Over a hundred stalwart researchers converged on the Great Hall of the Trent Semans Center on January 25 for scientific presentations, a poster session, table displays, and luscious hors d’ouvres at the second Duke Research Computing Symposium.


Yes, indeed. Winter ruled the days before, and many registrants were stuck at home for the day, hoping that the ice on their streets would melt or the schools would soon reopen. Things weren’t nearly so bad in North Carolina than they were northward up the East Coast.

Scientific program – lightning talks


The scientific program began with welcome and brief comments from Larry Carin, Vice Provost for Research, Sally Kornbluth, University Provost, and Tracy Futhey, University CIO and Vice President for Information Technology. In case you were among the people who were holed up at home during the event, the presenters have provided their presentations. And of course, these are good resources for anyone to study.

Doug Boyer (Evolutionary Anthropology), “Virtual museums: Making the shape of biological structure more accessible and computationally tractable” (PowerPoint)
Jerry Reiter (Statistical Science), “Sharing confidential data in an era with no privacy” (PowerPoint)
Erich Huang (Biostatistics and Bioinformatics), “Data science at Duke Health” (PDF)
Mark McCahill (Office of Information Technology), “Research toolkits and RAPID VMs” (Box folder)

Poster session


Twenty-five posters were entered in the symposium’s poster competition. Get the lists with abstracts here (PDF) and here (PDF, addendum). Judges John Board, Jeff Chase, Julian Lombardi, and David MacAlpine determined the winners of the poster competition, saying that the posters were all very good and represented a broad swath of scholarly and scientific endeavor. These posters rose to the top:

First prize is shared by two posters, both from the lab of Amanda Randles (Pratt School of Engineering): “Validation of Large Fluid Dynamic Simulations of Complex Geometries with 3D Printing” by John Gounley, Rafeed Chaudhury, Girish Pathangey, Kevin Winarta, Justin Ryan, Erik Draeger, David Frakes, and Amanda Randles and “Can Massively Parallel Fluid Simulations Guide Coronary Stenting Procedures?” by Madhurima Vardhan, John Gounley, Darshana Jaint, Jane Leopold, Andy Kahn, and Amanda Randles

The two posters that judges awarded the other $1500 awards (for OIT-provided services or in support of computation-related scientific conference attendance) are: “Functional Consequences of Different Conformational States of β2-Adrenergic Receptor–β-Arrestin Complexes” by Thomas J. Cahill III, Alex Thomsen, Georgios Skiniotis, and Robert Lefkowitz (School of Medicine) and “Leveraging Seed Dictionaries to Improve Dictionary Learning” by Daniël Reichman, Jordan M. Malof, and Leslie M. Collins (Pratt School of Engineering)

The judges also named a poster for honorable mention: “GO-PCA: An Unsupervised Method to Explore Biological Heterogeneity in Gene Expression Data Using Prior Knowledge” by Florian Wagner and Sandeep Dave (School of Medicine).