Ian T. Foster Named 2011 Recipient of Kanai Award

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. 5 April 2011 -- Ian T. Foster has been named recipient of the 2011 IEEE Computer Society Tsutomu Kanai Award for his accomplishments in grid computing.

The award recognizes major contributions to state-of-the art distributed computing systems and their applications. It was established in 1997 by a generous endowment from Hitachi Ltd., and named in honor of Tsutomu Kanai, who served as Hitachi’s president for 30 years.

Foster won the recognition “for pioneering research in grid computing, integrating geographically distributed instruments, computers, and data,” according to his citation.

The Kanai award consists of a crystal model, certificate, and $10,000 honorarium. The seminal nature of the achievements, their practical impact, breadth, and depth, and the quality of the nomination are all considered. Foster will receive his award at the Computer Society’s 2011 awards ceremony in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 25 May.

Foster is the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago and an Argonne Distinguished Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory. He is also the director of the Computation Institute, a joint unit of Argonne and the University of Chicago.

The primary focus of Foster’s research has been the acceleration of discovery in a networked world. In partnership with many others, notably Carl Kesselman and Steven Tuecke, Foster developed and promulgated concepts and methods that underpin grid computing. These methods allow computing to be delivered reliably and securely on demand, as a service, and permit the formation and operation of virtual organizations linking people and resources worldwide.

These results, and the associated Globus open source software, have helped advance discovery in such areas as high-energy physics, environmental science, and biomedicine. Grid computing methods have also proved influential outside the world of science, contributing to the emergence of cloud computing.

Among recent projects, Globus Online seeks to outsource complex and time-consuming research management processes to software-as-a-service providers; the goal here is to make the discovery potential of massive data, exponentially faster computers, and deep interdisciplinary collaboration accessible to every researcher, not just a select few “big science” projects.

Foster received a BSc (Hons I) degree from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and a PhD from Imperial College, United Kingdom, both in computer science. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Computing Machinery, and British Computer Society.
His other awards include the Global Information Infrastructure Next Generation award, the British Computer Society's Lovelace Medal, R&D Magazine's Innovator of the Year, and honorary doctorates from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and CINVESTAV, Mexico. He co-founded Univa, a company established to deliver grid and cloud computing solutions.

About the IEEE Computer Society

With nearly 85,000 members, the IEEE Computer Society is the world’s leading organization of computing professionals. Founded in 1946, and the largest of IEEE’s 38 societies, the Computer Society is dedicated to advancing the theory and application of computer and information-processing technology. The Society serves the information and career-development needs of today’s computing researchers and practitioners with technical journals, magazines, conferences, books, conference publications, certifications, and online courses. For more information, visit http://www.computer.org.

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