University of Texas
Katherine Ann Holcomb



Katherine Ann Holcomb


1986 Holcomb, Katherine Ann, PhD, Thesis title: A Numerical Study of Some Spherically-symmetric and Axisymmetric Cosmological Models. The work was supervised by Richard Matzner. Katherine is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth J. Holcomb and grew up mostly in Tulsa, Oklahoma where her father was a professor of finance at the University of Tulsa. Katherine graduated from Jenks (Oklahoma) High School in 1975, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, the valedictorian and a National Merit Finalist. Katherine Holcomb attended Oklahoma State University at Stillwater, OK where she studied physics and mathematics. She graduated in 1979 and entered the University of Texas at Austin, earning her PhD in 1986. Following a postdoc at Drexel University she returned to UT for a few years as a computational consultant, then took a job as a scientific software developer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.  She later moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where her husband, John Hawley, is a professor of Astronomy at the University of Virginia.  Katherine and John coauthored a textbook on cosmology, Foundations of Modern Cosmology (Oxford University Press, 1997 and 2005).   Katherine has worked in academic research computing support and development for most of her career, and has been involved in high-performance computing since graduate school.  She is currently a Senior Research Systems Consultant with the University of Virginia Research Computing group.

In the photo album below are pictures from her UT days and later that Katherine scanned and shared. Her help is greatly appreciated.



Katherine Ann Holcomb Photo Album

Photo by: Tom Cogill; Pictured from left to right: Michele Claibourn, Don Brown, John Hawley, Katherine Holcomb, Andrew Grimshaw, Jackie Huband
Ceremony inaugurating first true high-performance computing cluster at University of Virginia
Katherine Ann Holcomb, University of Texas at Austin, Center for Relativity
Katherine Ann Holcomb, kneeling, fourth from left
Jenks High School yearbook, "Trojan", 1975
Katherine Ann Holcomb, left end of front row. Science Club
Jenks High School yearbook, "Trojan", 1975

Katherine Ann Holcomb

1985, March, UT Austin, Administrative Secretary Zelda Davis

1985, Spring, Coworker Kenneth Earl Wilson,

Thesis Title "Gauge invariant perturbation theory prediction of the sensitivity required for experimental measurement of quadrupole and higher moments of the cosmic microwave background radiation" 

(PhD 1985)

1986, April Graduation Party
Rosalind Brown, Stephen G. Eubank (PhD 1986), George Wilshire Nelson (PhD 1990), Bruce P. Jensen (PhD 1985)

Bruce Jensen, BS U. of Arizona, M.Sc. U. of London, PhD UT, student of Philip Candelas, "Vacuum Polarization on Black-Hole Spacetimes" might have married Rosalind Brown. Retired in 2017, lives in Wimborne, UK

Dave Segetti
1986, April Graduation Party
Katherine Holcomb
1986, January AAS Meeting. Houston
Katherine Holcomb, 1986
Summer at the Office
Katherine Holcomb
2017 Summer

Alice Mae Young (PhD 1985),
She is the spouse of Neil deDrasse Tyson. They met at UT and married in 1988. She did undergraduate work at Rice U.
Photo 1983

Rebecca B. "Becky" Coffman (PhD 1986),
Student of J. C. Thompson

Courtney Leyendecker
John David Brown (PhD 1985),
Photo 1983
Jim Thompson, 1985
Glenn Bennett (PhD 1984)
Graduation Party, 1985

Joyce Patten and Unknown
Center for Relativity Administrative Secretary

Katherine Holcomb, Passport Photo, 1983
Richard David Jordan (PhD 1986),
Photo 1983
Kerry G. Coffman (PhD 1986), Rebecca B. "Becky" Coffman(PhD 1986) and Ben ?
Richard Matzner and Hannu Antero Kurki-Suonio (PhD 1986),
Photo 1985

Katherine Holcomb and John Hawley

Shaw Prize Hong Kong 2013

The Shaw Prize in Astronomy 2013 was awarded in equal shares to Steven A Balbus and John F Hawley "for their discovery and study of the magnetorotational instability, and for demonstrating that this instability leads to turbulence and is a viable mechanism for angular momentum transport in astrophysical accretion disks."

John Hawley and Katherine Holcomb,
1997 February Shuttle Launch

Katherine Holcomb
Star Trek Original Set
2012 Super Computing Conference/Trade Show,
This set was shipped to Salt Lake City, Utah by Intel.

John Hawley and Katherine Holcomb
1993 Summer Holy Cross Wilderness, Colorado

Richard James "Rich" Rohwer (PhD 1985),
Photo 1984

Katherine Holcomb, 2nd from right
2015 Super Computing Conference/Trade Show
Memorial Stadium, Austin

Tony Mezzacappa (PhD 1988) and Keith Louis Thompson (PhD 1991, Astronomy)

Anthony "Tony" Mezzacappa Joint Institute for Computational Sciences 2005 Mezzacappa, who heads the Theoretical Astrophysics Group in Physics, earned his Ph.D. in 1988 at the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining ORNL in 1996, he held positions at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he is currently adjunct professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. A world leader in computational astrophysics and a pioneer in the field of supernova science, Mezzacappa was the first to implement Boltzmann kinetic theory to model neutrino transport during supernova explosions, a theoretical and numerical feat long thought impossible. Since joining ORNL in 1996, he has conceived, proposed, and now leads the Terascale Supernova Initiative, a multi-million dollar, multiyear DOE initiative involving several dozen researchers at a dozen institutions around the world. TSI is one of the world's largest computational astrophysics initiatives. Mezzacappa is a fellow of the American Physical Society and received the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering in 1999. His extensive community outreach efforts include involvement in the Universe Knoxville project and the proposed downtown relocation and expansion of the East Tennessee Discovery Center.

Taina Kaisa Kurki-Suonio PhD Defense,1989
L to R: Phil Morrison, Toshi Tajima, Austin Gleeson, Taina Kaisa Kurki-Suonio, Ed Powers


Taina Kurki-Suonio, “Non-linear Self-focusing of Optical Beams in Plasmas.” Conferred 1989

University of Virginia Alliance for Computational Science & Engineering (UVACSE) team, Ed Hall, Katherine Holcomb, and Jackie Huband


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