"Women @ The Lab" Recognizes CRD’s Ann Almgren and Daniela Ushizima
July 9, 2018
Linda Vu, email@example.com, +1 510.495.2402
Sixteen women from various Berkeley Lab areas will be honored at the “Women @ The Lab” awards ceremony today at 3 p.m. in the Building 50 auditorium. The Computational Research Division’s (CRD’s) Ann Almgren and Daniela Ushizima will be among the honorees. Previous honorees from the Computing Sciences Area include, Deborah Agarwal (2013), Kathy Yelick (2013), Juliane Muller (2015) and Helen Cademartori (2015).
Sponsored by the Women Scientist and Engineers Council and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office, the program recognizes women at the Lab who demonstrate dedication, talent, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) contributions and commitment to the Lab’s mission.
“This is a well-deserved recognition for the many accomplishments that Ann and Daniela have made in their professional careers, as well as their contributions to the next generation of researchers and diversity at the Lab,” says David Brown, CRD Director. “These women are an inspiration, and it’s entirely fitting that they are recognized for their many achievements.”
A Senior Scientist and Group Lead of the Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering (CCSE) in CRD, Almgren is internationally recognized for her expertise in developing computational algorithms used in solving partial differential equations for fluid dynamics. The impact of her work is wide-ranging, applying to a variety of research areas from combustion to astrophysics.
In 2015, Almgren was elected a SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) Fellow "for contributions to the development of numerical methods for fluid dynamics and applying them to large-scale scientific and engineering problems." She is also the lead author or co-author on more than 90 peer-reviewed technical papers published in journals and conference proceedings. She is currently a co-principal investigator on four application projects and the deputy director of a co-design center, all part of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Exascale Computing Project, a high-priority initiative to deploy a usable exascale computing system by 2021.
In addition to her research work, Almgren has a long track record of mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs. A strong advocate for DOE’s Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (CSGF) program, which requires fellows to spend 12 weeks completing a practicum at a DOE National Lab, Almgren has mentored six students in CCSE over the years. While she was a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1994, Almgren mentored CSGF Fellow Dan Martin. He spent the summer working on AMR fluid dynamic codes and eventually became a staff scientist and the acting group lead of Berkeley Lab’s Applied Numerical Algorithms Group.
In 2017, Almgren hosted three undergraduate women math and computer science majors through the Sustainable Horizons program and another three students from the National Science Foundation-funded Mathematical Sciences Graduate Internship (MSGI) Program—a first for Berkeley Lab. One of her mentees, Steven Reeves, spent his summer adapting an existing cosmology simulation code to incorporate the influence of magnetic fields. One year later, Reeves is now a computer systems engineer in CCSE and recruits MSGI students to intern at Berkeley Lab. This year, CCSE is hosting three new students through the NSF MSGI program as well as a CSGF Fellow.
Notably, Almgren’s diversity efforts predate the STEM acronym. While earning her doctorate in engineering at UC Berkeley in the late 1980s, the lack of women in the program spurred Almgren to help start a support group known as the Graduate Women of Mechanical Engineering, which became Graduate Women of Engineering—and it is still operating today. In April 2008, Almgren and other staff formed the Computing Sciences Diversity Committee as a forum for promoting diversity. She also served as the SIAM representative to the Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences and was CRD’s representative on Berkeley Lab’s Diversity and Inclusion Council from 2014-2017.
Professionally, Ushizima is a leader in combining classical image processing and cutting-edge machine learning techniques to a host of imaging problems in experimental and observational science. Her current work focuses on algorithms for computer vision, pattern recognition and quantitative microscopy, designed to tackle scientific investigation that involves experimental data acquisition.
At Berkeley Lab, Ushizima is a Staff Scientist in the Data Analytics & Visualization Group and heads the Image Processing Team within the Center for Advanced Mathematics for Energy Research Applications (CAMERA), both of which are in CRD. She was also among the first set of Data Science Fellows at the UC Berkeley Institute for Data Science, where she’s been working on PyCBIR and applying convolutional neural networks to a host of problems. Over the years, Ushizima has received multiple awards for her scientific work, including a DOE Early Career Award in 2015 and the Science without Borders (Brazil) Special Foreign Research Award in 2014.
Like Almgren, Ushizima has a history of bringing postdoc and graduate students to Berkeley Lab and mentoring them into staff positions. Working with graduate students at both UC Berkeley and Science Without Borders Brazil, she helped develop and advance applications of imaging methods for cell structure recognition, human dementia and ammonia gas sensors.
A supporter of Black Girls Code, Ushizima spends much of her free time volunteering to introduce programming and technology to young and pre-teen girls of color. For the last several years, she has also been a mentor in the Department of State’s TechWomen, an international exchange that brings emerging women leaders in STEM from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East together with their professional counterparts in the U.S. and gives them access to networks, resources and industry contacts. As part of this work, Ushizima has mentored young international scientists from Cameroon, Kenya, South Africa and Tunisia.
In 2017, Ushizima was awarded the Berkeley Lab Director’s Award for Outreach. According to the award citation, Ushizima was recognized “for her selfless and tireless efforts as an exemplary ambassador of science and goodwill, engaging new and emerging scientists around the globe and sharing knowledge that improves others’ lives.”