer stated.
Though he’ll be immersed in managing OLCF consumer applications and their scientific outcomes, Messer stated the director of science place finally displays on his fundamental love of science. Understanding totally different scientific domains and the way their analysis is performed has all the time fascinated him, he stated.
“I admit freely to being a little bit of a science groupie—all the time have, that’s why I’m a scientist myself—and I benefit from the inside story about how the science really will get performed,” Messer stated. “This can be a nice job since you get to be taught quite a lot of science actually, actually quick.”
UT-Battelle LLC manages Oak Ridge Nationwide Laboratory for DOE’s Workplace of Science, the one largest supporter of fundamental analysis within the bodily sciences in the US. DOE’s Workplace of Science is working to handle a number of the most urgent challenges of our time. For extra data, go to https://energy.gov/science.
Supply: Coury Turczyn, OLCF
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