Our Team

Ilkay Altintas, Ph.D.

Founder and?Director

Dr. Ilkay Altintas is the Chief Data Science Officer and the Director for the Workflows for Data Science (WorDS) Center of Excellence at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, UCSD. Since joining SDSC in 2001, she has worked on different aspects of scientific workflows as a principal investigator and in other leadership roles across a wide range of cross-disciplinary projects. She is a co-initiator of and an active contributor to the open-source Kepler Scientific Workflow System, and the co-author of publications related to computational data science at the intersection of scientific workflows, provenance, distributed computing and software modeling. Ilkay received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with a focus on provenance of workflow-driven collaborations.

Rodman Linn, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Fire Science

Dr. Rodman Linn is a senior scientist?in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. For over two decades, he has served as principal investigator for a process-based coupled fire/atmosphere model, FIRETEC. Dr. Linn leads LANL efforts to use next-generation process-based wildfire models for the study of fundamental wildfire behavior, evaluation of prescribed fire tactics, understanding influences of complex environmental conditions on fire behavior, risk assessment for critical facilities and wildfire’s interaction with other landscape disturbances such as insects or drought. Dr. Linn is the co-lead developer of the new fast-running coupled fire-atmosphere model QUIC-Fire. Dr. Linn was deputy group leader for the Atmospheric, Climate and Environmental Dynamics group for three years, the team leader for the Atmospheric Modeling and Weapon Phenomenology team at LANL for 16 years. In addition to his wildfire behavior research, he has led research areas of urban fires, wind energy, dispersion and canopy/atmosphere interaction. Dr. Linn served on the International Advisory Committee for the European Union-funded FIRESTAR and Fire Paradox Projects, the latter of which focused on the role of low-intensity fires in reducing the risk of catastrophic fires as well as the use of fire to manage fire. Dr. Linn was the chair of the UNM-LA Engineering Advisory Panel 2015-2017 and a member of the New Mexico State University Mechanical Engineering Academy since 2005 (board of directors, 2005-2013, and chair of their Industrial advisory committee, 2008-2015.) Dr. Linn was an Associate Director for the California Institute of Hazards Research, 2007-2011.

Jessica Block

Associate Director for Operational Programs

Jessica Block is a Research Analyst with Calit2 at UCSD. She is an interdisciplinary geologist and urban ecologist specializing in the use of sensor networks, remote sensing, and geospatial visualization tools for disaster response, natural resource management, policy decision-making, and sustainability. She is an expert in the management and fusion of datasets from disparate sources, and uses visualization technology as the bridge between University research and the needs of community members. She has a BS in geology from UCLA, and a MS in geology and urban ecology from Arizona State University. Her research in environmental sustainability has covered regions in the American West, Southeast Australia, Peru, and Mexico where growing populations depend on increasingly unstable resources in the face of climate change.

Daniel Crawl, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Products

Dr. Daniel Crawl is one of the lead developers of the Kepler Scientific Workflow System and has advanced experience in working with application of workflows to field ranging from environmental observatories, bioinformatics, geoinformatics, oceanography and computational physics. He is the lead architect for the overall integration of many modules in Kepler including the provenance framework, distributed data parallel (DDP) execution patterns, reporting.

Raymond de Callafon, Ph.D.


Dr. Raymond de Callafon is a Professor with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). As one of the faculty within the Dynamic Systems & Control (DS&C) group at the Dept. of MAE, he is involved in teaching and research that covers many aspects in signal processing, estimation, experiment-based modeling and adaptive control. His research interests include topics in the field of experiment-based approximation modeling, control relevant system identification and recursive/adaptive control. In particular, he is interested in designing and analyzing experiment-based modeling techniques for control relevant identification of linear systems and extending these techniques to specific classes of (block) non-linear and linear parameter varying (LPV) systems. The newly developed model estimation techniques of Raymond de Callafon have been applied to structural damage detection problems, model or controller complexity reduction and (adaptive) feedback tuning in active noise and vibration control for high precision data storage systems and aero(servo)elastic systems for flutter prediction and control. Prof. de Callafon’s in depth experience with application of Kalman Filtering techniques will be critical to this project.

Larry Smarr, Ph.D.


