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UW Names Director of Advanced Research Computing Center

November 8, 2021

An expert in computational biology, biophysics and big-data analyses in high-performance computing environments has been chosen as the director of the University of Wyoming’s Advanced Research Computing Center (ARCC).

Liudmila Sergeevna Mainzer, currently a technical program manager at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was selected following a nationwide search. She’s scheduled to start at UW Jan. 21.

“I’m delighted that a scholar with Dr. Mainzer’s computing expertise has agreed to lead this unit that is so important to UW’s future,” President Ed Seidel says. “Her experience working with industry in higher education at a world-renowned computational research center will be invaluable as we work to achieve our ambitions to make UW a leader in the rapidly changing digital world.”

In her role at the University of Illinois, Mainzer has led a team of 10 programmers and scientists to provide high-performance computing support to biomedical industry partners of NCSA. Among her many successful projects, she led research to identify mutations for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome; led a team to accelerate clinical genomic analyses for the Mayo Clinic; and led a project to develop a deep-learning pipeline for brain image analysis with graphics processing units.

She holds a Ph.D. in biophysics and computational biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree in specialty biophysics from Belarusian State University in Minsk, Belarus.

Founded in 2010 as a unified research support group for UW students, staff and faculty, ARCC is a team of highly trained professionals with backgrounds in research, computing systems and information technology support. In 2018, to better support digital research across UW, ARCC was moved from Information Technology (IT) to the Office of Research and Economic Development. It manages and supports UW faculty, staff and students in the use of diverse cyberinfrastructure, including Teton, a high-performance computing cluster, and the Alcova petaLibrary, a digital storage system.

ARCC currently is housed in the IT Center, with teams focused on technical systems, software consultation, and end-user support and training. The technical systems team is responsible for systems administration, architecture/design and general operations of ARCC’s services; the software consultation team focuses on installation and providing assistance with scientific computational software, in addition to managing the software on the high-performance computing clusters; and the end-user support team is responsible for supporting use of ARCC’s services, including Linux desktop support.

Combined with the planned School of Computing and other initiatives at UW, ARCC will play a key role in elevating the university’s high-performance computing capabilities -- in line with Seidel’s “four pillars” focused on making UW more digital, entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary and inclusive.

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