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Meet Professor Karen Karavanic
Meet Professor Karen Karavanic

Professor Karen L. Karavanic, Ph.D., Department of Computer Science

Dr. Karen L. Karavanic joined the Department of Computer Science at PSU's Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science in January 2000. She earned her B.A. in Computer Science at New York University, and her master's and Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Karavanic enjoyed the support of a NASA Graduate Student Resources Program Fellowship, which took her to the NASA-Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA.

Since coming to Portland State, Dr. Karavanic formed the High Performance Computing (HPC) Laboratory and continues to serve as its director. She organized a team of students to build "Wyeast," a 48 node Linux cluster, with each cluster node containing two 866 megahurtz processors. This impressive cluster is earthquake proof, bolted from ceiling to floor with steel frames. The HPC Lab has been the facility for dozens of student research projects. Many of Dr. Karavanic's former students are currently employed by a variety of regional companies, including Intel Corporation, Cray Inc., and The Portland Group, a division of STMicroelectronics, in Lake Oswego.

During the 2004-2005 academic year, Dr. Karavanic was invited to be a participating guest at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, CA, under the umbrella of the Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) unit of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). LLNL is home to the world's fastest supercomputer, the BlueGene/L, which contains over 65,000 processors. At LLNL, she initiated the PerfTrack project, which is developing solutions for performance measurement and analysis of high-end computer applications. This important work contributes to the success of all branches of science, including emergency and disaster response simulations. PerfTrack is an ongoing collaboration between PSU and LLNL

The PerfTrack team recently traveled to Seattle for SC05, The International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis. Dr. Karavanic presented a paper describing PerfTrack and served on the Technical Program Committee. Team members demonstrated the PerfTrack prototype software at the NNSA/Advanced Simulation and Computing research exhibit booth.

When not teaching or doing research, Dr. Karavanic carves out time to do race walking. A member of the USA Track Federation, she has completed the Portland Marathon for each of the last five years and provides professional technical support to the Portland-based group, "Women Walk the Marathon."