William E. Mihalo is a senior high-performance computing systems engineer with the Academic and Research Technologies group within Northwestern University's Information Technologies division.
He graduated with a doctorate in sociology from Bowling Green State University in the late 1970s. His specialties were social organization and demography. His computer programming background started by taking an elective programming course as an undergraduate, and continued with additional programming classes as a graduate student. In 1974, he started work on his doctorate and provided programming support for the Professional Development Project at Bowling Green State University.
He joined Indiana University Northwest (IUN) in 1977 as a visiting assistant professor of sociology. In 1978, he became a tenure-track assistant professor of sociology at IUN. During this time, he developed skills using IBM and CDC mainframes and also using the newly introduced Apple II computer.
After teaching sociology courses for about five years, he realized that supporting large, complex computer clusters was much easier than trying to understand the complexities associated with human societies.
He joined Vogelback Computing Center at Northwestern University in 1981, and specialized in providing support for statistical analysis. He also worked on a number of computer graphics projects and helped users debug software programs.
He joined Purdue University Calumet in 1985 and provided the background information that was obtained from the user community to justify the purchase of Purdue Calumet's VAX computer cluster in 1986.
In 1987, he joined Loyola University Medical Center where he started as a manager of academic computing and spent 16 years as a computer systems manager for radiation oncology. At Loyola, he specialized in providing support for highly available computing clusters running within a Windows and Unix environment. He also introduced the radiation oncology department to a storage area network and provided support for high-performance Unix workstations that did 3D treatment planning for radiation oncology patients. He also provided software support for the computers associated with the Varian 23 EX linear accelerators that were located at Loyola University Medical Center and Hines Veterans Administration Hospital.
In 2006, he joined the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory as a systems administrator. At the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, he provided support for the National Microbial Pathogen Data Resource (NMPDR), Globusonline, Globus toolkit, TeraGrid, and the Transportation Research and Analysis Computing Center (TRACC) projects. Within this environment, he specialized in supporting computer clusters, grid computing, grid computing software, and working within a number of cloud environments.
He returned to Northwestern University in May 2011.
He has been a reviewer for Computing Reviews since 1983, specializing in reviews on the social effects of computing, computer graphics, privacy, and systems administration.