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November 9, 2020
US/Central timezone

The Workshop Team

James Amundson, Fermilab: James Amundson is the Head of the Fermilab Scientific Computing Division, which includes scientific computing facilities, services and software development as well as computational physics activities. His recent research work includes both computational accelerator physics and quantum computing applications. He is the lead principal investigator for the ComPASS4 accelerator simulation collaboration under the DOE SciDAC4 program. Amundson joined the laboratory in 1998 after having held positions as a visiting assistant professor and postdoctoral research associate at the University of Wisconsin and Michigan State University, respectively. He earned his Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics from the University of Chicago.


Yuxin Chen, University of Chicago: Yuxin Chen is an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Chicago, where he leads the interactive learning systems group. Previously, he was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the California Institute of Technology (2017-2019), and received his Ph.D. degree in computer science from ETH Zurich (2011-2017). His research interest covers broadly the design, analysis, and implementation of novel machine learning algorithms for probabilistic reasoning, interactive machine learning, and decision making. More specifically, he works on resource-efficient, robust, and interpretable learning systems that actively extract information, identify the most relevant data and make effective decisions under uncertainty.


Nick Feamster, University of Chicago: Nick Feamster is Neubauer Professor of Computer Science andthe Director of Center for Data and Computing (CDAC) atthe University of Chicago. Previously, he was a fullprofessor in the Computer Science Department at PrincetonUniversity, where he directed the Center for InformationTechnology Policy (CITP); prior to Princeton, he was a fullprofessor in the School of Computer Science at GeorgiaTech. His research focuseson many aspects of computer networking and networkedsystems, with a focus on network operations, networksecurity, and censorship-resistant communication systems.He received his Ph.D. in Computer science from MITin 2005, and his S.B. and M.Eng. degrees in ElectricalEngineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2000 and2001, respectively. He was an early-stage employee atLooksmart (acquired by AltaVista), where he wrote thecompany's first web crawler; and at Damballa, where hehelped design the company's first botnet-detection algorithm. 

Paul Fenter, Argonne National Laboratory: Paul Fenter is a Senior Physicist and Group Leader for Interfacial Processes in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory. He also is the Director of the Center for Electrochemical Energy Science, a DOE-funded Energy Frontier Research Center.  His research probes the structure and reactivity of solid-liquid interfaces, (e.g., geochemical interfaces, electrical double layer structure, and electrodes in electrochemical energy storage systems) with an emphasis on direct in-situ studies enabled by the use and development of synchrotron X-ray scattering methodologies and X-ray coherence. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the winner of the 2012 Bertram E. Warren Diffraction Physics Award from the American Crystallographic Association.  His professional training includes post-doctoral studies at Princeton University and a PhD in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania (1990).


Eric Jonas, University of Chicago: Eric Jonas is a new Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the University of Chicago, developing machine learning techniques to accelerate and improve scientific measurement. He earned his PhD, Meng, and MS all from MIT where he worked on neural data acquisition and hardware-acceleration for machine learning. Prior to returning to academia, he was founder and CEO of Prior Knowledge, a predictive database company which was acquired in 2012 by, where he was Chief Predictive Scientist until 2014. In 2015 he was named one of the top riding stars in bioengineering by the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).


Joseph Lykken, Fermilab: Joseph Lykken is Fermilab's Deputy Director of Research and leads the Fermilab Quantum Institute. A distinguished scientist at the laboratory, Lykken was a former member of the Theory Department, researching string theory and phenomenology, and is a member of the CMS experiment on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has previously worked for the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics and the University of Chicago. Lykken began his tenure at Fermilab in 1989. He is a former member of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel, which advises both the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, and served on the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel, developing a road map for the next 20 years of U.S. particle physics. Lykken is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Rick Stevens, Argonne National Laboratory: Rick Stevens is the Associate Laboratory Director of the Computing, Environment and Life Sciences Directorate at Argonne National Laboratory, and a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago, with significant responsibility in delivering on the U.S. national initiative for Exascale computing and developing the DOE initiative in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Science. His research spans the computational and computer sciences from high-performance computing, to the building of innovative tools and techniques for biological science and infectious disease research as well approaches to advance deep learning to accelerate cancer research and COVID-19 research. He also specializes in high performance computing, collaborative visualization technology, and grid computing. At Argonne, he lead the Laboratory’s AI for Science initiative and currently focusing on high-performance computing systems which includes collaborating with Intel and Cray to launch Argonne’s first exascale computer, Aurora 21, as well as the partnership with Cerebras Systems that brought hardware on site to advance the deep learning experiments being pursued at Argonne for basic and applied science and medicine with supercomputer-scale AI. Prof. Stevens is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received many national honors for his research, including an R&D 100 award.


