First Sidney Fernbach Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Computing Sciences Awarded

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hormozd Gahvari has been chosen as the first recipient of the Sidney Fernbach Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Computing Sciences.

The Fernbach Postdoctoral Fellowship was created by LLNL’s Computation Directorate as a named fellowship in computational mathematics, scientific computing, and computer science. It honors Sidney Fernbach, a pioneer in scientific high-performance computing and the former head of LLNL’s Computation and Theoretical Divisions, as well as Deputy Associate Director for Scientific Support. The fellowship is intended to attract top doctoral graduates in the computing sciences and provides full funding for two years with which fellows can pursue their own research agendas. 

Hormozd, a former LLNL summer intern, is a doctoral student of Dr. William Gropp in the Computer Science Department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He graduates in June and start his postdoctoral appointment in August 2014.

Hormozd’s research is in the area of parallel performance modeling and analysis of numerical algorithms. This work involves constructing mathematical models that capture the behavior of computer systems and the applications that run on them. These models can help researchers understand how applications will have to adapt to changes in parallel computing hardware design to ensure that they continue to perform well. He notes, “I am interested in employing performance models to help make practical decisions about how to best adapt applications to the underlying hardware to help users get the results they want without having to spend a large amount of time tuning their codes to that end.”

Hormozd’s interest in computer science began in grade school, when he realized that he not only enjoyed using computers, but also wanted “to go under the hood, learn more about how they work, and how to program them to do things other than what the software on the machine was doing.” He was “happy beyond belief” when he learned he’d been chosen for the fellowship.