Staff members take on new roles in physics organization

This month, the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Computational Physics (DCOMP) elected two Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) staff members to its executive committee. The National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) Director of Science Jack Wells was elected vice-chair and OLCF researcher Markus Eisenbach of the Scientific Computing Group was elected to one of the member-at-large positions.

Markus Eisenbach, OLCF researcher. Image Credit: Jason Richards

Markus Eisenbach, OLCF researcher. Image Credit: Jason Richards

The DCOMP community aims to promote research and development in computational physics, hosting and organizing conferences such as the Conference on Computational Physics every three years and participating in the annual APS meetings.

“Computational physics serves as a vital bridge between experimental and theoretical physics,” Eisenbach said. “Because DCOMP stands at the convergence of a wide range of physics research, it is an organization that can encourage and maintain collaboration among the different branches.”

The division is governed by the executive committee, which meets annually to plan the scientific programs related to future conferences and to vote on upcoming events and newsletters.

In the last few years, Wells and Eisenbach have co-organized multiple DCOMP-sponsored focus sessions on computational physics at the annual APS March Meeting, the largest conference of physicists in the world, with Wells’ contributions dating back to 2014. The two will continue organizing these sessions, and Eisenbach will organize tutorial sessions in connection with the APS Meetings. Additionally, both will contribute their experience and knowledge in high-performance computing at executive committee meetings.

Jack Wells, NCCS Director of Science. Image Credit: Jason Richards

Jack Wells, NCCS Director of Science. Image Credit: Jason Richards

In his role as vice-chair, Wells will identify ways in which researchers in various fields can leverage computational physics, emphasizing the importance of growing machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques for data analytics. He also plans to expose the DCOMP community to HPC centers—such as the OLCF—and their resources. The OLCF is a US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility housed by NCCS at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“The opportunity to serve in DCOMP leadership will enable my broader awareness of first-class computational physics R&D,” Wells said. “It also provides an avenue for outreach to advance DOE’s user programs at OLCF.”

Wells will serve one year in the vice-chair position, one year as chair-elect, one year as chair, and one year as past-chair. As vice-chair, he will support the chair-elect and chair during meetings, and in the event that neither are present, Wells will conduct meetings and make decisions regarding meeting topics. Eisenbach will serve a three-year term.

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