Lorena A. Barba is Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the George Washington University, in Washington DC. She has MSc and PhD degrees in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology and BSc and PEng degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María in Chile. Previous to joining GW, she was Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University (2008–2013) and Lecturer/Senior Lecturer of Applied Mathematics at University of Bristol, UK (2004–2008). Barba was a Faculty Fellow of the Boston University Rafik Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, and is a Visiting Research Professor at the Scientific and Technological Center of Valparaíso—Centro Científico-Tecnológico de Valparaíso, CCTVal— in Chile.

Since 2007, when Prof. Barba first got involved in GPU computing, she has advocated that GPUs are important for scientifically developing countries to access high-performance computing. It is an unexpected benefit of this technology that it presents an opportunity for scientists at institutions without large installed infrastructure. Owning an operating a cluster of GPUs is within reach at many institutions in middle-income countries, and Prof. Barba has personally driven the adoption of GPUs at Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, which in 2011 became the first CUDA Teaching Center in Chile.

In January 2011, Barba led the NSF- and DOE-funded Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute "Scientific Computing in the Americas: the challenge of massive parallelism", which was held in Chile. Almost seventy graduate students and postdocs from the US and Latin America participated, receiving instruction on parallel computing and GPUs from world-leaders such as Profs. Wen-mei Hwu (UIUC) and Takayuki Aoki (TokyoTech). She also serves as Papers Co-Chair of the inaugural Innovative Parallel Computing conference, InPar'12.

Barba is an Amelia Earhart Fellow of the Zonta Foundation (1999), an awardee of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) First Grant scheme (UK, 2007), an NVIDIA Academic Partner award recipient (2011), and a recipient of the National Science Foundation Early CAREER award (2012).

Research Interests: 

Computational Fluid Dynamics (especially Immersed Boundary Methods and Particle Methods for Fluid Simulation, Fundamental and Applied Aspects of Fluid Dynamics

Notable Publications: 

“Hierarchical N-body simulations with auto-tuning for heterogeneous systems”, Rio Yokota, L A Barba. Computing in Science and Engineering (CiSE), 3 Jan. 2012, IEEE Computer Society, doi:10.1109/MCSE.2012.1.
Preprint arXiv:1108.5815

“How to obtain efficient GPU kernels: an illustration using FMM & FGT”, Felipe A Cruz, Simon K Layton, L A Barba. Comput. Phys. Commun., 182(10):2084–2098 (2011) doi:10.1016/j.cpc.2011.05.002
Preprint arXiv:1009.3457

“Biomolecular electrostatics using a fast multipole BEM on up to 512 GPUs and a billion unknowns”, Rio Yokota, J P Bardhan, M G Knepley, L A Barba, T Hamada. Comput. Phys. Commun., 182(6):1271–1283 (2011) doi:10.1016/j.cpc.2011.02.013  Preprint arXiv:1007.4591

Related program: 
Accelerated Computing