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John (“Jay”) Boisseau, Ph.D. is an experienced, recognized leader and strategist in advanced computing technologies, with over 20 years in the field. Jay has built and led many computing-focused programs, departments, and organizations. Jay’s current position is CEO and co-founder (June 2014) of Vizias. Vizias is a small team of talented, passionate technology professionals who are determined to change the world by leveraging their advanced computing expertise and experience, especially in high performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI), and smart cities, including Intern of Things (IoT) technologies. Jay’s recent Vizias projects include working with Dell EMC (since September 2014) to further develop its high-performance computing (HPC) strategy and new solutions for a broader use of HPC, contributing to increased revenue, staff expertise, and internal R&D capabilities. He is now also helping Dell EMC develop a new AI strategy and solutions including recently announced solutions to be delivered in 2018.
Through Vizias, Jay founded the Austin CityUP Consortium (July 2015) and currently serves as the executive director, with a vision of creating an integrated smart city fabric throughout Austin—leveraging mobile devices and IoT data collectors, as well as supercomputers and AI for predictive analytics and scenario simulation—in the years ahead to address city issues, empower city planning, and improve city life in general. Jay is also the director of The Austin Forum on Technology & Society, the leading monthly technology outreach and engagement event in Austin. Finally, Jay also worked with Data Vortex (2014-15) to provide strategic guidance for this HPC technology company with a revolutionary interconnect technology.
Prior to creating Vizias, Jay created the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin and led it (2001-14) to world prominence. Under Jay’s leadership, TACC deployed numerous world-class computing systems for U.S. open scientific research, and developed new programs to enable thousands of researchers to accomplish more with these powerful technologies. Jay also raised more than $200M for UT Austin, and secured the construction of a world-class facility and data center.
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 entered the graduate program in astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin, 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 (ARSC) as a programmer analyst in 1994 while continuing his supernova modeling research. At ARSC, Jay helped develop and lead several projects and activities at the relatively new center while supporting a growing scientific user community.
Jay completed his dissertation at The University of Texas at Austin and joined the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) in 1996. 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. In addition, he founded the IBM Scientific Computing User Group while at SDSC.
In June 2001, Jay returned to Austin to create the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin. Under his direction, TACC grew in size and stature to become one of the leading academic advanced computing centers in the world, with over 100 staff, world-class supercomputing systems, and several competitive-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 National Science Foundation (NSF) awards in UT Austin history: for Stampede deployed in January 2013, which was one of the ten most powerful computing systems in the world, and for Ranger, which debuted as one of top 5 systems in the world and was the largest NSF award in UT Austin’s history at $59 million in 2007. Jay was also one of the leaders in the NSF-sponsored eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project, the most powerful and robust collection of integrated advanced digital resources and services in the world. He was also instrumental in the creation and execution of the University of Texas Research Cyberinfrastructure (UTRC) Project, designed to enhance the UT System’s 15 institutions’ research programs by leveraging TACC’s advanced computing systems and expertise.
Allison Warner is the Chief Operations Officer (COO) and co-founder of Vizias. Allison is an entrepreneur and business owner with over 17 years of experience in 3 different ventures. Allison graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Learning and Development. She was an elementary school teacher for 3 years and was awarded Beginning Teacher of the Year in 1992. Over the next 17 years, Allison owned several businesses and developed expertise in operations, accounting, management, marketing and communications. She joined the Texas Advanced Computing Center in 2010 and served as project manager for the University of Texas Research Cyberinfrastructure (UTRC) Project designed to enhance the UT System’s 15 institutions’ research programs by leveraging TACC’s advanced computing systems and expertise. In October 2013, she became the manager of Communications, Media, and Design for TACC.
In March 2014, Allison co-founded Vizias, a high performance computing and software development consulting firm. Allison’s professional interests include marketing and communications management, business development, and project management.
John is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and HPC Software Specialist. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi in 2007. John managed the High Performance Computing Development Center at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi and developed hardware and software for remote environmental data collection systems with the Division of Nearshore Research. John joined TACC and served as the Advanced Scientific Computing Training Coordinator and Research Associate in the High Performance Computing group at TACC. His research focused on developing highly scalable fault tolerant computational methods. John also lead the national XSEDE effort for education and training of researchers, engineers, and scholars on advanced computational resources. John’s professional interests and areas of research include high performance computing, scientific programming, nature-inspired algorithms, computer vision, machine learning, human-computer interaction, and performance evaluation and optimization.
Lucas A. Wilson
Lucas A. (“Luke”) Wilson, Ph.D. has been involved in the research and development of parallel and distributed nature-inspired algorithms for more than 15 years, including using genetic algorithms, artificial immune systems, and artificial neural networks for efficiently solving complex scheduling, categorization, prediction, and design problems. Luke has published numerous scholarly works related to distributed computing and nature-inspired computing on parallel computers in various international conferences, journals, and textbooks, and was recognized as an ACM Heidelberg Laureate Forum Young Researcher for his dissertation research in 2014 focused on the development of self-organizing parallel software for fault-prone exascale supercomputers.
Before joining Vizias, Luke was a research associate at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at The University of Texas at Austin developing high performance parallel and distributed software for large-scale clusters and helping users debug and optimize scientific research codes. Luke received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2003 and 2008, and his Ph.D. in computer science in 2015 from The University of Texas at San Antonio. He is also the developer of the “Launcher” software utility which has been used by research computing centers around the world to efficiently parallelize sequential workloads on clusters and massively parallel processor computers.
Ed joined Vizias in 2015 as a Global HPC Strategist in Dell EMC’s worldwide HPC team, helping to develop Dell EMC’s evolving HPC Strategy as they increase their investments in this strategic and growing market. Ed has 36+ years experience in HPC, including 35 years with HPE, in various technical, marketing and business development roles.
Becky is an experienced program management professional with strong communication, leadership, team management, negotiation, risk management, analytical, organizational skills. She joined Vizias in 2016 to help implement Dell EMC’s HPC Strategy, including writing business cases for new sites, preparing statements of work and designing project timelines.
Jennifer “Houli” Houlihan
Houli is the Programs Director for Vizias, serving as Managing Director of Austin CityUP and of the Austin Forum on Technology & Society. She has decades of experience in management and strategy as both a staff member of and consultant to with colleges and universities, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations. She graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and from Pepperdine University with a master’s degree in Social Psychology. She is also a trained mediator, facilitator, and performance management coach. Previously, Houli served as executive director of Austin Music People, representing the music community’s interests on issues including household affordability, safe late-night transportation, sound management, and workforce development. Houli’s professional interests include community engagement, navigating change, and managing public-facing projects.