Joy Kitson

Institution/Organization: University of Maryland

Department: Computer Science

Academic Status:
Graduate Student

What conference theme areas are you interested in (check all that apply):

Applications in science, engineering, and industry
Computation with discrete structures and graphs
Data assimilation, challenges in data science, math of AI and ML
Emerging software infrastructure for CSE, sustainability of numerical software
High-performance computing, emerging architectures and programming paradigms
Quantum algorithms, quantum computation, and quantum information science


Generally speaking, I am interested in understanding and improving the ways in which high performance computing (HPC) supports research by the broader scientific community. While this of course covers a broad range of topics, they can be split into three specific categories. The first is simulations directly used by scientists to test theory and predict the behavior of complex real-world systems, such as epidemiological models. The second is tools used by developers of those scientific applications to better understand and optimise the operation of their code, such as performance analysis tools. The third is high level analyses of the development practices, application characteristics, and diagnostic tools which allow scientific applications to maintain their usefulness in the mid to long term with a minimum of maintenance.

Non-Work Related Activities/Interests: 

I served as President of ACM at UD for about a year and a half, and as the Events Coordinator for the club for half a year before that. Even while I was Events Coordinator, I played a large role in helping manage the club, by running the weekly body meetings. This made me the logical choice to succeed the outgoing President when she stepped down a few weeks into the Spring semester to focus on her studies. After she left, I and the remaining Executive Board members sought to reorient the club to focus on building a community for computer science students. We had all noticed that the other engineering majors at our school were extremely tight-knit whereas most of us hadn’t known many people in our major well until our second or third year. And so we sought to build the community that we wished we had when we entered the major, restructuring meetings to be more approachable by focusing less on coding challenges and more on presentations, and working together with other computer science clubs to host events like a spring hackathon and an ice cream social to welcome incoming freshmen. And though the events of this spring prevent us from hosting another hackathon, we continued to hold meetings virtually after campus was shut down and were able to keep in touch and hold elections through an online space dedicated to the club. I also served for a year as the Secretary of oSTEM at UD, a club focused on providing a space for LGBTQ+ individuals in technical fields. At our meetings, we sought to recognize the contributions of member of the LGBTQ+ community to science, build professional connections, and support each other’s professional and academic careers. Some of my hobbies include playing various games with friends, including Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop games of that sort), board games and video games. Pre-pandemic (and graduation), I was at part of a choir at UD as well as swing dancing and theatre groups.