University of Rhode Island names respected professor, researcher, computational scientist to lead research computing efforts

KINGSTON, R.I. – Oct. 22, 2020 – The University of Rhode Island has named Gaurav Khanna, Ph.D., its founding director of Research Computing. Khanna comes to URI from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he served as a professor of physics and co-director of the university’s Center for Scientific Computing & Visualization Research.

A respected leader in research computing for more than a decade, Khanna has directed several scientific computing efforts at UMass Dartmouth, including supporting the research efforts of faculty members across the campus. He also served as the founding director for the interdisciplinary Engineering & Applied Sciences Ph.D. program, the largest Ph.D. program at UMass Dartmouth.

“I’m looking forward to building a research computing center at the University of Rhode Island that will help support and grow the research efforts of both junior and established researchers across its campuses,” says Khanna. “I intend to develop a wide array of computational resources (local, regional, cloud) with full support, to advance the diverse research work underway at Rhode Island’s only public research university.”

Khanna also served on multiple committees in the UMass system that play a role in the governance of the Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center and noted the opportunity to make similar advances at URI, “I look forward to the center innovating in the space of green and energy-efficient computing, and in the emerging area of quantum computing.”

As an accomplished researcher in the area of black hole and gravitational physics, Khanna has been funded by the National Science Foundation for nearly two decades and has published nearly 100 papers in top peer-reviewed research journals. His research has been covered widely in outlets including Wired, Forbes, BBC, HPCWire, Discovery, and the New York Times.

Khanna earned a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India in 1995. He earned his Ph.D. from Penn State in 2000.