Background and activities

PhD EE Cornell University 1994; IEEE Senior Member 2000

Prof. Elster has also been affiliated with the Oden Institute at  the University of Texas at Austin where she is spent a 6 month sabbatical/research leave Jul 2018-Jan 2019, and spent several other summers and sabbaticals.

LATEST NEWS:  See bottom of page and  


Founder and Director – HPC-Lab, Dept. of Computer & Info. Science NTNU, started as her research group when she joined NTNU in 2001, and founded as a lab in 2008. It is now an established research lab in Heterogeneous and Parallel Computing, consisting of several Post Docs, PhD students and Master students as well as both national and international visiting colleagues and scientists who want to learn about and experiment with heterogeneous computing.

Elster is or been or am the main advisor for several PhD students, ca. 100 master students, and have been co-advisor, Opponent and EU evaluator for many more. 

  • PhD student Jakob R. Jørgensen, U of Århus, Denmark, spent Spring 2021 with us
  • Prof. GavinTaylor, US Naval Academy, spent his13-month sabbatical leave from USNA at HPC-Lab (June 2017-Aug 2018). His research interests are in Deep Learning/Machine Learning and HPC. We learned a lot from eachother!


  • RCN SFI Centre for Geophysical Forecasting (2020-2028)-- to start Dec. 2020. Elster is WP leader, and will be hiring 3 PhDs and 1 Post Doc as part of this project
  • RCN (NFR) FRINATEK project on Computational Microscopywith Prof. Dag Breiby  was funded (2019-2023), Elster was WP leader.
  • EU H2020 MCSA Post Doc project TICOH: Taming Irregular Computations On Heterogeneous processor (approved jan 27, 2017).  Funded  (July 2017- June 2019).  Elster was PI. 
  • EU H2020 ICT FEIT 2014 Project CloudLightning: Self-Organizing, Self-Managed Heterogeneous Clouds funded 2015-2018. Elster was NTNU's PI. The project was review "Excellent" by the Commision.

Current and previous Post Docs & Researchers . Elster is/was main advisor, if no comment given) 

  • Dr. Ajeet Pathak (ERCIM) to join January 2021, visa & travel permitted
  • Dr. Weifeng Liu (MSCA Post Doc 2017-18)
  • Dr. Mohammad Qasim (Researcher, joined Oct  2016, PhD fra UiB)
  • Dr. Malik Khan (Researcher/Post Doc since 2013, PhD from Univ. of Southern California (USC))
  • Dr. Annette Stahl (Reseacher 2013, PhD fra Univ. i Heldelberg, Tyskland, now facuklty member if Cybernetics, NTNU)
  • Dr. Ian Karlin (Post Doc 2011, PhD U of Colorado, Boulder 2011, now at Sandia, NL) 
  • Dr. Jan Perhac (ERCIM Post Doc 2010-2011) (ERCIM) 
  • Dr. John Ryan (Post Doc 2010, PhD Irland, returned earlier than planned for a permanent job in Ireland) 
  • Dr. Henrik R. Nagel (Post Doc 2005-2007, now a permanent employee at NTNU's computing center, in the HPC group, NTNU)

Future, current and former PhD students:

  • 1 to join May 2022 (CGF PhD in HPC)
  • 2 to join Summer 2021 (CGF PhD in HPC)
  • Jacob Tørring (joined Aug. 2020)
  • Zawadi Svela (current integrated PhD student)
  • Samira Pakdel (current)
  • Rune Jensen (current)
  • Bart Iver van Blokland (current, Elster is co-advisor, Main Advisor Theo Theoharis)
  • Mehdi Bozorgi (current, expected defense ??, Elster is co-advisor, main advisor: Frank Lindseth)
  • Thomas Falch (PhD NTNU, completed 2017, defended March 2018, currently with Mathworks in Cambridge, UK)
  • Johannes Kvam (Elster is co-advisor. Main advisor: B. Angelsen, defended May 2019)
  • Lane Holloway (PhD, Univ. of Texas at Austin , 2016; Elster was co-advisor, main advisor: Don Fussell, UT Austin Computer Science (current Dept Chari))
  • Eirik Smistad (PhD, NTNU 2015; Elster was co-advisor, main advisor Lindseth)
  • Jan Christinan Meyer (PhD 2012, now adjunct assoc. prof. in CS, NTNU and permanent employee at NTNU's computing center in the HPC group) 
  • Thorvald Natvik (PhD 2010, now working for madalia in California, USA)
  • Cyrill Baninon (Elster main advisor 2003-2006, PhD 2007 w/ Prof. Natvig, now working for Telenor AI)


In addition I have been the main advisor for 100+ masterstudenter who really have taught me a lot! Since 2006 more than 35 of the masters thesis have been within GPU computings. 

