As I noted in an earlier post, I have had the honor and privilege to chair the selection committee for the Seymour Cray and Sidney Fernbach awards, both of which will be presented at SC09 in Portland, Oregon. These eponymously named awards recognize truly outstanding contributions to high-performance computing, in honor of two early leaders of our field. The Seymour Cray award recognizes individuals whose innovative contributions to high performance computing systems best exemplify the creative spirit demonstrated by Seymour Cray. In turn, the Sidney Fernbach award is given to for outstanding contribution in the application of high-performance computers using innovative approaches.
I am delighted that the 2009 Seymour Cray Award will be presented to Kenichi "Ken" Miura, who is currently a professor at the National Institute of Informatics in Japan. The award recognizes Dr. Miura's fundamental contributions to development of Fujitsu's vector processors, hardware, and software. As I noted in the award announcement, "Dr. Miura was one of the key leaders of the Japanese supercomputing designs, which were the only peers of the pioneering designs created by Seymour Cray." Having spent twenty years of my career there, I cannot also help but note that his Ph.D. is from the University of Illinois!
I am equally pleased that Roberto Car (Princeton) and Michele Parrinello (ETH Zurich), developers of the Car Parrinello Molecular Dynamics (CPMD) approach, are joint recipients of the 2009 Sidney Fernbach Award. As I noted in the award announcement, "… the Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics (CPMD) approach is a one of the key enablers of complex materials modeling and a workhorse of computational science." If you have ever been a part of any research project involving advanced materials or biophysics, the odds are high that you have been strongly influenced by this seminal work.
The two awards and the work of the recipients reflect the international nature of computing research and the evolving interplay of technology, software and algorithms in advancing high-performance computing. High-performance computer architectures and software are the platform atop which new algorithms are developed and algorithms drive the creation of new hardware. This virtuous cycle has given us high-performance computing systems whose achieved performance has continued to outstrip that possible from hardware technology advances alone.
Congratulations to Drs. Miura, Car and Parrinello! I look forward to presenting both awards at SC09, in just a few weeks.