Mr John Towns
John Towns is Deputy CIO for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Executive Director for Science & Technology at NCSA (the National Center for Supercomputing Applications), also at Illinois. He is also PI and Project Director for the National Science Foundation-funded Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project establishing a national advanced digital research services ecosystem, the PI of the eXtreme Digital (XD) Technology Identification Service project to identify and evaluate emerging technologies for use within the national advanced digital research services ecosystem, the US PI on the Cy-Tera Project establishing a supercomputing center in Cyprus, and the Director for the Illinois Campus Cluster Program operating shared research computing resources for the University of Illinois. Towns also serves on the Board of Directors of Compute Canada, on multiple research IT-related committees at the University of Illinois and on several advisory boards for national and international eScience infrastructure projects including the HathiTrust Research Center Advisory Board, the EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance Advisory Committee, the FutureGrid User Advisory Board, and the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing Scientific Advisory Committee. Towns plays significant roles in the deployment and operation of high-end resources and services and distributed computing projects. His background is in computational astrophysics utilizing a variety of computational architectures with a focus on application performance analysis. At NCSA, he provides leadership and direction in the support of an array of computational science and engineering research projects making use of advanced computing resources and services. He earned M.S. degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Illinois and a B.S. in Physics from the University of Missouri-Rolla..