This year, I again have the honor and privilege to chair the selection committee for the Seymour Cray and Sidney Fernbach awards. I will also be hosting the presentation ceremony at SC12 in Salt Lake City for these two awards, along with the Ken Kennedy award. (My former colleague at the University of Illinois, Professor David Padua, chaired the Kennedy award selection committee.)
These eponymously named awards recognize truly outstanding contributions to high-performance computing, in honor of three 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. Finally, the Ken Kennedy award recognizes outstanding contributions to programmability or productivity in high-performance computing, together with significant community service or mentoring contributions.
I am delighted that the 2012 Seymour Cray Award will be presented to Peter Kogge, who is currently a professor at the University of Notre Dame. Early in his career, Peter developed parallel algorithms for recurrence solutions and parallel prefix operations, resulting in what is now known as the Kogge-Stone adder, the gold standard for fast addition. While at IBM, he also developed a series of HPC systems for military and space applications, including some that were key elements of the U.S. space shuttle. For many people, that would define a career. However, Peter has also been a pioneer in multicore and multithreaded processor design; he was also one of the creators of what we now call "Processor in Memory" (PIM) computing. Today, he is a leader in exascale initiatives.
I am equally pleased that Professors Laxmikant "Sanjay" Kale and Klaus Schulten, developers of the NAMD biomolecular simulation software, are joint recipients of the 2012 Sidney Fernbach Award. Their collaboration combines the best of computer science and computational science. Utilizing Kale's insights in fine grained parallelism and load balancing, embodied in the CHARM++ library, and Schulten's insights into biophysics, NAMD transformed high-speed molecular dynamics simulations, allowing the motions of large biological systems to be simulated for longer periods of biological time than were previously feasible.
The third of these awards, the Ken Kennedy award, recognizes Professor Mary Lou Soffa for "contributions to compiler technology and software engineering, exemplary service to the profession, and lifelong dedication to mentoring and improving diversity in computing." As the award citation notes, her work spans optimizing compilers and software engineering. Among her many contributions are key insights into quantifying the value of code optimizations within a coherent framework and on register optimization. In addition to seminal contributions to compiler technology, Professor Soffa has also been instrumental in mentoring women in computing and raising awareness of the need for our culture to be more inclusive and supportive.
My thanks to Satoshi Matsuoka for the photographs of the plenary program award presentations.