My main area of expertise is in the architecture of data acquisition and data analysis systems for high energy physics, astrophysics and photon science experiments. I'm currently the Director of the Controls & Data Systems Division within the Technology and Innovation Directorate at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and PI of the ExaFEL project.

Education & Certifications

  • PhD, University of Pavia, Particle Physics (1999)
  • Laurea, University of Pisa, Physics (1994)


  • Data Analytics at the Exascale for Free Electron Lasers, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory

    The ExaFEL application within the DOE Exascale Computing Project aims at shrinking the X-ray Free Electron Laser data analysis timescale from weeks to minutes. Near real-time interpretation of molecular structure revealed by X-ray diffraction will require computational intensities of unprecedented scales, coupled to a datapath of unprecedented bandwidth. Detector data rates at light sources are advancing exponentially: the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) will increase its data throughput by three orders of magnitude by 2025. Users of LCLS require an integrated combination of data processing and scientific interpretation, where both aspects demand intensive computational analysis. This analysis must be carried out quickly to allow users to iterate their experiments and extract the most value from scarce beam time. In this proposal we identify a grand challenge: Enabling new photon science from the LCLS will require near real-time analysis (~10 min) of data bursts, requiring burst computational intensities exceeding an exaflop. Achieving such turn around on the future, much larger, data sets using algorithms with higher fidelity than any facility can support today will require exascale resources. Success will also require an inter-facility R&D partnership. As an end-to-end challenge problem, XFEL applications require significant orchestration of compute, network, and storage resources and present a model use case for ESnet R&D into network operating systems.



Professional Interests

My research interests span diverse science and technology areas: pattern recognition, trigger/veto systems, silicon detectors, low noise electronics, Montecarlo simulations, large scale software development, advanced controls systems, data management and HPC.