The Center for Advanced Research Computing (CARC) at The University of New Mexico recently welcomed Professor Ylva Pihlström as its new associate director.

“I'm quite excited to have the opportunity to work with the outstanding CARC staff toward enabling the best possible research computing environment at UNM, and to put UNM in high regard for future students to come to Albuquerque for their studies,” Pihlström said.

Professor Ylva Pihlström
Professor Ylva Pihlström

After receiving her doctorate degree at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, Pihlström relocated to New Mexico where she began her work with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro in 2001. Pihlström has been a valued faculty member of the UNM Department of Physics and Astronomy since 2005. In addition to teaching courses, she is also an Adjunct Astronomer with the NRAO, Director of the UNM Campus Observatory, Associate Director of the UNM Center for Astrophysical Research and Technology, and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Affairs, Physics and Astronomy.

Pihlström is eager to contribute her expertise in research to the CARC team, noting, “By being at the front of cutting edge technology application research I hope I have a good understanding of what colleague researchers may need, and that my involvement will also aid in making sure UNM students will have access to HPC to perform the calculations necessary for their PhD projects.”

Because of Pihlström’s background in astronomical research, she has worked extensively with high performance computing systems like those housed in CARC. From analyzing data collected by radio astronomy observatories like the Very Large Array to modeling the behavior of celestial bodies, astronomical research produces incredible quantities of data that can only be processed using high-performance computing.

Pihlström recognizes the increasing importance of high-performance computing in university settings.

“The university's mission is not only to provide higher education, but naturally also to generate new knowledge through university-led research. While every research project is different in its character, in many fields there is a rapidly growing data throughput and output, and a need of more complex computing resources to be able to handle the data and perform necessary calculations and simulations. CARC is crucial for supplying these computing resources and therefore for bringing the research mission of UNM forward,” she said.