Two Institute Fellows receive highest scientific and engineering rank at Argonne

Jul 12, 2015 | News, News from Argonne

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has named Barry Smith, Charles Macal and Branko Ruscic as its 2015 Distinguished Fellows.

The Argonne Distinguished Fellow title is the highest scientific and engineering rank at the laboratory. Approximately three percent of the research staff holds this distinction. Those who receive this honor have demonstrated significant achievements in their field. The title is comparable to an endowed chair at a top-ranked university.

Barry Smith

Barry Smith is a senior computational mathematician in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division. Smith is also a Senior Fellow of the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Smith’s interests include parallel scientific computing, numerical linear algebra, multigrid methods and software to solve partial differential equations. One of his most significant achievements is the Portable, Extensible, Toolkit for Scientific Computation (PETSc), for which he served as software architect and lead developer. PETSc provides software for solving partial differential equations and received an R&D 100 Award in 2009. Smith also invented the Scientific Application Web Server and co-authored the book “Domain Decomposition: Parallel Multilevel Methods for Elliptic Partial Differential Equations.”

Smith received his B.S. in mathematics from Yale University and his Ph.D. in mathematics from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. Smith worked as a Wilkinson Postdoctoral Fellow at Argonne from 1990 to 1992 and returned to the lab as an assistant computer scientist in 1994.

Charles Macal

Charles Macal is a senior systems engineer and the director of the social and behavioral systems group in the Global Security Sciences Division at Argonne. Macal is a senior fellow of the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago, as well as an institute fellow of the Northwestern-Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. He is also a senior lecturer in the Graham School of General Studies at the University of Chicago, where he teaches a course on complex adaptive systems for threat management and emergency preparedness.

Macal is currently developing software for agent-based computer models and simulations. These models reconstruct systems, or environments, and illustrate how different agents, such as people, interact. Macal has helped develop new methods for agent-based modeling, including Repast, for which he serves as principal investigator. Repast is an agent-based modeling toolkit that has received world-wide recognition.

Other applications of Macal’s work include modeling energy systems, healthcare systems, infectious disease transmission, consumer markets and new technologies. He co-authored the book “Managing Business Complexity: Discovering Strategic Solutions with Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation.”

Macal began working at Argonne in 1975 as a research associate. He received his B.S. in Engineering Sciences, an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences from Northwestern University.

Two Institute Fellows receive highest scientific and engineering rank at Argonne