About 170 researchers from across the University converged on Penn Pavilion for the fourth Duke Research Computing Symposium. For the poster session, which included a Scholars@Duke Visualization Challenge track and a Research Computing track, 36 posters represented work done from every corner of the institution.

Talks on a range of research computing topics were delivered by Tracy Futhey, Duke’s Vice President for Information Technology and CIO, Geoffrey S. Ginsburg, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering, and Paul B. Jaskot, PhD, Professor of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies. Futhey spoke on features of Duke’s research computing infrastructure, including details of services aligning along six “cyberinfrastructure columns” undergirding computational research and technologies. Ginsburg’s talk focused on technological developments as they have recently arisen and their influence over health care and biomedical research. Jaskot outlined the ways that computational tools — particularly GIS and databases — are changing and in many ways refashioning humanities research. Both Jaskot and Ginsburg lead interdisciplinary research teams that have been influential nationally and internationally in their fields.

In addition to the research talks and the poster session, groups from around campus that offer services to researchers manned display tables to distribute information, answer questions, and (of course) distribute SWAG. The institutional reach of the services spanned academic departments, the library, and all the colleges, institutes, centers, and schools of the University.

Judges for the poster session were Paul Bendich, Mark DeLong, Holly Dressman, Craig Henriquez, Warren Kibbe, Julian Lombardi, Mark McCahill, and Damaris Murry. While the judges were greatly impressed with the quality of the poster entries and praised their overall quality, they identified the following posters for special praise and awarded them the prizes:

Research Computing track:
First prize: “Automating Electricity Access Prediction with Satellite Imagery,” Fangge Deng (1,2), Shamikh Hossain (1,3), Prithvir Jhaveri (1), Ashley Meuser (1,3), Harshvardhan Sanghi (4), Joe Squillace (1), Anuj Thakkar (4), Brian Wong, Xiaolan You (1,5) 1 – Department of Computer Science 2 – Department of Environmental Science/Policy 3 – Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 4 – Department of Mechanical Engineering & Material Science 5 – Department of Statistical Science

Second prize: “Targeted sequencing and bioinformatics pipeline for capturing and characterizing isoform diversity,” Thomas A. Ray (1), Kelly J. Cochran (2), Jeremy N. Kay (1) 1 – Department of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology, Duke University 2 – Department of Computer Science, Duke University

Third prize (a tie): “Orientation of polymer-grafted nanocubes,” Brian Lee, Gaurav Arya, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University and “Molecular dynamics simulations of the bacteriophage T4 DNA packaging motor,” Joshua Pajak (1), Firmin Dingue (2), Gaurav Arya (1) 1 – Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University 2 – Department of NanoEngineering, UC San Diego

Scholars@Duke visualization competition track:
First prize: “Exploring Interdisciplinary Connections in Duke Ph.D. Committees,” Matthew Epland, Department of Physics, Duke University

Second prize: “Multiple Sources of Interdisciplinary Training,” James Moody & The DNAC LabDuke Network Analysis Center labDepartment of Sociology

Third prize: “Duke Research in Perspective: Trend of publications and interdisciplinarity of Duke’s education and research,” Aghil Abed Zadeh (1), Varda F. Hagh (2) 1 – Department of Physics & Center for Non-linear and Complex Systems, Duke University 2 – Department of Physics, Arizona State University,Tempe, Arizona 85287-1504, USA

See the complete list of the poster competition entries.


Tracy Futhey, “Research Computing Support.” 2018 Duke Research Computing Symposium, January 2, 2018, Duke University.
Geoffrey S. Ginsburg, “Data Enabled Precision Medicine for Tomorrow’s Health Care @ Duke.” 2018 Duke Research Computing Symposium, January 2, 2018, Duke University.
Paul B. Jaskot, “Scale and Ambiguity in the Digital Analysis of the Spaces of the Holocaust (or Why Bother Making an Art Historian a Member of Your Team).” 2018 Duke Research Computing Symposium, January 2, 2018, Duke University.