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Research Computing Services Team

We work across the University to help support the computational and technology needs of our researcher community through consultation, training, grant writing assistance, visualization services, and more.

Joe Paris

Joe Paris

Senior Director, Research Computing Services

j-paris@northwestern.edu

Joe has over 15 years of experience in research technology development, support, and management in positions at Argonne National Laboratory and leadership roles at Northwestern University. At Northwestern, his efforts helped to bring about institution-wide changes in strategic planning that lead to the build-out of new research-focused services and resources in high-performance computing, storage, and visualization. His areas of interest and expertise include development of learning and training opportunities for student communities, sustainable funding models for academic research computing facilities, and execution of cross-organizational strategic initiatives. Joe received his Masters degree in Computer Science from Northwestern.

Jackie Milhans

Jackie Milhans

Associate Director, Research Computing Services

milhans@northwestern.edu

Jackie leads research support in the areas of computing, data processing and analysis, data storage and workflow, and visualization. Her focuses include education and training, service planning and development, and on-going service support. In addition, she is responsible for aligning Research Computing Services with Northwestern's research needs through partnerships and coordination across the University. Her research background is in microstructure evolution and prediction of effective properties of heterogeneous and polycrystalline materials. She received her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and completed her postdoc at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Scott Coughlin

Scott Coughlin

Computational Specialist

s-coughlin@northwestern.edu
Scott Coughlin provides support for researchers who hope to leverage High Performance Computing to aid in their research. Scotty can help researchers in optimizing and deploying software and complicated workflows on these resources. He helps the community with creating computing environments within which to run their software and matching researchers to computing resources which most efficiently run their code. Scotty has a PhD in Physics and Astronomy from Cardiff University in Wales and is a Northwestern Alum!
Aaron Geller

Aaron Geller

Data Visualization Specialist Senior

a-geller@northwestern.edu

Aaron has been developing multi-dimensional data visualizations for over a decade, and he consults on visualization projects from research groups across Northwestern.  Aaron is also a member of Northwestern's Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), where he is a Research Assistant Professor. Prior to coming to Northwestern, Aaron received his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.  Aaron most frequently works in Python and Javascript, though he has a background in many coding languages and visualization software packages.  He is always interested in learning new techniques, and he particularly enjoys the scientific discovery process that is inherent in both the development and use of scientific visualization tools.
Ritika Giri

Ritika Giri

Data Scientist

Ritika consults on data science projects. She works mostly with Python and R, but is also familiar with Matlab and C. She is a postdoctoral researcher with the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems where she focuses on reproducible data analysis using machine learning. She has a masters in biotechnology and bioinformatics from the University of Pune, and a PhD in interdisciplinary biological sciences from Northwestern University.
Alper Kinaci

Alper Kinaci

Lead Computational Research Engineer

akinaci@northwestern.edu

Alper Kinaci provides support for researchers in leveraging Northwestern and national computing resources such as Quest, National Science Foundation clusters (XSEDE), and cloud computing. Alper can help researchers in implementation, debugging and optimization of your calculations and workflows on these resources. He helps the community with on-boarding to new computing environments, mobilizing data, automation of simulations, code parallelization and scaling up in calculations. Alper is one of the XSEDE Campus Champions and he facilitates access for the first time users to test and optimize their software on XSEDE computers. Alper also collaborates with researchers to develop grant applications for funding and computing resources, such as XSEDE. Alper has a PhD in Materials Science from Texas A&M University and he is an alumnus of Argonne National Laboratory.
Christina Maimone

Christina Maimone

Manager, Research Data Services

christina.maimone@northwestern.edu

Christina has over 10 years of experience leading and advising on quantitative and computational intensive social science research projects. She has a PhD in Political Science and a MS in Statistics from Stanford University. She most frequently works with R, Python, and SQL but supports a wide range of analytical software programs and languages. Christina particularly enjoys working with text data, automating research tasks, and creating custom research tools.
Aline Munyansanga

Aline Munyansanga

IT Program Administrator

a.munyansanga@northwestern.edu

Aline manages the Research Computing budget, and any projects that involve changing, growing and enhancing the services that researchers utilize. Her background is in project management, process improvement and finance. Aline enjoys managing the needs of multiple stakeholders and working with colleagues that span across the university. Prior to coming to Research Computing she worked in the Health and Financial Industry. She received her BS in Political Science from University of Michigan and MS in Strategic Communication from Northwestern University.

