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Research Computing Center
University of Chicago
6030 S. Ellis Ave. Suite 126
Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: 609-865-5234
email: drudd[at]


University of Chicago

  • Ph.D., Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2007
  • Enrico Fermi Institute, Nathan Sugarman Research Award, 2006
  • M.S., Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2003
  • McCormick Fellowship, 2002-2004

University of Arizona

  • B.A., Honors, Astronomy and Computer Science, 2002
  • Department of Astronomy, Research Award, 2002
  • College of Science, Academic Distinction, 1999
  • National Merit Scholarship, 1998

Academic Experience

Scientific Computing Consultant [2012-present]
Chicago IL
  • Provide HPC expertise to researchers using cluster computing resources at the University of Chicago and elsewhere
  • Contribute to the development of astrophysical codes including CosmoSIS, YT, and CART
  • Teach workshops on various research computing topics including Python for HPC, OpenMP, MPI, and Debugging and Optimization
Postdoctoral Associate [2010-2012]
New Haven, CT
  • Performed one of the largest hydrodynamic cosmological simulations to explore the statistics of turbulent motions in massive galaxy clusters
  • Mentored two graduate students and one undergraduate student in computational cosmology projects, including configuring and running simulations and developing new physics modules.
Postdoctoral Member [2007-2010]
Princeton, NJ
  • Continued research program modeling astrophysical uncertainties in using observations of galaxy clusters to constrain the properties of dark energy
  • Awarded NSF grant (PI) to prepare CART cosmological simulation code for petascale platforms. Developed hybrid parallel model (MPI+OpenMP). Collaborated in developing a performance model for identifying scalability limitations and testing new load balancing algorithms
Graduate Research Assistant [2002-2007]
Chicago IL
  • Developed distributed-parallel cosmological hydrodynamic simulation code CART
  • Explored the influence of baryonic physics on the growth of cosmological structure
  • Created a large sample of simulated galaxy clusters to study the formation history dependence of their observational properties
Independent Research [2000-2002]
Tucson, AZ
  • Developed distributed parallel N-body treecode for modeling dissipationless galaxy mergers
  • Studied the influence of minor galaxy mergers on the heating of stellar disks

Industry Experience

Systems Administrator [1999-present]
Geo-Design, Inc
Tucson, AZ
  • Configured and administered web and database servers. Performed migrations from local hosting to colocated servers to AWS load balanced instances
  • Developed, supervised development, and maintained various web applications
Web Developer [2000-2002]
Department of Astronomy
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ
  • Led team of students in converting an astronomy textbook into an online resource
  • Developed web applets for illustrating basic astronomy concepts
  • Configured and maintained web and database server
Database Application Developer [1997-1999]
ProNet, Inc.
Phoenix, AZ
  • Developed custom database applications and provided network and on-site computer support for client businesses
  • Integrated 3rd-party accounting software with a custom inventory management application, designed to streamline appraisal and sales of used-vehicles using handheld wireless barcode scanners


A list of my publications can be found here.

Technical Skills

  • Application development and analytics on a variety of platforms including Python, C/C++, and Java
  • Data cleaning, analysis, and visualization in a Unix environment
  • Designing and deploying database-driven web applications
  • High-performance computing using MPI and OpenMP