Panel: Careers in Government and National Laboratories

Friday, March 27, 2015 - 4:05pm - 5:00pm
Keller 3-180
Mel Currie (National Security Agency), Pamela Williams (LMI Government Consulting), Victor Zavala (Argonne National Laboratory)
Pamela J. Williams is a senior consultant in the Supply Management Group at LMI, a not-for-profit government consulting company. At LMI, Williams develops policies to help organizations determine how much stock to buy and when (to buy it). Prior to joining LMI, she was a senior member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories. While at Sandia, Williams developed software to solve simulation-based optimization problems and conducted uncertainty quantification analyses. Her research interests include supply chain management, large-scale optimization, and data analysis. Williams earned a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Kentucky and her Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University. Dr. Williams has been involved with a variety of projects to increase the matriculation and retention of underrepresented minorities in the computational sciences. She was co-organizer of the first SIAM Diversity Day Program and the Fourth Annual Conference of African-American Researchers in the Mathematical Sciences. In addition, Williams is past chair of the Coalition to Diversify Computing.

Victor M. Zavala is a computational mathematician in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory and he is a fellow in the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago. He received his B.Sc. degree from Universidad Iberoamericana (2003) and his Ph.D. degree from Carnegie Mellon University (2008), both in chemical engineering. He is currently a recipient of the DOE Office of Science Early Career Award under which he develops scalable algorithms for optimization under uncertainty. He also leads an advanced grid modeling project funded by DOE Office of Electricity to develop and test large-scale power grid and natural gas network models and he participates in the Multifaceted Mathematics for Complex Energy Systems project funded by DOE Office of Science. His research interests are in the areas of mathematical modeling of energy and power systems, uncertainty modeling, stochastic optimization, and real-time operations.

Mel Currie received the B.A. from Yale University in 1970 and worked as an economic analyst at the headquarters of Gulf Oil. Currie received the Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1983. From 1983 to 1986, Dr. Currie was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Auburn University. From 1986 to 1990, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Richmond. Since 1990 Dr. Currie has held the position of Mathematician at the National Security Agency. Currie has traced his family back to the 17th century in Virginia (Yorktown, Lunenburg County, Halifax County, Pittsylvania County). Has a common ancestor with Arthur Ashe. Present day notables in the family include jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, his mother's younger brother. Suspects a link to mathematician David Blackwell, Blackwell being a notable name on his family tree.