Delivering the keynote addresses at this year’s conference are: Gregory K. Farber, Director, Office of Technology Development and Coordination, National Institute of Mental Health; Steve Hammond, Computational Science Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Ruby Mendenhall, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Anita Nikolich, Researcher, Illinois Institute of Technology.

Gregory Farber will speak on Neuroscience and Advanced Computing. His talk will explore the current state of informatics in neuroscience, and he will discuss the role advanced computing has in finding solutions to important problems in neuroscience.

Steve Hammond’s talk is titled Bytes and BTUs: Lessons Learned from the World’s Most Energy Efficient Data Center. He will discuss their holistic approach to design energy-efficient data centers, which led to the world’s most energy-efficient data center. He will discuss new efforts to dramatically reduce the water footprint in the data center and a new project to demonstrate a proof of concept carbon-free data center of the future, using renewable energy and hydrogen fuel cells.

Ruby Mendenhall’s talk, Using Advanced Computing to Recover Black Women’s Lost History, will center on a study that employed latent dirichlet allocation (LDA) algorithms and comparative text mining to search 800,000 periodicals to identify the types of conversations that emerged about Black women’s shared experience over time and the resulting knowledge they developed.

Anita Nikolich on Hacking Academia, will talk about the prevalence of virtual and physical collaborations of cybersecurity experts performing research and deriving tangible, noteworthy results that are never published and is often not taken seriously enough to influence the timely design of security systems and software. She will present some ideas about how three communities can work together to shorten the time to discovery and overcome many of the obstacles that impeded progress in the sciences centuries earlier.

About the Speakers:

Gregory Farber received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from MIT. After graduate school Dr. Farber received a Life Sciences Research Fellowship to work on mechanistic enzymology with Dr. W. W. Cleland at the University of Wisconsin. In June 2011, Dr. Farber became the Director of the Office of Technology Development and Coordination at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). 

Steve Hammond is director of the Computational Science Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He is responsible for developing and leading NREL’s laboratory-wide efforts in computational science. He initiates and oversees innovative research programs in computational science, mathematics, and scientific computing in support of NREL’s Department of Energy (DOE)-based mission. This includes leading NREL’s efforts in energy efficient data centers.

Ruby Mendenhall is Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, Social Work, Gender and Women’s Studies, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, Carle Illinois College of Medicine Faculty Affiliate: Gender and Women in Global Perspective, the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research and the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. 

Anita Nikolich is head of security for a cryptocurrency exchange and research faculty at the Illinois Institute of Technology.


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