Our People

We are a diverse team with a collaborative sense of purpose

Computing is a team of 1,000 smart, collaborative, innovative people who are inspired by working on advanced, game-changing solutions to some of the world’s most difficult problems. They’re world-renowned experts, mothers and fathers, award winners, strategic thinkers, sports enthusiasts, globetrotters, and lifelong learners—people whose personal values motivate them to make a difference in the world.

Learn more below about some of the people who make up our team.

Game-changers sought

We’re looking for smart, ambitious and driven people to contribute their talent to some of the toughest challenges around.

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Will Pazner
Will Pazner
2018 Fernbach Fellow

I remember, when I was about 7 or 8, learning to take apart and put together a computer and picking up books in the library to learn more. Since then, I’ve always been interested.

Nisha Mulakken
Nisha Mulakken
Biostatistician

Lab internships taught me that I needed to strengthen my computer science and statistics skills in order to make the most of a career in the multidisciplinary field of bioinformatics. The opportunities we are exposed to early in our careers can shape the limits we place on ourselves and our approaches to challenges we encounter throughout our careers.

Jarom Nelson
Jarom Nelson
Computer Scientist and Group Leader

In the NIF Computing Applications Division, I work with engineers and physicists to understand how lasers behave and write next generation HPC simulation software accounting for the broad spectrum of lasers developed at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, including high-peak power petawatt-class lasers.

By researching and developing computational tools that support the production, collection, and management of huge amounts of data generated by laser experiments, I’m applying computational research to important, practical problems that affect the nation’s security.

Harsh Bhatia
Harsh Bhatia
Computer Scientist

At the Lab, no two problems are the same. Therefore, as a team, researchers deliver hundreds of new data science solutions each year. We are very fortunate to have access to many high-impact projects so we can really make a difference with our research.

Stefanie Guenther
Stefanie Guenther
2020 Fernbach Fellow

I’m developing expertise in an area where there’s been lots of development, but knowledge transfer has been slow. I hope to bring the two together to improve machine learning interpretability and accelerate learning by leveraging theory and numerics from the well-established field of optimal control.

Alyson Fox
Alyson Fox
Computational Mathematician

In CASC, I’m pushing the envelope of current technologies with fundamental research while also tackling real-world problems. Solving these problems is fun because I never know what new techniques I might get to learn or develop.

Understanding how algorithms will be implemented on HPC systems is a key part in designing algorithms that are actually going to be useful in the real-world.

Rafael Rivera-Soto
Rafael Rivera-Soto
Computer Scientist

Artificial intelligence can be thought of as a new form of programming. Programs used to be imperative, needing step-by-step specifications of what to do. Now we can train models that learn those steps directly from the data.

Louella Panaga
Louella Panaga
IT Service Management Team Lead

At the end of one of my projects, we will see how a data center issue or outage can impact IT services. Being able to analyze the business impact will help the Lab’s IT staff plan better, communicate more accurately, and work proactively to reduce end-user impact.

The fun part of my job is having the opportunity to learn and be exposed to new IT technologies, propose new ways of doing things, and work with open-minded and geeky professionals.

Jorge Castro Morales
Jorge Castro Morales
Deputy Team Lead

The target diagnostics controls are the most valuable part of the system, as they are the components that collect the diagnostic data on each NIF experiment.

I’m honored to be working with a diverse team of multidisciplinary experts to resolve very complex problems on a daily basis. We solve unique problems that only exist in a national laboratory environment.

Dianne Calloway
Dianne Calloway
Associate Program Lead

My team supports a wide variety of applications. No two days are alike. There’s always something new to learn.

I’ve gone from hanging magnetic tapes to writing code to supervising other developers. The work is sometimes challenging but mostly rewarding. I love the collaborative spirit of people who work at the Lab. I’ve received tremendous personal and professional support.

Rachael Lemos
Rachael Lemos
Software Developer

LLNL’s Environmental Restoration Department is responsible for the remediation of soil and groundwater at the Lab. My work allows the department to efficiently and effectively get the job done. Everyone in my group is hard working with a great sense of humor.

I’m a volunteer with Girls Who Code. It’s really rewarding to see the students get excited about coding and STEM, and to broaden their idea of what it means to work in a STEM field.

Jorge Escobar
Jorge Escobar
Software Developer

For anyone thinking of pursuing a degree while working full time, I would say start now. It’s probably going to take longer than you plan, so the sooner you start, the sooner it’s done.

I also encourage people to speak to their supervisors about their educational goals. All my management over the years was supportive and willing to work with my school schedule to help me reach my goal.

Cindy Gonzales
Cindy Gonzales
Data Scientist

Transitioning from one job to a completely different one is uniquely challenging. I took it one step at a time. Looking back to the start of this journey, I am so happy things lined up the way they did and that I had the mettle to continue.

Data science is a diverse field, which makes it both exciting and challenging. You need a background in many different areas such as computer science plus domain knowledge. These skills will open doors to other scientific domains.

Ramesh Pankajakshan
Ramesh Pankajakshan
Computational Scientist

My first exposure to HPC was on the Cray XMP in 1993. Livermore Computing is involved in so many aspects of the HPC simulation space that there is no chance of your work day getting routine. There are too many interesting problems to solve, and selecting the ones to focus on is not always easy.

Jayaraman Thiagarajan
Jayaraman Thiagarajan
Computer Scientist

My foot is constantly on the pedal to find the next big problem to solve. Generating new ideas is easy with all the great minds at the Lab. We have to move quickly in data science, and people who are interested in pushing boundaries can get ahead of the research pace.

