Margaret Lawson

  • Program Year: 3
  • Academic Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Field of Study: Computer Science
  • Academic Advisor: William Gropp
  • Practicum(s):
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2021)
  • Degree(s):
    A.B. Computer Science, Dartmouth College, 2018

Summary of Research

My research interests are in parallel computing, and more specifically, in developing data management middleware for high performance computing science applications. My research has focused on leveraging existing database technologies to create metadata management systems that are designed to facilitate scientific discovery. My systems allow scientists to store rich, custom metadata and provide a wide variety of queries to allow scientists to explore these metadata contents, and to rapidly identify subsets of data that are interesting and should be explored further.


Margaret Lawson, et al. 2017. EMPRESS—Extensible Metadata PRovider for Extreme-scale Scientific Simulations. In PDSW-DISCS’17: The Second Joint International Workshop on Parallel Data Storage & Data Intensive Scalable Computing Systems, SC17.

Michael A Sevilla, Reza Nasirigerdeh, Carlos Maltzahn, Jeff LeFevre, Noah Watkins, Peter Alvaro, Margaret Lawson, Jay Lofstead, and Jim Pivarski. 2018. Tintenfisch: File System Namespace Schemas and Generators. In The 10th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Storage and File Systems.

Craig Ulmer, Shyamali Mukherjee, Gary Templet, Scott Levy, Jay Lofstead, Patrick Widener, Todd Kordenbrock, and Margaret Lawson. 2018. Faodel: Data Management for Next-Generation Application Workflows. In Proceedings of Workshop on Infrastructure for Workflows and Application Composition.

Margaret Lawson. 2018. The Next Generation of EMPRESS: A Metadata Management System For Accelerated Scientific Discovery At Exascale. Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2018-846, June 2018.

Margaret Lawson and Jay Lofstead. 2018. Using a Robust Metadata Management System to Accelerate Scientific Discovery at Extreme Scales. In PDSW-DISCS’18: The Third Joint International Workshop on Parallel Data Storage & Data Intensive Scalable Computing Systems, SC18.

Jay Lofstead, Ashleigh Ryan, Margaret Lawson. 2019. Adventures in NoSQL for Metadata Management. In High Performance Computing, ISC High Performance.

Nolan Monnier, Jay Lofstead, Margaret Lawson, and Matthew Curry. 2019. Profiling Platform Storage Using IO500 and Mistral. In PDSW-DISCS’19: The Fourth Joint International Workshop on Parallel Data Storage & Data Intensive Scalable Computing Systems, SC19.

Margaret Lawson, Cyrus Harrison, Eric Brugger, Aaron Skinner, Matthew Larsen. 2021. Automated Computational Steering Using the Capable Yes-No Machine. In ISAV’21: Workshop on In Situ Infrastructures for Enabling Extreme-scale Analysis and Visualization, SC21.

Margaret Lawson, William Gropp, and Jay Lofstead. 2022. EMPRESS: Accelerating Scientific Discovery Through Descriptive Metadata Management. ACM Transactions on Storage, 2022.

Margaret Lawson, William Gropp, and Jay Lofstead. 2022. Exploring Spatial Indexing for Accelerated Feature Retrieval in HPC. In The 22nd IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Cluster, Cloud and Grid Computing (CCGrid).

Margaret Lawson, William Gropp, Marianne Winslett, and Jay Lofstead. 2022. Why SQLite Is the Descriptive Metadata Solution HPC Needs (in submission).

Margaret Lawson, William Gropp, and Jay Lofstead. 2022. EMPRESSA: The First General Descriptive Metadata Solution for HPC (in submission).

Margaret Lawson. 2022. Accelerating Discovery From High Performance Computing Applications Using Descriptive Metadata Management. Doctoral dissertation, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


2019 CSGF (accepted)
2019 NSF (offered)

2018: Computer Science Gene Golub Fellowship (Univ. of Illinois)
2018: The SURGE Fellowship (Univ. of Illinois)

Winter 2015: Computer Science-1 Citation for Excellence (Dartmouth College)
2014-2015: Second Honor Group (top 15% GPA, Dartmouth College)
Fall 2015: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies-10 Citation for Excellence (Dartmouth College)
Winter 2016: Economics-24 (Development Economics) Citation for Excellence (Dartmouth College)
Winter 2016: Andrew Warden Edson Memorial Prize in Government (Dartmouth College)
2015-2016: Rufus Choate Scholar (top 5% GPA, Dartmouth College)
2016-2017: Third Honor Group (top 35% GPA, Dartmouth College)
Fall 2017: Finalist for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers award from the CRA (Computing Research Association)
Winter, Spring 2018: Thesis Research Citation for Excellence (X2) (Dartmouth College)
Spring 2018: Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa
Spring 2018: Graduated with High Honors in Computer Science (Dartmouth College)
Spring 2018: Graduated Summa Cum Laude (Dartmouth College)
2017-2018: Second Honor Group (top 15% GPA, Dartmouth College)

High School
2014: National Merit Finalist
2014: Girl Scout Gold Award, created a 501(c)(3) non-profit for high school language programs