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Randles Wins 2017 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award

Award recognizes the development of HARVEY, a massively parallel fluid dynamics simulation capable of modeling the full human arterial system at subcellular resolution

Amanda Randles

Amanda Randles, the recently named Alfred Winborne Mordecai and Victoria Stover Mordecai Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University, is the 2017 recipient of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Grace Murray Hopper Award.

The Microsoft-supported award is given to the outstanding young computer professional of the year, selected on the basis of a single recent major technical or service contribution. Randles is being recognized for developing HARVEY—a massively parallel fluid dynamics simulation capable of modeling the full human arterial system at subcellular resolution. The visionary program is already fostering discoveries that could improve the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of human diseases.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to have won this award when you consider that past recipients have been Bjarne Stroustrup for laying the foundations of the C++ programming language, Robert Metcalfe for developing the Ethernet, and Steve Wozniak for contributions to personal computing, specifically the apple computer,” said Randles.

A focus of Randles’s research has been in developing and applying high-performance computing to biomedical problems. With HARVEY, she combined her knowledge of applied physics, computational methods and parallel computing to develop a physiologically accurate model of the movement of red blood cells throughout the body.

The simulation mapped 500 billion fluid points using a supercomputer with 1.6 million cores (individual processors). HARVEY marked the first time a researcher had been able to effectively model the flow of blood at the cellular level.

Randles is presently working with collaborators at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School to extend the use of HARVEY to cancer biology and cardiovascular treatment planning. Her cross-disciplinary approach has helped to bridge the gap between the computer and the clinic—translating computational results into actionable data physicians can use to improve patient outcomes.

The Grace Murray Hopper Award is one of several prestigious annual awards given by ACM. The recipients of each award were selected by their peers for making significant contributions that have had far-reaching impact on the ascendance of computing as an integral part of how we live and work today, opening promising new avenues for research exploration and commercial application in the coming years. The 2017 recipients will be formally honored at the ACM Awards Banquet on June 23, 2018 in San Francisco.

ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges.