Making idea-sharing easier

Name: Brandon Hill
Program: Computer science
Year: Third-year Ph.D.
Hometown: Norwell, Massachusetts (though he has lived in about 20 cities along the East Coast)

Making a hub more mobile: Brandon works for HUBzero.org at the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing at Purdue. The purpose of HUBzero is to enable students and researchers to publish HUBzero research software and related educational materials on the Internet. To access this site, users must log in via either a traditional computer or a laptop. But in our increasingly mobile world, many people are using technologies like iPads and other tablet devices. That's why Brandon and others are working on a version of HUBzero that can be accessed via tablet devices just as securely and powerfully as via a desktop or laptop computer.

Would you like a simulation with your coffee? Brandon says HUBzero and its related hubs like NanoHUB are vital to researchers — both professors and students alike — because the technology has allowed the easy sharing of ideas through simulations or lecture videos. Taking it one step further will only enhance its usefulness, he says. "There's great benefit to expanding it to iPad and other similar devices. We're always pushing to open access to the HUB. Having that additional platform will help students with assignments and allow questions to be asked much more easily. It's another level of accessibility so that you don't have to be bound to a desk. My goal is to bring it to people at the coffee shop."

Knowledge-seeker: After earning his undergraduate degree in computer science, Brandon worked in various computer security jobs (including with the U.S. Navy) for about 15 years before coming to Purdue. He decided to pursue a Ph.D. because he wanted to explore computer science more deeply. His doctoral research focuses on computer programming languages. "I like the discovery of the unknown and figuring out the rules that dictate how things work."

His hobbies: Brandon is an avid home-brewer of beer. He owns his own equipment and is active with the Tippecanoe Homebrewers Circle.

What the future holds: Brandon says there are a number of different paths he could take after earning his Ph.D. "In my career so far, I could never have predicted my jobs. I just keep my eyes open for challenges and new opportunities."

By Kim Delker