H. Richard Hicks: Custom Made Furniture

Staunton, Virginia

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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.


Cleaned up

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 establishment of the ORNL National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS). He established, 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:

  • Janet Whitman

    (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)

Page revised: 11/16/2011  By: H. R. Hicks  URL:http://hicksart.com/F/HicksBio.htm