Verónica Melesse Vergara finds purpose in contributing to science from a technical perspective

The unique process of accepting a new supercomputer is one of the most challenging projects a programmer may take on during a career. When the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility’s (OLCF’s) Verónica Melesse Vergara came to the United States from Ecuador in 2005, she never would have dreamed of being part of such an endeavor. But just last fall, she was.

Melesse Vergara remembers well her first class on scientific computing at Reed College and her thoughts after learning about the world of modeling and simulation through a project involving simulations of crystal formation.

“I thought, ‘Oh, that’s really interesting,’ but at the time I didn’t think there would be careers in that,” Melesse Vergara said. “My plan was to become a software engineer somewhere.”

Originally from Quito, Ecuador, Melesse Vergara came to the US as a mathematics and physics major, earning a bachelor of arts from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, in 2008. Having previously attended Universidad San Francisco de Quito, a school with nearly five times as many students as Reed, Melesse Vergara enjoyed the smaller class sizes and the emphasis on individualized learning.

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