Connor Natzke awarded David Swanson Memorial Award

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David Swanson

The OSG David Swanson Award was established to honor our late colleague, David Swanson. David contributed to campus research across the country, through the advancement of distributed high-throughput computing (dHTC) and the OSG.

“David was the founding director of the Holland Computing Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a tireless advocate for the OSG,” said Brian Bockelman, who David mentored. “Through his leadership, Nebraska went from simple ‘users’ of the OSG to having team members become part of the OSG management. David himself ultimately went on to become the OSG Council Chair in 2016 and helped steer the OSG through his calm, steady influence. Beyond his formal appointments, he was a close friend and mentor to many in the OSG community and always available to provide well-needed insight and thoughts to others.”

David passed away in an accident in fall 2019. In his memory the award is bestowed annually upon one or more former students of the OSG User School who have subsequently achieved significant dHTC-enabled research outcomes, and covers the recipient’s costs of attending the OSG All-Hands Meeting to present their work.

Award Recipients

  • Connor Natzke, Colorado School of Mines — awarded and presented in 2022
  • Nicholas Cooley, University of Pittsburgh — awarded and presented in 2021
  • Zhonggang (John) Li, University of Wisconsin–Madison — awarded in 2020 and presented in 2021
  • Anirvan Shukla, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa — awarded and presented in 2020

Connor Natzke, a PhD student at the Colorado School of Mines, was this year’s recipient of the OSG David Swanson Award. Natzke is currently located at TRIUMF, a particle physics laboratory in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he uses OSG services to investigate the strong nuclear force. Natzke attended OSG User School in 2019 and the OSG All-Hands Meeting in 2021, and at both of these events he learned valuable ways to improve his workflow. At the All-Hands Meeting 2022, Natzke spoke about his journey with the OSG Consortium and the impact OSG services have had on his research to date –– including a forty-fold increase in the simulation speed of his project.

John Li, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, attended the OSG User School in 2019 and quickly accelerated in his use of high throughput computing, whether running via a campus access point or on the Open Science Pool via an OSG Connect access point. John spoke about his work using data mining in genomics by high-throughput computing and noted that high-throughput computing saves significant computation time and projects that would have taken 2-3 years were completed in 1-2 weeks.

Nick Cooley, 2021 recipient of the David Swanson Award, attended the OSG User School in 2018. Since that time, Nick and his group at the University of Pittsburgh have undertaken a number of projects benefiting from dHTC and OSG capabilities, with more than 2 million hours of compute usage on the Open Science Pool in the last year. Nick discussed his work in computational biology on OSG.

Anirvan Shukla, a 2020 award recipient and 2016 User School participant, was a graduate student in the Department of Physics, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and at the September 2020 All-Hands Meeting spoke about “Antimatter: Using High Throughput Computing to Study Very Rare Processes.”