Congratulations to Daniela Markazi, ABE 2019, current Informatics PhD student, and 2021 Generation Google Scholar. Daniela, advised by Professors Luis Rodriguez and Rachel Magee, is one of just 11 students in the world to be selected for the highly competitive Computational and Data Science Fellowship from the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing. Daniela explains why this opportunity is so impactful: “As I study the intersection between technology and environmental issues, this fellowship will give me the wonderful opportunity to utilize data science techniques for research that is truly meaningful for me.” Daniela Markazi

The program is intended to increase the diversity of students pursuing graduate degrees in data science and computational science, including women, as well as students from backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in the computing field. The fellowship provides $15,000 annually for study anywhere in the world.

“All my life, I have been a part of organizations and causes related to promoting young people and women in STEM, such as diversifying fields like computer science and data science. I want to continue my work in helping, encouraging, and uplifting youth, women, and those who are marginalized in society to help them reach their potential. This is why this fellowship fits me especially well, as it focuses on increasing the diversity of students pursuing graduate degrees in data science and computational science,” Daniela says.

“SIGHPC strongly supports a mission of inclusion in the HPC community. If we are to be successful in that mission, we must broaden the range of perspectives and ideas that form the foundation of our field. It’s critical to focus on students at the early career stage and provide opportunities for them,” says Stephen Lien Harrell, chair of the Fellowship program for 2021. “We are honored to be able to make these awards as an organization, and to continue to build a broader, more resilient, and welcoming community.”

Prior to pursuing her PhD, Daniela received her dual bachelor’s degrees in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Daniela is currently the chair of the Central Illinois Chapter of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations program, a ​mentor and outreach committee member for the Graduate Society of Women Engineers, and has been involved with the UIUC Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Program since its inception in 2018. Outside of the university, Daniela works as a robotics engineer at John Deere in Champaign, and she mentors Ctrl-Y Robotics, a local robotics team.