STEM Shoutout: Dr. Amanda Bienz

Computer programmer joins UNM’s computer science department in fall 2020


Dr. Amanda Bienz will join UNM as a new computer science professor in fall 2020. Her current research focuses on developing software for supercomputers to optimize their computing speed.


“We are on the brink of exascale computing and have the hardware capability to solve very large and complex problems throughout STEM, but software lags behind. Using performance models to pinpoint bottlenecks, performance optimizations can have such a large impact that we have seen speedups of 5-10 times to entire applications by changing only the path of communication,” Bienz said.


Bienz’s main goal of her research is to create methods that allow for applications to fully utilize the hardware capability of supercomputers. This will allow for supercomputers to compute numerical simulations and artificial intelligence applications much faster than the hours or days that it takes currently.


Bienz decided to join UNM’s computer science department because of the faculty members she met and the national labs nearby. 


“Throughout all of my time spent working with and visiting different schools, I have never met a group of faculty who were all so welcoming and happy to work with one another.  I never felt out of place during my visit to UNM, which is unusual as a woman in a Computer Science department. And finally, I’ve worked closely with national labs throughout my PhD and postdoc, and the strong connection between UNM and the nearby labs made this school stand out,” Bienz said.