Ciurrent and former Master students:

For more info on current students, see here:

  • Lars Sørlie (September 2022, co-advised by Dr. Maria Girone, CERN)
  • Mathias Chunno (summer 2022)
  • Tobias Dyngeland (August 2022, co-advised by Dr. Phil Ringrose NTNU/Equinor)
  • Tor A. Haudahl (August 2022, co-advised by Jacob Tørring)
  • Aksel Hjerpbakk (summer 2022)
  • Vetle Olav P. Finnstad (summer 2022)
  • Håvard O. Nordstrand (summer 2022)
  • Jakob B. Simonsen (spring 2022)
  • Roger Holten (April 2022)
  • Maren Wessel-Berg (March 2022)
  • Øystein Rognebakke Krogstie (Okt. 2021)
  • Lars Bjertnes (summer 2021)
  • Andreas Hammer (summer 2021)
  • Ivar Andreas Helgestad Sandvik (summer 2021)
  • Zawadi Svela (Integrated PhD, MTech 2021)
  • Konstatin Mathisen (July 2021)
  • Ingvild Høgstøyl (fall 2020 with CERN)
  • Knut Kirkhorn (fall 2020)
  • Øystein Krogstie (fall 2020)
  • Ingunn Sund (fall 2020)
  • Anders Treland (August 2020, co-advisor: Dag Breiby. Offered option to contin. to PhD, but now at Kongsberg Satelite, Tromsø)
  • Jacob Tørring (July 2020, continued to PhD)
  • Håvard Bjerke (June 2020)
  • Vegard Seim Karstang (March 2020) -- looked at GPU-based graph algorithms, including Maxflow.
  • Morten J. Barbala, M.Tech (2018) Thesis; "Accelerating Adaptive Mesh Refinement through Multiscale Dataflow Computing" in collaborations with Maxeler.
  • August L. Brækken, M.Tech (2018); Advisor: Elster, Co-advisor: Gavin Taylor (USNA) Thesis: ML-based profile analysis of CUDA programs' compiler flag impact 
  • Mathias Havdal, M.Tech. (2018), Thesis: High-Performance X-ray Scattering Simulations
  • Lars-Håkon Nohr Nystad, M.Tech (2018), Thesis: Thesis: "Automation of Detection and Weight Estimation of Fish in Underwater 3D Images" 
  • Håvard Petterson, MTech (2018), Thesis: "Thesis: "Multi-GPU sliding tile puzzle solving with GA*, Groute and Abstract Zobrist Hashing"
  • Even Rogstadkjærnet, M.Tech (2018) Thesis: "ImageCL 3D Extensions Targeting Adaptive Mesh Refinement Proxy Applications on GPUs".
  • Anders Wenhaug, M.Tech (2017), Dr. Jan Chr. Meyer co-supervisor. Thesis: "Load Balancing of Pseudo-random Workloads on Heterogeneous Systems". 
  • Thomas Martin Schmid, M.Sci (2016), Thesis: ""Real-Time Snow Simulation: Integrating Weather Data and Cloud Rendering"
  • Elisabeth Solheim (M.Tech 2015)
  • Joakim Hommeland (M.Tech 2015)
  • Olav Emil Eiksund (M. Tech 2015)
  • Bjørn Åge Nordskog Tungesvik (MTech 2015)
  • Jørgen Kvalsvik (MTech 2015)
  • Trygve Aaberge (2014)
  • Johan Klokkhammer Helsing (2014)
  • Mads Buvik Sandvei (2014)
  • Eirik Myklebost (2014)
  • Øiving Laupstad Boge (2014)
  • Lars Martin Pedersen (2013)
  • Henrik Holenbakken Knutsen (2013)
  • Lars Espen Strand Nordhus (2013)
  • Magnus Alvestad Mikalsen (2013)
  • Lars Kirkholt Melhus (2013) Dr. Jan Chr. Meyer co-supervisor
  • Stian Aaraas Pedersen (2013)
  • Andreas Berg Skomedal (2013)
  • Andreas Nordahl (2013)
  • Jan Magne Rovde (2012)
  • Kjetil Babington (2012)
  • Thomas Løfsgaard Falch (2012)
  • Fredrik Magnus Johansen Vestre (2012)
  • Geir Josten Lien (2012)
  • Yngve Sneen Lindahl (2011)
  • Bent Ove Stinessen (2011)
  • Thor Kristian Valderhaug (2011)
  • Jarn Erdal Steinsland (2011)
  • Fredrik Fossum (2011)
  • Andreas Dreyer Hysing (2010)
  • Aleksander Gjermundsen (2010)
  • Øystein Eklund Krog (2010)
  • Holger Ludvigsen (2010)
  • Ahmed Adnan Aqrawi (2010)
  • Åsmund Herikstad (2009)
  • Daniele Spampinato (2009)
  • Eirik Ola Aksnes (2009)
  • Daniel Haugen (2009)
  • Owe Johansen (2009) -- worked for a while as lecturer at Nesna College
  • Henrik Falch Hesland (2009)
  • Rune Johan Hovland (2009)
  • Rune Erlend Jensen (2009)
  • Robin Eidissen (2009)
  • Andreas Bach (2008)
  • Atle Rudshaug (2008)
  • Jérome Dubois (2008)
  • Thibault Collet (2007)
  • Leif Christian Larsen (2007)
  • Idar Borlaug (2007)
  • Knut Imar Hagen (2007)
  • Nils Magnus Larsgård (2007)
  • Erik Axel Rønnevig Nielsen (2007)
  • Øystein Lauen Borg (2006)
  • Ingar Saltvik (2006)
  • Thorvald Natvig (2006)
  • Rune Johan Andresen (2005)
  • Håvard K.F. Bjerke (2005)
  • Glenn Hisdal (2004)
  • Leif Snorre Schøyen Boasson (2004)
  • Morten Rodal (2004)
  • Tor Arvid Lund (2004)
  • Frode Nilsen (2004)
  • Jan Christian Meyer (2004)
  • Einar Magnus Rosenvinge (2004)
  • Robin Holtet (2003)
  • Åsmund Østvold (2003)
  • Torbjørn Vik (2003)
  • Martin Rebne Farstad (fall project 2020 w/ Elster, graduated summer 2021)
  • Odin Ugedal (fall project 2020 w/ Elster, graduated summer 2021)
  • Trygve Schelin Urdahl (fall project 2020, was co-adviser w/ Prof. Dag Breiby)


