Computer Science's Bahar Asgari Receives Department of Energy Early Career Award
Bahar Asgari, an assistant professor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Computer Science, received a 2023 Early Career Research Award from the U.S. Department of Energy. The highly competitive, five-year $875,000 grant recognizes rising stars in science. The grant supports researchers who show great promise and will be instrumental in meeting the big scientific challenges we face as a nation.
Asgari was one of 93 early career award recipients from 47 universities across the country, including Leah Dodson, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UMD.
Asgari’s awarded proposal, “Developing Techniques to Enable Intelligent Dynamic Reconfigurable Computing for Sparse Scientific Problems,” offers an innovative approach to computing. Central to her research is the concept of merging hardware and software in a manner reminiscent of the intricate processes of the human brain.
"When I got the news, I was thrilled to be the first from our department to receive it. The award's competitiveness makes it even more significant," said Asgari, who holds a joint appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. "Beyond that, I'm eager to delve into my research. I'm confident it will significantly transform our computational methods."
Asgari's ambition for her research extends beyond just the intricacies of computing. She aims to make scientific computing accessible and efficient for everyone.
"In our mission, we want to democratize scientific computing for everyone, be it high school students or experts in diverse engineering fields," Asgari said. "Right now, intricate computations, especially in areas like scientific computing or machine learning, depend on costly systems and can be time-consuming. We saw this during the COVID research phase, where the lengthy computational processes slowed the development of vaccines. Our goal is to expedite these critical computations."
The award will allow Asgari to further her research endeavors in the field.
"I'm deeply appreciative of the Department of Energy's backing," Asgari said. "My research uniquely bridges computer architecture and scientific computing. This award facilitates the creation of that link, propelling my research interests forward and allowing us to innovate in this intersection."
Adapted from an article written by Samuel Malede Zewdu, CS Communications