John (“Jay”) Boisseau, Ph.D. is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder of Vizias. Jay is an experienced supercomputing leader with over 20 years in the field, having worked at three supercomputing centers—including founding one—and consulted for two technology companies. Jay’s current position is CEO and co-founder of Vizias (June 2014) and soon (August 2015) Vizias.org (non-profit technology research, education and outreach). Vizias is a small team of talented, passionate technology professionals who are determined to change the world by leveraging their supercomputing and other technology experience, and their interests in mobile technologies and Big Data analytics, to develop new ‘smart city’ and ‘mHealth’ solutions. Jay’s recent work includes working with Dell to further develop its high performance computing (HPC) strategy, vision, and new solutions for a broader use of HPC; developing ‘smart city’ technologies and applications, including mobile and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices to collect data and communicate information to city planners and citizens; and developing ‘mHealth’ solutions that leverage mobile, wearable, and IoT devices to help in recovery from severe illnesses. Jay recently started the Austin CityUP consortium (July 2015), with a vision of creating an integrated smart city fabric throughout Austin—leveraging mobile devices and IoT collectors, as well as supercomputers for predictive analytics and scenario simulation—in the years ahead to address city issues, empower city planning, and improve city life in general. Finally, Jay is also the director of The Austin Forum on Technology & Society, the leading monthly technology outreach and engagement event in Austin, which he founded in 2006.
Jay graduated with a bachelor’s degree in astronomy and physics from the University of Virginia in 1986 while also working as a computer consultant. He continued to work in Charlottesville for an additional year as a scientific programmer, then he entered the graduate program in astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin. After obtaining his masters degree in 1990, Jay initiated his dissertation research on modeling the dynamics of Type Ia supernovae using Cray supercomputers. This work stimulated his interest in high performance computing and led him to join the staff of the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center (ARSC) as a programmer analyst in 1994 while continuing his supernova modeling research. At ARSC, Jay helped develop and lead several projects and activities in the relatively new center while supporting a growing scientific user community.
Jay completed his dissertation at The University of Texas at Austin and joined the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) in 1996 to advance his career in high performance computing. At SDSC, Jay became an Associate Director and created the Scientific Computing Department, with groups specializing in applications optimization, performance modeling, parallel tools development, grid portals development, and user support. He led several major SDSC projects for the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI) and also led SDSC’s participation in the Department of Defense (DoD) Programming Environments and Training (PET) program. He also founded the IBM Scientific Computing User Group while at SDSC.
In June 2001, Jay returned to Austin to create the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin. Under his direction, TACC grew in size and stature to become one of the leading academic advanced computing centers in the world, with over 100 staff, world-class supercomputing systems, and several competitive-awarded multi-million dollar federal grants. He established a strong research and development program at TACC and expanded the computational resources by winning two of the largest National Science Foundation (NSF) awards in UT Austin history: for Stampede, deployed in January 2013, which remains one of the ten most powerful computing systems in the world, and for Ranger (now retired), which debuted as a top 5 system in the world and was the largest NSF award in UT Austin’s history at $59 million in 2007. Jay was also one of the leaders in the NSF-sponsored Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project, the most powerful and robust collection of integrated advanced digital resources and services in the world. He was also instrumental in the creation and execution of the University of Texas Research Cyberinfrastructure (UTRC) Project, designed to enhance the UT System’s 15 institutions’ research programs by leveraging TACC’s advanced computing systems and expertise.