Scientific Computing Day (SCD) is a symposium for fostering interactions and collaborations among researchers at Georgia State University and its affiliates. SCD provides researchers a venue to present their work, and for the GSU scientific, computational and business communities to exchange views on today’s multidisciplinary computational challenges and state-of-the-art developments.
With over a dozen of our industry and academia collaborators, this year’s SCD evolves from a single-day conference to a two-day symposium featuring a full day of tutorials on analytics.

What to expect?
Day 1 – October 5: Tutorials/labs led by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft experts.  Modules and hands-on labs will provide overview and practice in data analytics with a focus on dashboards and training deep learning models.Day 2- October 6:  Technical program features: presentations by renowned and leading experts on topics such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, and advanced cyber-infrastructure, panel discussion, student networking, and poster reception.
Researchers and aspiring researchers from all disciplines are welcome.

SCD 2017 Collaborators:

Registration Information
A 2-Day Event!
Day 1: Hands-On Technology Workshops
October 5, 2017, 8:30 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom
Georgia State University, Downtown Campus
55 Gilmer St.  Atlanta, GA 30303
Registration is closed for Day 1 Hands-On Technology Workshop 

Day 2: Conference Discussions & Presentations

October 6, 2017, 8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Conference Center, College of Law
Georgia State University, Downtown Campus
85 Park Pl NE  Atlanta, GA 30303
Registration is closed for Day 2 Conference Discussions

Call for Poster Presentations and Proposals for Cloud Computing Seed Grant

Registration is now closed for Poster Presentations
View our 2017 Poster Presenters >

Organizing Committee
Organizer: Research Solutions
Chair: Semir Sarajlic (
Poster Chair: Suranga Edirisinghe (
Logistics Chair: Charnae Knight (

Conference Schedule

8:30 a.m. Registration, Check In, and Breakfast
Located in Student Center Ballroom

9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

(Amazon Web Services)  Module 1:Introduction to Amazon Web Services with a Focus on Researchers   
Bill Richmond, Senior Solutions Architect at AWS
Tracy Applegate, Account Manager at AWS

(Microsoft) Module 1: Introduction to PowerBI
Dustin Ryan, Data Platform Solutions Architect at Microsoft

10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

(Amazon Web Services) Module 2: Introduction to AWS AI and Machine Learning Services and Hands-on Lab 1: Building a Chat Bot Using Amazon Lex
Bill Richmond, Senior Solutions Architect at AWS

(Microsoft) Module 2: Overview of PowerBI Desktop - Consuming Data, Transforming Data, and Visualizing Data and Hands-on Lab
Dustin Ryan, Data Platform Solutions Architect at Microsoft

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.

(Amazon Web Services) Module 3: Data Science Process and Module 4: Introduction to Deep Learning and MXNet
Bill Richmond, Senior Solutions Architect at AWS

(Microsoft) Module 3: PowerBI Service - Publishing and Sharing Content and Hands-on Lab
Dustin Ryan, Data Platform Solutions Architect at Microsoft

3:15 p.m. - 5 p.m.

(Amazon Web Services) Hands-on Lab 2: Training deep learning models with MXNet, Next Steps and AWS workshop concluding remarks 
Bill Richmond, Senior Solutions Architect at AWS
Tracy Applegate, Account Manager at AWS

(Microsoft) Module 4: Building a Dashboard with PowerBI and Hands-on Lab
Dustin Ryan, Data Platform Solutions Architect at Microsoft

8:30 a.m. Registration, Check In, and Breakfast
Located in the College of Law

9 a.m. - Conference Opening and Welcome

9:15 a.m. - Letting Your Data Build Your System with Amazon Web Services Artificial Intelligence
Bill Richmond, Senior Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services 

Advancements in data and analytics, hardware acceleration, and advanced libraries and services in Machine Learning and Deep Learning have unleashed the power to learn your business logic rather than “try to code" for it. In this session, we’ll dive into design paradigms and architectures that allow you to drive your logic from your data and add intelligence to your applications. The session will describe key ways customers build intelligent AI systems with AWS AI services, platforms, frameworks, and infrastructure.

About the Speaker

Bill Richmond is a Senior Solutions Architect for the AWS Worldwide Public Sector, and has been with AWS since 2015. Prior to joining AWS, Bill spent time at IBM, Northrop Grumman, Martin Marietta, and a number of other integrators and software companies architecting, building or leading teams in building complex systems. More recently, his focus has been on supporting organizations in the Financial Services sector, including FINRA and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Bill has degrees in applied mathematics from The University of Central Florida and The Florida State University.

