Celebrating the Class of 2022; College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Computer engineering graduate enriched his Clemson Experience with supercomputer research

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A male student wearing an orange baseball cap and purple polo shirt poses outside of Riggs Hall.
David Krasowka '22 was a first-place finisher at the Association for Computer Machinery's SC22 conference.
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A Clemson University senior is headed to December 2022 graduation on a high note after winning a student research competition at a leading supercomputer conference.

David Krasowska graduates this month with a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science and engineering under Peter Dinda at Northwestern University.

Krasowska’s path through Clemson underscores how research enriches the undergraduate experience and helps prepare students to be leaders and innovators of the future. He has been conducting research with Jon Calhoun, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Their work together focuses on lossy compression in high-performance computing for scientific applications. Lossy compression is a technique that involves discarding the least important information to reduce the amount of data for storing and processing.

A male professor wearing gray slacks and a navy button-down shirt walks outside of an academic building with a male student wearing jeans, a purple polo shirt and an orange baseball cap.
Assistant Professor Jon Calhoun (left) has served as a mentor to David Krasowska (right) during his time at Clemson.

Krasowska’s victory in the Student Research Competition at the Association for Computing Machinery’s SC22 conference marked a comeback for him. He said the poster he had submitted a year earlier had been rejected for SC21.

“This year, I put in even more effort and more time — a good chunk of the summer — and we got accepted,” he said. “A few weeks later, I got an email that I was a best poster candidate.”

The number of competitors was whittled to three by November when they gathered at a Dallas convention center for the conference. To win, Krasowska gave a presentation on his research and answered judges’ questions.

The winning poster was titled “Statistical Prediction of Lossy Compression Ratios for 3D Scientific Data.”

As the first-place finisher, Krasowska will advance to the next round, where he will face off against the winners of other Student Research Competitions that were held at other Association for Computing Machinery conferences.

“He pushed through and didn’t let the rejection of his first poster get him down. I was able to help mentor him some, but the time and effort he put in made this possible. I enjoyed watching David succeed and seeing the transformation he made in his ability to do research.”

Jon Calhoun, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Krasowska, the son of Anna Krasowska, went to the Academy for the Arts, Science & Technology in Myrtle Beach for high school. He first got interested in computer engineering early in high school when he built a PC gaming system so that he could play “Counter-Strike” and other video games with friends.

Krasowska chose Clemson for his undergraduate degree because his guidance counselor told him the University had a robust engineering program and because he knew he could get scholarships, including Palmetto Fellows.

Krasowska first got to know Calhoun in Spring 2021 when Calhoun taught a course on computer systems engineering. Students had the option of attending class remotely, but Krasowska opted to show up in person.

“Based on his performance in class and some interactions we had, I found that he was a good student and very knowledgeable,” Calhoun said. “I needed to recruit some students, and I had some funds for undergraduate research.”

Explore undergraduate research at Clemson

Calhoun connected Krasowska with one of his graduate students, Robert Underwood, who holds a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Ph.D., all in computer science from Clemson, and is now a postdoctoral appointee at Argonne National Laboratory.

Since May 2021, Krasowska has been conducting high-performance computing research with Argonne. The research that won him the poster competition was completed at the national lab under the guidance of Underwood and another adviser, Julie Bessac.

Krasowska is graduating from Clemson as a published researcher. While his 2021 poster got rejected, a longer version of the same research was summarized in a paper titled “Exploring Lossy Compressibility through Statistical Correlations of Scientific Datasets.” That paper, with Krasowska as a first-author, was published at the 7th International Workshop on Data Analysis and Reduction for Big Scientific Data.

Krasowska isn’t the only undergraduate to conduct research, but not many win competitions and publish papers before receiving bachelor’s degrees. As graduation neared, Krasowska was asked what he would remember most about his soon-to-be alma mater.

“The people are what makes Clemson,” he said. “There are so many people here, so many different backgrounds, and there are so many outstanding talents, whether it’s peers, mentors, professors or whoever.  They are incredible just to have a chat with. I love it.”