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Academic Profile: Mark Stillwell

Mark Stillwell, Ph.D. ICS (2010), discussed his experience after graduating with his doctoral degree. (Interview in April 2012.)

What has happened since you graduated with your Ph.D. from ICS?

After graduating with my Ph.D. I spent one year as a postdoc at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Lyon, France. I am currently a Lecturer, supervising the Distributed Computing and Science MSc option, at Cranfield University in the UK, about an hour north of London.

What are you doing these days?

In addition to lecturing, supervising research students, and writing papers, I am working to become a member of the UK’s very active community of e-Science infrustructure designers and builders. My current research focuses on the use of virtual appliances within the cloud to improve the reusability of scientific and engineering application code and the repeatability of scientific experiments. The campus, shown below, is interesting since it has an airport going through it! And of course it’s in the middle of endless greenery given that we’re in England.

Can you speak to how your experience in ICS has prepared you for what came after?

I have found the material covered in my courses on Software Engineering, High Performance Computing, and Numerical Algorithms to be extremely useful. The opportunity to propose and develop solutions to open ended problems in courses like Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision contributed greatly to my development as an independent researcher. Additionally, the international connections I made by working with visiting researchers in the ICS department were absolutely essential for establishing myself in Europe and finding work abroad.

Would you have any advice for ICS Graduate Students?

Hawaii is at a crossroads, and there are opportunities to make connections with researchers from all over the world, particularly the mainland US, Asia, and Australia/New Zealand. Our department also has links to Europe, Africa, and South America. Make the most of those connections.

Anything else you want to add?

Enjoy your time in Hawaii while it lasts. There’s nowhere else in the world quite like it.