Mauricio Suarez, Fermilab: Mauricio Suarez joined Fermilab in January 2020 as the Deputy Head of Technology Development and Industry Engagement. An expert in the field of technological innovation, he has participated in all sides of the tripe helix to move commercialization forward: industry, academia, and government. As leader of the Illinois Accelerator Research Center, he looks for industry collaborations that will advance the areas where Fermilab has significant expertise and that have commercial potential. Mauricio earned his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed his postdoc under Nobel laureate Jean Marie Lehn. After working as a chemist in the private sector, he returned to the University of Illinois and earned his master’s degree in business administration. Since moving into the innovation arena, his goal has remained the same: moving technology into the marketplace. In addition to defining new areas of technology development and building industry partnerships, Mauricio also focuses on enhancing and connecting the spirit of innovation at the lab with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chicago. These connection hubs include the University of Chicago, mHUB and P33, among others.


Jayakar Thangaraj, Fermilab: Jayakar 'Charles' Thangaraj is currently the Science and Technology Manager for IARC at Fermilab. Charles has served as Principal Investigator on several federal grants ranging from $200K to $2M from the Department of Defense, US Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies for various laboratory research and business development initiatives by collaborating with engineers, scientists, and academic professionals. He was one of the first Fermilab staff scientists selected for Department of Energy’s Lab-Corps, an entrepreneurship program for scientists. Recently, Charles was selected for 40 under 40 scientists in Chicago identified for their dedication to translating research into real-world applications that meaningfully impact people’s lives. Charles was awarded the prestigious Peoples Fellowship at Fermilab in 2009. He has significant scientific results in complex accelerator R&D projects and has guided professional development of talented staff and student scientists. Charles received both his M.S. (2006) and PhD (2009) from the University of Maryland. In his current role, he works at the frontiers of science, technology and innovation to solve 21st century challenges in environment, medicine and security.


Cristina Thomas, Corporate R&D, 3M; Dr. Cristina Thomas has more than 28 years of technical and leadership experience in research and development organizations in the Venezuelan oil industry, in IBM (New York) and in 3M (Minnesota). She has undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. She has had a variety of assignments including Global R&D Services Leader and Senior Technical Leader for the Corporate R&D organization, Strategy Manager, Laboratory Manager and Commercialization Manager for the Traffic Safety and Security Division, Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) Technical Black Belt in the former Building Safety Solutions Division and Group Leader of the Materials Modeling Group in the former Advanced Materials Technology Center.  Today, her team is responsible for providing services to the R&D community at 3M, including knowledge discovery and analytics, global technical learning and collaboration, government R&D contracts, and global R&D processes. She received the 2019 AIChE Industry Leadership Award and the 2019 AICHE Management Division Award. She is a member of the 3M STEM Council, of the 3M Social Justice Work Stream team, of the AIChE Corporate Council & Industry Leader's and the Government University Industry Research Roundtable sponsored by National Academy of Science. She has a passion for organizations that move new technologies into markets, for institutions that focus on education of underrepresented students, for organizational change management and for women’s leadership in science and engineering. She lives in Stillwater, Minn., with her husband and three children.


Nhan Tran, Fermilab: Nhan Tran is the coordinator for AI activities across Fermilab. He is developing technology at the intersection of electronics, computing, and artificial intelligence to amplify capabilities with AI across the entire experimental stack. He is a coordinator of the Fast Machine Learning lab. Nhan's physics research focuses on using accelerator-based experiments to search for new phenomena. His current activities center on the Higgs boson and dark sectors experiments.