Janna Nugent

Janna Nugent

Senior Bioinformatics Specialist

janna.nugent@northwestern.edu

Janna began working in the intersection of biology research and computer science at the University of Chicago, where she received her MS in Computer Science in 2015 before coming to Northwestern in 2016. Janna enjoys learning about research at Northwestern, helping researchers use computational methods in high-performance computing, and keeping an eye on technology trends as they relate to research. Janna teaches Python, Unix command line, Github, SQL and high-performance computing topics.
Arman Pazouki

Arman Pazouki

Manager, Research Computing Support Services

pazouki@northwestern.edu

Arman oversees projects related to the development of new services and process improvements that support computational research. He leads high performance computing support for computational research that can include trainings, consultations, workflow migration, and facilitation of storage and computing needs.Prior to joining Research Computing Services at Northwestern, he served as an Assistant Professor at the California State University, Los Angeles, where he initiated and renovated research and teaching laboratories, engaged in institutional services and committees, and expanded the university’s research in the field of granular material, multibody dynamics, robotics, and partitioned and unified fluid-solid interaction models. Arman received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Brian Roland

Brian Roland

Data Management Specialist

brian.roland@northwestern.edu

Brian Roland provides Data Management support and consultation for researchers at Northwestern. He can assist researchers with data workflow design and leveraging the appropriate data storage and transfer solutions to meet their research needs. Brian began his career supporting research data management at the University of Illinois before moving to the Center for Health Statistics at the University of Chicago prior to joining Northwestern. Brian has a BA in Computer Science and an MBA from DePaul University.

Colby Witherup Wood

Colby Witherup Wood

Data Scientist Senior

colby.witherup@northwestern.edu
Colby consults on data science projects both big and small, and she greatly enjoys working with researchers at all levels. She teaches workshops in Python, Git, Biopython, Spark, and more. Her research background is in comparative genomics and plant biology, and she has a BA, an MS, and is currently finishing a PhD, all from Northwestern University.

 

Students

Haley Carter

Haley Carter

Data Science Research Consultant

Haley is a PhD student in the Plant Biology and Conservation department in partnership with the Chicago Botanic Garden. She enjoys consulting on a wide variety of projects, especially those where she gets to learn something new! Her research focuses on the ecology and evolution of different biochemical products in plants and she originally became interested in learning bioinformatic and computational tools to incorporate metabolomic and genomic data into her research. Haley works mostly with R and the Unix command line, but is also familiar with Python and Python-based pipelines.
Saya Rene Dennis

Saya Rene Dennis

Research Computing Student Consultant

Saya is a PhD candidate in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Feinberg School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the applications of machine learning and deep learning algorithms in patient genomic data as well as in electronic health records. She most frequently works with Python, Unix commands, R, and SQL, and is interested in various tools that facilitates the handling of large-scale data. In her free time, she loves to read about history, travel, and paint.

Rahul Devathu

Rahul Devathu

Data Science Research Consultant

Rahul joined Northwestern as a transfer student from Vanderbilt University in 2020 and is majoring in Neuroscience and Data Science on the pre-medical path. He enjoys the interdisciplinarity of Data Science and picking up something new during every consult. His research interests include the applications of machine learning in Medicine, Computational Neuroscience, and precision medicine.
Xamantha Laos

Xamantha Laos

Research Computing Student Consultant

Xamantha is a sophomore from Peru majoring in Economics and Computer Science with a minor in Data Science. She wrote her first line of code during her first quarter of study at Northwestern and has since become passionate about programming and its applications for educational purposes. She enjoys working on projects focused on Data Visualization and is familiar with R and Python.

Julianne Murphy

Julianne Murphy

Data Science Research Consultant

Julianne joined Northwestern’s Health Sciences Integrated PhD Program in 2018. She is a PhD candidate in the health and biomedical informatics track. She is interested in using data to improve patient care and patient outcomes. Her research focuses on health-related quality of life outcomes after stroke. Julianne primarily uses R, but is also familiar with Stata, SAS, and Python. She is a recipient of the NU Data Science Fellowship.
Julie Anh Nguyen

Julie Anh Nguyen

Data Science Research Consultant

Julie Anh is a PhD candidate in the Applied Math department. She enjoys consulting on a wide variety of projects, especially those where she gets to learn something new! Her research focuses on identification of dynamic systems from data using a combination of techniques from data assimilation and machine learning, with applications in synthetic biology. Julie works mostly with Python and command line, but is also familiar with Quest, Matlab, R and other statistical tools used in the social sciences such as STATA.
Alexis Porter