I can do highly impactful research at the Lab and work on challenging problems firsthand. In other environments, I might rarely even meet the scientists who generate the data I am building models with. Driven by the needs of scientific discovery, the problems are much better defined here.

Ignacio Laguna
Ignacio Laguna
Computer Scientist

I perform research on high performance computing (HPC). My work focuses on making HPC system and applications more reliable. The Lab’s work directly impacts the safety of the country, so it is rewarding that the work I do somehow helps the Lab accomplish its defense and safety missions. 

Outside work, I enjoy live music, reading, and spending time with my family.

Sam Jacobs
Sam Jacobs
Computer Scientist

I do research focusing on scalable machine learning and big data analytics with applications in cancer drug discovery, global nuclear nonproliferation analysis, and more. I was drawn to LLNL because of its focus on high-impact (big science) problems and the availability of (human, hardware, and software) resources to address these problems.

Out of office, I spend time with my wife and our two young daughters (playing games and teaching them AI). That is keeping us busy…until they are teenagers and don’t want Dad in their business!

Greg Becker
Greg Becker
Computer Scientist

I work with both researchers and code developers, and I like that I’m not focused solely on software development. It’s rare to have an undergraduate degree and still be involved with, and contribute to, research.

In 2018, I visited Switzerland, France, and England on behalf of LLNL. I met with teams who use Spack at their institutions, many of whom are major contributors to the software. While in France, I got to see the national team win a World Cup semifinal match.

Rushil Anirudh
Rushil Anirudh
Research Scientist

I studied signal processing as an undergraduate while being interested in image and photo editing. This eventually led me to computer vision since it was a natural transition to getting a computer to do the image analysis. Now I work on research projects in machine learning, computer vision, and high-dimensional data analysis.

Machine learning is a very exciting research area with an explosion of ideas and techniques. The field is experiencing a gold rush right now. There’s so much to discover and many unanswered questions to explore.

portrait of Kirk Sylvester
Kirk Sylvester
Security Training Coordinator

This is my second time working at the Lab. I worked in Global Security from 2003 to 2012, then came back in 2016 after completing my education. I like the Lab’s freedom and flexibility. I’m trusted to do my work and make progress in it. Now that I’m managing people, I’m taking leadership courses to hone those skills.

I’ve been to many countries all over the world, and I take pictures along the way. I like to have an open mind and experience different cultures. One of the most eye-opening things a person can do is travel.

Portrait of Marisa Torres
Marisa Torres
Senior Bioinformatics Software Developer

Before coming to LLNL, I wanted to be a medical doctor. I’m confident my bioinformatics career has allowed me to have a larger impact on biosecurity and public health than I would have had as a doctor.

Bioinformatics was an early field when I started at LLNL, and genomic data and tools were limited. It’s been amazing to witness the field’s growth during my career. Bioinformatics requires the data science skills of computer science and statistics as well as biological domain knowledge to interpret the analysis.

Portrait of Gordon Lau
Gordon Lau
Industrial and Safety Controls Team Leader

I lead a team of developers responsible for the design, development, programming, and implementation of the industrial controls and safety systems required by the National Ignition Facility (NIF). These systems create the proper operating environment for NIF’s lasers and diagnostic instrumentation and mitigate potential hazards to equipment and personnel.

I cannot over-emphasize the excitement of working on cutting-edge research, with smart people and teams, to achieve what many may think is impossible or science fiction.

Joshua Senecal
Joshua Senecal
Computer Scientist

I help keep the world’s most advanced laser facility functioning efficiently. My team develops techniques and software systems to analyze images of the optical elements of each of the 192 laser beamlines. Our systems extend the lifetimes of the optics by finding flaws on the optic surface and identifying those that need to be repaired.

The biggest advantage of working at the Laboratory is the great work–life balance. As a husband and father, I can work an honest day and then devote time to my family.

Elsa Gonsiorowski
Elsa Gonsiorowski
System Software Developer

Using input/output (I/O) tools, I work to make Livermore’s supercomputers perform better. With more and more data being used in more and more applications, we can’t afford a system-wide crash. I enjoy developing tools such as tracing libraries to mitigate performance risks, and I look forward to publishing this work so that the Laboratory’s high performance computing efforts can help the I/O field as a whole.

Livermore provides the perfect blend of academia and industry. Developers like me can balance cutting-edge research and production-level software with real users.

Marisol Gamboa
Marisol Gamboa
Computer Scientist

The moment I wrote and executed my first program on a computer, I felt this sense of power. It was a different world for me, where I had the power to make it do anything. It was that moment I knew I wanted to become a computer scientist.

What I enjoy most about being a computer scientist at the Lab is that my work is used to support an important mission. I wear many hats in my work here at the Laboratory. As a principal investigator, I enjoy working with researchers and pushing technology to explore techniques and methodologies that have not been proved. As an associate division leader, I enjoy challenging, influencing and nurturing computer scientists in their career endeavors.

Will Pazner
Nisha Mulakken
Jarom Nelson
Harsh Bhatia
Stefanie Guenther
Alyson Fox
Rafael Rivera-Soto
Louella Panaga
Jorge Castro Morales
Dianne Calloway
Rachael Lemos
Jorge Escobar
Cindy Gonzales
Ramesh Pankajakshan
Jayaraman Thiagarajan
Ignacio Laguna
Sam Jacobs
Greg Becker
Rushil Anirudh
portrait of Kirk Sylvester
Portrait of Marisa Torres
Portrait of Gordon Lau
Joshua Senecal
Elsa Gonsiorowski
Marisol Gamboa

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