In the shop
H. Richard Hicks was raised in Sarasota, Florida, and lived in Tallahassee, FL, Urbana, IL, Pittsburgh, PA, and Oak Ridge TN. Hicks retired in 2000 and moved to Staunton, VA, with his wife Jane. Hicks has four grown step-children and four grandkids. He has taken up furniture making as his retirement interest.
Professional career (computational physics, management):
Hicks earned a double
major in Physics and Mathematics from Florida State University. He did
his graduate work in Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
His early work there was with John Pasta on the very nonlinear Fermi-Pasta-Ulam
problem which exhibited much of the nonlinear and chaotic behavior that
now is widely studied. Hicks obtained his Ph.D. in Elementary Particle
Physics from Illinois under Roy Schult, and then spent two years at Carnegie-Mellon University
on a post doctoral appointment with Dick Cutkosky.
In 1972 Hicks joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) where he worked for about a dozen years
doing fusion energy computations with Ben Carreras. Most of these computations
were performed at the Magnetic Fusion Energy (MFE) Computer Center (now
NERSC), and for at least a couple of years Hicks was the biggest single
user of MFE, and therefore probably the biggest supercomputer user in the
unclassified world. The nonlinear calculations he and his collaborators
performed helped us to understand magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instability in nuclear fusion experiments.
Hicks is the author of over 56 journal articles (4 of which are in Phys.
Rev. Letters), 48 Technical Reports, 115 Conference presentations, and
56 other technical memos.
In the mid 80's Hicks turned to addressing broader computing issues
for ORNL. He joined Ed Oliver when Oliver came to ORNL to establish the
Office of Laboratory Computing, and later Hicks was appointed head of the
Office of Computing and Network Management. Hicks was heavily involved
in the DOE-sponsored Adventures in Supercomputing program for high school
students. He helped to write the proposal which resulted in ORNL being
named one of two DOE high Performance Computing Research Centers under
the Federal High Performance Computing Program. This award led to the
of the ORNL National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS). He
and was the Director of, ORNL's Computing, Information, and Networking Division, consisting of about 130 employees and a budget of around $18M. For about one year he was also an acting Associate Laboratory Director and Vice President of Lockheed Martin Energy Research (the prime ORNL contractor at the time).
He has been extemely fortunate to have had a succession of great mentors through the years, including:
(Srasota High School physics teacher)
- Susumu Kuno
(Harvard linguistics profesor)
- John Pasta
(University of Ilinois computational scientist)
- Roy Schult
(University of Illinois physics professor)
- Dick Cutkosky
(Carnegie Mellon University physics professor)
- Ben Carreras
(Oak Ridge National Laboratory corporate fellow)
- Ed Oliver
(Oak Ridge National Laboratory associate director)