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NCSA awards eight Illinois professors with Faculty Fellowships
Illinois researchers given opportunity to work with NCSA for 1 year

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has named Faculty Fellowship awardees for 2017-18. These eight Illinois faculty members will work with NCSA to help solve some of the grand challenges facing all people, including deep learning, the internet of things, data analysis, volcano activity and more.

Each Faculty member will work closely with experts at NCSA on a project that aligns with NCSA’s six thematic research areas and/or major projects (i.e., the Blue Waters Project, XSEDE, Midwest Big Data Hub, Industry program).

2017-18 NCSA Faculty Fellows:

Anita Chan, Media and Cinema Studies: Chan will lead a historical investigation of NCSA’s role and impact as a national and campus-wide hub for digital inquiry over the past four decades.

Stephen Downie, School of Information Sciences: Downie hopes to make the HathiTrust book collection available for large-scale research use through optimized, concept-based representations. The massive HathiTrust corpus contains 15 million books spanning multiple centuries.

Patricia Gregg, Geology: Gregg will expand current efforts in volcano model-data fusion into a scalable data assimilation strategy that will provide a framework for volcano hazards research worldwide.

Zeynep Madak-Erdogan, Food Sciences and Human Nutrition: Madak-Erdogan’s work will explore the association between the serum factors and demographic variables related to poor outcomes in African-American women with breast cancer, including neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation and individual characteristics.

Ruby Mendenhall, Sociology and African American Studies: Mendenhall will examine the physiological effects of exposure to nearby gun crimes such as shootings as a way to document the public life and health of African-American mothers.

Andre Schleife, Materials Science and Engineering: Schleife will develop the data science infrastructure that will enable a new computational/experimental approach to semiconductor nanocrystal design.

Dallas Trinkle, Materials Science and Engineering: Trinkle will scale-up a new materials modeling optimization algorithm and integrate with the Materials Data Facility. This will strengthen connections in materials modeling across campus and NCSA.

Zhizhen Zhao, Electrical and Computational Engineering: Zhao will develop a unified and highly efficient computational framework to process the data from the gravitational waves discovery by LIGO utilizing new deep learning techniques.

Fellows are provided a zero-percent NCSA appointment and are responsible for contributing to the center’s academic core, play a significant role in advising on center strategy, contribute to and take part in large collaborative funding efforts, and act as liaisons with their home departments. Fellows are provided with office space at NCSA as appropriate and have direct access to NCSA research scientists, staff, and services. Where possible, NCSA will provide access to compute, data, and other cyberinfrastructure, including software licenses, needed for fellowship projects.

Illinois faculty and researchers interested in this opportunity are encouraged to submit proposals. To find out more information about this program or NCSA, or to discuss ideas for proposals, applicants are encouraged to contact the thematic area and project leads listed above or research coordinator Amanda Lombardo at


About the National Center for Supercomputing Applications

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides supercomputing and advanced digital resources for the nation’s science enterprise. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, and collaborators from around the globe use advanced digital resources to address research grand challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing one third of the Fortune 50 for more than 30 years by bringing industry, researchers, and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

For more information

Kristin Williamson

Senior Assistant Director, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Public Affairs / Marketing / Facilities

Office: 217-300-2933

Cell: 217-343-1594