10 a.m. - The Transformation of Science with HPC, Big Data, and AI
Dr. Jay Boisseau, HPC  and AI Strategist at DELL EMC

Computing has fundamentally transformed the conduct of science, enabling us to run powerful simulations based on theoretical models to analyzing data from such simulations and from observations and experiments. With computing capabilities—including storage and networking—increasing exponentially, we can solve an increasing number of problems directly, and many more through realistic simulations and analysis of much larger data. High performance computing technologies underlie much of our computational science progress: through parallelism in systems, algorithms, and workloads, we extend our capabilities far beyond Moore’s Law-level progress. Now, in the era of Big Data and at the onset of the Internet of Things, we are presented with additional opportunities and techniques for understanding our world and universe, through new techniques and ever more volumes and variety of data. The emergence of deep learning, leveraging both HPC technologies and data analytics techniques, exemplifies how advances in both computing and data can enable new modes of science. In this talk we review our progress, the current state and trends of computational sciences, and the opportunities on our horizon.

About the Speaker


Jay Boisseau is an experienced supercomputing leader with over 20 years in the field, having worked at three supercomputing centers—including founding one—and for two technology companies. Jay is currently working for Dell EMC as the HPC & AI Technology Strategist. In this role, he has been working to develop and implement a new HPC strategy, business plan, solutions, and programs to help broaden the usage of HPC by more companies and organizations, for more kinds of applications and workloads. He has added the development of AI strategy and solutions to his role at Dell EMC in the past year, and is helping to build a new team, strategy, and solutions for machine learning and deep learning.

Prior to joining Dell EMC, Jay founded the Texas Advanced Computing Center in 2001. He led TACC’s growth in impact, stature, and size from a small group of experts into one of the leading academic advanced computing centers in the world, with over 100 staff, world-class supercomputing systems, and many competitively-awarded, multi-million dollar federal grants. He established a strong research and development program at TACC and expanded the computational resources by winning two of the largest ($50M+) NSF awards in UT Austin history: for Stampede, deployed in January 2013, which debuted at #4 in the Top500 (2012) and remains one of the ten most powerful computing systems and the world, and which Ranger, which debuted as the #3 system in the world (2007). Jay was also one of the co-principal investigators in the National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project, the most powerful and robust collection of integrated advanced digital resources and services for open science research in the world.

Jay’s career in supercomputing was fueled by his graduate research in astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin. After obtaining his masters degree in 1990, Jay initiated his dissertation research on modeling the dynamics of Type Ia supernovae using Cray supercomputers. This work stimulated his interest in high performance computing, and led him to join the staff of the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center as a programmer analyst in 1994 while continuing his supernova modeling research. At ARSC, Jay helped develop and lead several projects and activities in the relatively new center while supporting a growing scientific user community. While at ARSC, Jay completed his dissertation with The University of Texas at Austin and joined the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) in 1996 to advance his career in high performance computing. At SDSC, Jay became an Associate Director and created the Scientific Computing Department, with groups specializing in applications optimization, performance modeling, parallel tools development, grid portals development, and user support. He led several major SDSC projects for the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI) and also led SDSC’s participation in the Department of Defense (DoD) Programming Environments and Training (PET) program. This experience led him to tackle the job of creating TACC in 2001.

Jay graduated with a bachelor’s degree in astronomy and physics from the University of Virginia in 1986 while also working as a computer consultant. He continued to work in Charlottesville for an additional year as a scientific programmer, where he gained his first exposure to HPC for astronomy. This influenced him to enter the graduate program in astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin, which in turn led to his 20+ year career in HPC.

10:45 a.m. - Coffee Break

11 a.m. - Panel Discussion
How data analytics impacts decision making at organizations, and opportunities for addressing workforce development in data analytics and advanced cyber-infrastructure

Panelists: Dr. Dan Stanzione, TACC, Dr. Rob Gardner, University of Chicago; Dr. Mehmet Belgin, Georgia Tech; Gregori Faroux, Georgia State University; Sanjay Mistry, Mölnlycke, Dr. Renata Rawlings-Goss, South Big Data Hub, Dr. Andy Rindos, IBM
Moderator: Semir Sarajlic, SCD Chair, Georgia State University

12 p.m. - Lunch (Student Networking)
1 p.m. - Feature Guest Speaker
Training-Based Workforce Development in Data Analytics and Augmented Intelligence
Dr. Mahmoud Ghavi, Professor and Director of the Center for Nuclear Studies at Kennesaw State University and Chair of Consort Institute at Emory University

