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For ten years, I applied usability engineering techniques to software tools for high-performance computing (HPC). During this time, I worked with IBM, Intel, HP, and other HPC companies to improve their graphical tools so that technical programmers could be more effective in developing large parallel applications. I have also been active in developing national and international standards for HPC software, helping to found such groups as the Parallel Tools Consortium and the High Performance Debugging Forum. More recently, I have focused on the special problems scientists and engineers have when they need to find and access very large databases across the Internet.
The "Pancake Research Group" -- no, we don't study breakfast foods -- has pioneered the use of multi-level Web-to-database interfaces, which make it possible to customize access to meet the needs of very different user groups (e.g., middle school children versus professional scientists). We have also developed software infrastructure that allows scientists to construct their own Web interfaces without needing to learn specialized computer science skills. We're currently most active in the "data discovery" process, applied to the natural environment, bioinformatics, and earthquake engineering.
I currently serve as Director of the Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering (NACSE) and Usability Advisor for several groups, including the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the Protein Data Bank, and the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Consortium Development project.
Guidelines for Web Usability developed for George E. Brown, Jr., Network for Earthquake Engineering System (NEES) Program
Interactive Access to Large-Scale Data
Software Standardization Efforts
Usability Issues in High-Performance Computing