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Alumni Reconnect: Russ Gayle (BS 2003)

Russ Gayle (BS 2003)One of the challenges of working as a computer scientist and engineer at Sandia National Laboratories is to not be distracted by the breadth of innovative work that goes on. In any given week, I am exposed to topics and research in network and computer security, robotics, and exascale computing, to name a few.

As part of the Interactive Systems, Simulations, and Analysis group, the majority of my time is on developing interactive simulation frameworks and researching expressive path, motion, and general planning capabilities. In other words, I develop accurate 3D “games” and research analytical “gaming” technology to aid in Sandia’s national-security missions. I also spend time doing short-term “rapid prototyping” projects for a variety of related concepts including computer vision, big data analysis, and mobile systems. This breadth is part of what makes Sandia unique. As a part of my day-to-day work, I interact with world-class researchers and scientists from across the sciences, and am encouraged to learn and explore new areas, concepts, and technologies while utilizing my research background.

It’s hard not to spot me around Sandia; I’ve been a fan of the University of Texas since I was young and can often be found sporting UT paraphernalia.  My time at UT and particularly in the Department of Computer Science laid the applied and theoretical groundwork I needed to get where I am today.  I left UTCS well-equipped to solve challenging problems and gain substantial depth in concepts and topics.  The undergraduate research that I did with Dr. Bajaj in high-performance visualization sparked my curiosity in graphics and interactive systems and also in research in general. Additionally, my involvement as a mentor for the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan showed me how rewarding it can be to teach others and give back.