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is underway, and it will have a profound and transformative impact on the workforce landscape among other things. The key driving forces behind this revolution include big data analytics, machine learning, and augmented/artificial intelligence (AI). Recent studies indicate that 38% of US jobs are at high risk of elimination by 2030 due to automation. In order to survive and thrive in the midst of this major disruptive force, it is necessary to rethink our approach to the workforce education and training. Current training and educational programs need to be agile, applied oriented, focused, up to date, and relevant to the exact requirements of the marketplace. The looming workforce readiness challenges are simply too great to be relegated only to the traditional colleges and universities. Those institutions play a significant role in providing core sets of basic knowledge and skills to their students. That level of education, delivered in traditional formats, however, is not quite responsive to the prevailing technological conditions. In augmenting the conventional roles of the universities, some certificate-based programs have proven effective in providing fast-paced, advanced training courses in an environment that demands active, life-long learning. It is important to note that not all technical courses lend themselves to this type of programs; however, for the ones that do, fast, applied-based training has proven to be a powerful delivery mechanism.

About the Speaker


Dr. Ghavi is an accomplished scientist, educator and corporate executive with extensive experience and proven leadership in the fields of information technology, data management, data analytics, and healthcare informatics. His experience includes a unique blend of corporate and academic achievements. He has founded and run highly successful companies focusing on innovative products and services in information technology, data analytics, and electronic health records. He is a pioneer and subject matter expert in areas of big data analytics, business intelligence, large data management, and data fusion.

As Chair and Chief Academic Officer of Consort Institute, a post graduate professional workforce development and training organization, he is responsible for the development and successful delivery of intensive educational courses focused on big data analytics, business intelligence, big data management, healthcare informatics, and information technology. He is also professor of nuclear engineering and Director of the Center for Nuclear Studies at Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering- Kennesaw State University where he was previously Director of the School of Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE) Center for Health IT. Dr. Ghavi is also the CEO and lead technology officer of Consort Systems, a healthcare information technology company.

2:00 p.m. - Accelerating Research with Open Science Grid
Dr. Rob Gardner, Research Professor of Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute Senior Fellow, Computation Institute at University of Chicago

The Open Science Grid is the nation’s shared high throughput computing fabric comprised of computing resources from more than 120 institutions.  While originally driven by the computing requirements of the Large Hadron Collider experiments at CERN, which used the OSG to help discover the Higgs boson in 2012, it is currently being used by hundreds of researchers from dozens of science domains including astrophysics, economics, evolutionary biology, genomics and engineering.  We will describe how students and faculty can use this open (and free) resource to speed up their research.

About the Speaker

Rob Gardner is Research Professor of Physics in the Enrico Fermi Institute and Senior Fellow in the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago.  He directs the Midwest Tier2 Center for the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider and is the integration program manager for the U.S. ATLAS Collaboration's Computing Facilities, which includes the Tier1 center at Brookhaven National Laboratory and ten university Tier2 sites.  He leads the Open Science Grid user support team, is co-principal investigator of VC3: Virtual Clusters for Community Computation, a DOE ASCR award to deploy virtual cluster systems over diverse HPC centers, and is the PI of NSF CIF21 DIBBs: EI: SLATE and the Mobility of Capability.

2:45 p.m. - Coffee Break

3:00 p.m. - Unlocking Digital Transformation with Cortana Intelligence Suite
Dustin Ryan, Data Platform Solutions Architect at Microsoft

With the explosion of cloud technologies, the proliferation of data, and the quest for intelligent insights, organizations across the globe are striving for digital transformation. Microsoft’s Cortana Intelligence Suite is making it easier than ever before for researchers to build intelligent applications. In this session, we will discuss how the Cortana Intelligence Suite unlocks digital transformation, review real world examples of intelligent applications built on the Cortana Intelligence Suite, and then build a social media, sentiment analysis solution.

About the Speaker


Dustin Ryan is a Technology Solutions Professional on the Education Specialist Team Unit at Microsoft. Dustin has worked in the business intelligence and data warehousing field since 2008, has spoken at community events such as SQL Saturday, SQL Rally, and PASS Summit, and has a wide range of experience using the Microsoft business intelligence stack of products across multiple industries. Prior to his time at Microsoft, Dustin worked as a business intelligence consultant and trainer for Pragmatic Works, a Microsoft partner. Dustin is also an author, contributor and technical editor of books such as Applied Microsoft Business Intelligence, Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services with MDX and DAX, and others.

Dustin resides in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife, three children, and three-legged cat. You can find Dustin spending time with his family and serving at his local church.