    I love teaching. Here are some of the main courses I am or have been involved with:

    UT Austin: Algorithms, Data Structures, Operating Systems and Iterative Numerical Methods

    NTNU: Parallel Computing, Compilers, Operating Systems, + 3 special topics MS/PhD courses covering parallel environments, numerical methods, heterogeous and grid computing and highly parallel algorithms.


    Interview with Ceetron AS:

    NVIDIA Spotlight:

    NEWS  2017-20:

    For most recent events, see

    • March 2019: Elster to give invited talk at Supercomputing Frontiers 2019. See

    • Dec. 2018: Elster to visit MIT CSAIL and Stony Brook University, NY

    • Nov. 2018: HPC-Lab hosted NTNU stand and SC 2018 in Dallas, TX

    • Oct. 2018: HPC-Lab 10-year anniversary Workshop held at NTNU with guests from Equinor, IBM, NVIDIA, PedLab +++

    • Sept- 2018: Elster serves on the Board of NIK, and attended the annunal conference, this year at Longyearbyen, Svalbard, where Samira also gave a joint poster with Elster, and Elster had a joint paper with Bart van Blokland and Theo Theoharis

    • Jul 2018: Elster attend ICML in Stockholm with Gavin Taylor

    • June 2017- Jul 2018: Prof. Gaving Taylor, US Naval Academy, and two of his Midshipmen, Samuel (Sam) Mahoney and Madeline (Maddie) Reynolds, joined HPC-lab. Prof. Taylor was here for 13 months (sabbatical leave from USNA) while his students were here for a month.

    • Sept 2018: Elster gave a guest lecture for TDT 4200 while back on a visit to NTNU

    • HPC-Lab 10th Anniversary Workshop  on Sep. 26, 2018  in H1, NTNU-Gløshaugen!

    • July 2018: Elster and Taylor attended ICML in Stockholm, Sweden

    • Elster and Gavin Taylor gave talks at NTNU-Ålesund on June 17, 2018. See link

    •  Elster served as a PhD External Examiner at the PhD defense of Ali Charara at KAUST, Saudi Arabia on May 9, 2018. Prof. David Keys was the main advisor. Thesis title "High Performance Covariance Matrix Computations on Heterogeneous Systems".            Photo from Ali Chararas PhD defense at Kaust

    • Elster gave a talk at the ASC Worskhop and was a judge for the ASC student competition in Nanchang, China May 8-9.

    • Elster presented the last paper from the EU H2020 project Cloud Lighting in Orlando in April talking @ Workshop on Container Technologies & Container Clouds in the morning @ IEEE IC2E.

    • Thomas Falch, did a great job at his PhD defense March 16! Congratulations Thomas! Profs. Barbara Chapman and Fredrik Manne as well as Assoc. Prof. Kerstin Bach serverd on the PhD defense committee. 

    • Elster served as the Internal Opponent at the PhD defense of Ctirad Sousedik on Jan 30, 2018 at NTNU-Gjøvik.

    • Elster served on the ISC 2018 BOF Committee. She also attended ISC 2018.

    • CL-HPC 2018 Industrial brief and Workshop -- Jan 15, 2018 organized by HPC-Lab. A very successful event with presentations by Drs. Alf Rustad (Statoil Research), Tobias Becker,(Maxeler), Gavin Taylor (USNA) and Tian Li (NTNU Energy & Process Engineering), in addition to HPC-Labber Drs. Malik Khana and Anne Elster.  We a lot of potential for future collaborations!

    • June 2017: Elster serving as Expert Evaluator re. faculty promotion at KTH, Stockholm, Sweden. 

    • June 27, 2017  Elster servered as an opponent for MD. Naim at Univ of Bergen, Norway. Advisor: Prof Fredrik Manne.

    • June 22, 2017  Elster gave invited talk at ISC Workshop OpenSuCo.

    • May 12, 2017 Visit to ICES at Univ. of Texas at Austin

    • May 8, 2017: Elster gave talk at GTC 2017 in San Jose, California, USA

    Scientific, academic and artistic work

    A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

    Journal publications