Staci Smith

PhD Student

Office: GS 749

Interests: High-performance computing (HPC), networking and network topologies in HPC, runtime systems


Staci Smith is a fourth-year Ph.D. student working under Dr. David Lowenthal on HPC and parallel and distributed computing. An Arizona native, she studied for two years at Cochise Community College before receiving a merit scholarship for an additional two years at any state school. She went on to receive her B.S in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Arizona in 2014, where she was selected as Outstanding Senior by both departments. She was a computer science Galileo Circle Scholar in 2013 and again in 2017, and the 2018-2019 ARCS Foundation Crawford Endowment Scholar.

​​​​​Research Interests

My general research interests are in performance analysis, performance modeling, and runtime systems for HPC machines. I currently focus on communication and network performance, with particular interest in using routing, software-defined networking, and job scheduling techniques to decrease network congestion. I am also interested in more theoretical network topology and network routing research.

What long-term project do you want to work on?

In general I would like to keep working on improving job performance on shared systems, both in HPC and cloud centers.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy doing research as a Ph.D. student because I get to be creative and work independently, and because I have a great working relationship with my advisor and committee. I also enjoy the flexibility and culture of graduate school, and being accountable to myself for the quality of my work.

What are your career goals?

I plan to go to industry after I graduate, but I would love to have a position which allows me to spend some time doing research and continuing to be independent and creative.

​​​​Tell us something interesting about yourself!

When I’m not doing research, I’m usually at the gym powerlifting or at home making something delicious to eat. I especially like to bake, and I have my own wild sourdough starter that I developed this summer -- his name is Marcel.