3:45 p.m. - Accelerating Artificial Intelligence with GPUs
Dr. Jeff Layton, Solutions Architect at NVIDIA

Data scientists in both industry and academia have been using GPUs for AI and machine learning to make groundbreaking improvements across a variety of applications including image classification, video analytics, speech recognition and natural language processing. In particular, Deep Learning – the use of sophisticated, multi-level “deep” neural networks to create systems that can perform feature detection from massive amounts of unlabeled training data – is an area that has been seeing significant investment and research.

Although AI has been around for decades, two relatively recent trends have sparked widespread use of Deep Learning within AI: the availability of massive amounts of training data, and powerful and efficient parallel computing provided by GPU computing.  Early adopters of GPU accelerators for machine learning include many of the largest web and social media companies, along with top tier research institutions in data science and machine learning. With thousands of computational cores and 10-100x application throughput compared to CPUs alone, GPUs have become the processor of choice for processing big data for data scientists.

About the Speaker
Jeff Layton is a Senior Solution Architect in the Worldwide Field Organization and a Certified Deep Learning Institute (DLI) Instructor at NVIDIA. His primary roles are to support high performance computing and deep learning with AI. He is focused on applying Deep Learning within Artificial Intelligence. Prior to joining NVIDIA, Jeff spent time at Amazon Web Services and Dell providing high performance computing architecture and computational science support to government and educational organizations. Jeff holds a Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University.  He is also an active contributing writer to ADMIN Magazine, as well as HPC ADMIN Magazine, and Quinstreet.
4:30 p.m. - Poster Reception
Over 30 accepted posters from multiple disciplines from College of Arts and Sciences, Robinson College of Business, Neuroscience Institute, Center for Nano Optics and many more - including contributions from Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Texas, Emory University, Kennesaw State University, Gwinnett Technical College among others. This year's submissions represent contributions from more than 85 authors.

View our 2017 Poster Presenters >

5:30 p.m. - Best Poster Awarded, Closing Remarks, Post-Conference Networking
Gregori Faroux, Assistant Vice President, Georgia State University
Semir Sarajlic, SCD Chair, Georgia State University

October 5 Parking Details for GSU Student Center

M Deck Parking
Visitor parking is available in the M Deck for $7 (cash only)
Address: 33 Auditorium Place, Atlanta, GA 30303 | Map

To get to the Student Center from M Deck:

  1. Once you park in the M Deck, exit via the M Deck Pedestrian Entrance
  2. The Student Center will be directly across the street

To get to the Student Center from MARTA:

  1. Take East/West rapid-rail line to the Georgia State Station.
  2. Exit station onto Piedmont Avenue. Walk right two blocks to Gilmer Street (you will cross over Decatur Street).
  3. Cross Piedmont and enter Student Center East at the corner of Piedmont and Gilmer.

October 6 Parking Details for GSU College of Law

M Deck and T Deck are available for parking for $7 (cash only)

M Deck Parking
M Deck address: 33 Auditorium Place | M Deck Map

To get to the College of Law from M Deck:

  1. Exit Deck M onto Gilmer Street
  2. Head northwest (up) Gilmer Street SE and walk to Edgewood Avenue (about 0.2 miles).
  3. Turn left on to Edgewood Avenue (about 300 feet) and walk to Equitable Place NE (about 400 feet)
  4. Turn left onto Auburn Avenue NE (about 98 feet) then turn right onto Park Place NE.
  5. The college will be on your right. If you reach the Georgia-Pacific Center, you have gone too far.

T Deck Parking
T Deck address: 43 Auburn Avenue | T Deck Map

To get to the College of Law from T Deck:

  1. Exit Deck T onto Auburn Ave, head west (up) Auburn Ave and walk to Park Place (about 0.2 miles).
  2. Turn right on to Park Place NE and walk about 98 feet.
  3. The college will be on your right. If you reach the Georgia-Pacific Center, you have gone too far.

To get to the College of Law from MARTA:

  1. On the North and South line, travel to the Peachtree Center Station on the North/South rapid rail line.
  2. Look for the Ellis Street exit in the station. Go up those escalators then take the Peachtree Street West exit out of the station.
  3. Turn right. The college is less than a block from the station at the corner of John Wesley Dobbs Avenue and Park Place, next door to the Georgia-Pacific Center.

Other Public Parking Options
The closest ones include:

  • 150 Carnegie Way: (the old Macy’s Department Store lot). The cost is $2 every 20 minutes with a maximum of $16 a day.
  • 141 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue Parking Lot: Corner of Peachtree Center Avenue and John Wesley Dobbs Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30303: $5 subject to availability.