Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ada Lovelace Day 09

Ada Lovelace Day is an opportunity to write about women in technology. I decided I would write about one of my old lecturers who is using her computer background to help advance the field of visualisation of molecules.

Michelle Kuttel obtained her degreee in Computer Science and went on to study computational chemistry for her PhD. Her PhD thesis focused on Simulations of Carbohydrate Conformational Dynamics and Thermodynamics. While working towards her doctorate Michelle was the sysadmin for the chemistry group at UCT.

Following her doctorate Michelle has been lecturing students in Computer Science at UCT while working on visualising algorithms for carbohydrates and the simulation of carbohydrates. She also supervises students who are testing new docking techniques for molecules, visualisation of carbohydrates and high performance algorithms for computational chemistry.

Michelle is well-known in South African circles for high performance computing and was one of the original team to push for the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) that is now operational in Cape Town.

For me, Michelle and other female researchers at UCT were proof that females could survive the world of computing and still do the work they love.

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