Dr. Larry Smarr is the founding Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a University of California, San Diego/UC Irvine partnership created in 2000. He holds the Harry E. Gruber professorship in the Jacobs School's Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UCSD. At Calit2, Smarr has continued to drive major developments in planetary information infrastructure begun during his previous 15 years as founding Director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the National Computational Science Alliance, including contributions to the Internet, the Web, scientific visualization, virtual reality, collaboratories, global telepresence and Green IT. His views have been quoted in Science, Nature, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, Wired, Fortune, Business Week, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, and the Australian Broadcasting Company. Smarr served as principal investigator on NSF's OptIPuter project and currently is principal investigator of the Moore Foundation's CAMERA project and co-principal investigator on NSF's GreenLight project. He is a world leader in supercomputing, information visualization, and cyberinfrastructure for disaster information sharing. Smarr received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975 and conducted observational, theoretical, and computational-based astrophysical sciences research for the next 20 years. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1990 he received the Franklin Institute's Delmer S. Fahrney Gold Medal for Leadership in Science or Technology. In 2006 he received two Lifetime Achievement awards: the IEEE Computer Society Tsutomu Kanai Award in distributed computing systems and the ESRI Award.

Frank Vernon, Ph.D.




Jurgen Schulze, Ph.D.


Dr. Jurgen Schulze is a Research Scientist at UCSD’s Calit2. and a Lecturer in the computer science department at the University of California San Diego. His research interests include scientific visualization in virtual environments, human-computer interaction, real-time volume rendering, and graphics algorithms on programmable graphics hardware. He holds an M.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. After his graduation he spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher in the Computer Science Department at Brown University. In scientific visualization, he specializes in real-time rendering of large data sets, volume rendering and transfer function design, and efficient use of programmable graphics hardware. He also has expertise in parallel computing for high-performance computer graphics, coupling simulation results to real-time visualization, and human-computer interaction in immersive virtual environments.

Mai Nguyen, Ph.D.

Staff Researcher

Dr. Mai Nguyen is a data scientist at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, UCSD. She has industry experience in data mining, business intelligence, data warehousing, and application design and development. She has worked in several application areas, including spacecraft autonomy, target recognition, remote sensing, information retrieval, and predictive analytics. Her research interests are in the application of data mining techniques to interdisciplinary problems. Her work at SDSC also includes developing workflows for data mining projects. Mai has M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science, with emphasis on artificial intelligence, from UCSD.

John Graham

Staff Researcher

John Graham is a senior development engineer at QI, the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). Primary role is the lead engineer for the Pacific Research Platform. Other projects include GPU JupyterHub deployments for deep leaning and pattern recognition pipelines. GrowBotics is an ongoing project to create autonomous roof-top farming robots with a goal of providing food for the buildings occupants. John is a charter member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, and previously collaborated with other members on the “Open GeoData Pipeline” for disaster response-related satellite data and aerial photography coming from the U.S. Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He is an highly experienced systems engineer and data visualization expert. John's past efforts include many years working with San Diego State University, Visualization Center. In the early 90's, previous to working with universities in San Diego, John ran a successful internet startup, a streaming media technology and service called Broadware. It was sold to Cisco and the technology is still part of their product line. John also spent several years in the nano-technology field building and operating Scanning Tunneling Microscopes at the University of Akron, Atomic Force Microscopes for Angstrom Technologies and Arizona State University and finally Low Temperature and Electrochemical Scanning Probe Microscopes for Park Scientific Instruments.

Kai Lin, Ph.D.

Staff Researcher

Dr. Kai Lin is a senior research programmer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego. Kai's current research interests include databases, data management, cyberinfrastructure, geoinformatics, and software engineering.

Tom Corringham, Ph.D.

Affiliated Researcher

Dr. Tom Corringham is a postdoctoral research economist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. His research is focused on quantifying the economic impacts of climate change and extreme weather events. His areas of expertise include catastrophic floods and wildfires, atmospheric rivers, agriculture, drought, public health, and economics. Tom received a BA and MA in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in environmental economics from UC San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He also worked as a biostatistician and bioinformatician developing novel multiomics algorithms to assess changes in human health associated with disruptions in critical metabolic pathways. He is currently working on identifying the ways in which scarce resources can be allocated to protect the most vulnerable communities from climate change and extreme events.