Alexis Porter

Research Computing Student Consultant

Alexis is a PhD candidate in the Brain Behavior and Cognition program in the Psychology Department. Her research focuses on evaluating individual differences in brain networks as it relates to behavior and psychopathology. This work involves the use of various neuroimaging software such as workbench, dsi-studio, fmriprep, mriqc, fsl, afni, and freesurfer. She has extensive knowledge of brain imaging data structure (BIDS) formatting, Unix commands, R, Python, and MATLAB. She spends her free time playing video games, annoying her pug, and reading autobiographies. 

Anthony Pulvino

Anthony Pulvino

Genomics Compute Cluster Student Consultant

Anthony is a Ph.D. student in the Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences program. As a GCC Consultant his goal is to assist researchers with working and understanding their data.

Anthony is doing research with the Amato Laboratory, and focuses on the interactions between human and non-human primate host genomes and their microbiomes. He leverages molecular biological, evolutionary, and anthropological perspectives to explore the genetic underpinnings of our shared primate biology in wildtype and disease contexts. Anthony’s primary interests and experience are dry laboratory-focused. Anthony enjoys learning new software tools and scripting for R, Unix, and Python data analysis projects.

Jonathan Reyes

Jonathan Reyes

Research Computing Student Intern

Jonathan is an intern for the Research Computing Support Services team. He has received extensive training through a data analytics program called YearUp that is dedicated to train young professionals for a corporate environment. In addition, he has received an associate's degree in computer science from Richard J Daley College. Ever since he first received his first video game console at the age of 9, he has been very passionate about the world of technology and has dedicated his time to gaining new skills such as Python and SQL. He enjoys learning, socializing, asking questions and helping others.
Matt Selensky

Matt Selensky

Research Computing Student Consultant

Matt is a PhD candidate in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. His research focuses on the microbial ecology of caves, which has given him the opportunity to work with large bioinformatic datasets on Quest using R and Python. Matt assists the Northwestern HPC research community by troubleshooting problems faced by Quest users, preparing teaching materials, and helping on other projects relevant to Research Computing.

Jose Sotelo

Jose Sotelo

Data Science Research Consultant

Jose Sotelo is a 4th year PhD. Student in the Cognitive psychology program as well as a Master’s student in the Statistics department. His research revolves around Spatial cognition. In particular how people build cognitive maps in large scale space as well as how individual and cultural differences impact spatial thinking. Jose is most familiar with R but has some with other languages and statistical tools.

Carrie Stallings

Carrie Stallings

Data Science Research Consultant

Carrie Stallings is a first year PhD student at Northwestern University and a Native and Indigenous Studies Cluster fellow.  Her research interests include inequality, race & ethnicity, and computational and decolonial methodologies. In her work, she primarily uses R and Stata for statistical analysis and data visualization. Her current research focuses on income and wealth inequality, particularly on the roles that government and educational institutions play in the life outcomes of Black and Indigenous peoples. She is also a team member of the CoronaData U.S. team at Northwestern and uses R & R Shiny to scrape and visualize rapidly changing data about the social impacts of the most recent pandemic.
Dan Turner

Dan Turner

Data Science Research Consultant

Dan joined Northwestern in 2017 as a Linguistics Ph.D student. Previously, he taught courses in linguistics, writing, and journalism and conducted research in linguistics at the University of Minnesota Duluth. His current research interests include prosody, mental representations of sounds, and adaptation. He is familiar with R and Python, as well as various languages and statistical tools common in the social sciences.
Lucas Wesonga

Lucas Wesonga

Research Computing Student Consultant

Lucas is an undergraduate student studying Computer Science in the school of engineering. His interests lie within cybersecurity which he looks forward to pursuing sometime during his career. He has worked in projects related with web and game development. Since joining the Research Computing Services team, he enjoys learning about high performance computing and its applications. In his free time, he loves cycling and lifting.

Pat Zacher

Data Science Research Consultant

Pat is a Ph.D. candidate in the Brain, Behavior, and Cognition program in the Psychology Department. His research focuses on spatial attention. In particular, he is interested in how people shift attention around their environments and how this ability applies to complex interfaces. Pat is most familiar with R but has experience in Python and Matlab.
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