David Kuck Receives 2011 Computer Pioneer Award
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 25 April, 2011 – David Kuck, an influential figure in parallel computing, has been named the 2011 recipient of the IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Award. Over the past four decades, Kuck influenced a wide range of areas, including architecture design and evaluation, compiler technology, programming languages, and algorithms. He is especially well known for his parallel programming productivity tools.
Kuck, winner of a 2010 Ken Kennedy Award, was recognized with a Computer Pioneer Award “for pioneering parallel architectures including the Illiac IV, the Burroughs BSP, and Cedar; and, for revolutionary parallel compiler technology including Parafrase and KAP.2009.” He is set to accept his award at a May 25 dinner in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Computer Pioneer was established in 1981 by the Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society to recognize and honor the vision of those people whose efforts resulted in the creation and continued vitality of the computer industry. The award is presented to outstanding individuals whose main contribution to the concepts and development of the computer field was made at least 15 years earlier. The recognition is engraved on a bronze medal specially struck for the Society.
Kuck’s influence has been both theoretical and practical. At University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), he created the Computational Sciences program, which initiated a new and unique research focus that has contributed significantly to UIUC’s multidisciplinary excellence.
The Center for Supercomputing Research and Development (CSRD) at UIUC, which he created, was extraordinarily influential in developing parallel computing technology (from hardware to algorithms) in the era of vectorization and SMPs. As founder and director of Kuck and Associates (KAI) and later as an Intel Fellow, Kuck’s work subsequently influenced industry.
Every compiler in use today incorporates techniques pioneered by Kuck, targeting parallelism in its many forms and managing locality. In this era of multi-core and many-core architectures and petascale supercomputers, this work is now more important than it has ever been adapting software to use new hardware effectively. As an outgrowth of his compiler work, he initiated efforts that led to the development of OpenMP, the most common solution for incorporating threads into scientific applications.
Kuck also influenced the design of several academic and industrial parallel computers, including the Illiac IV (as the only software person on the project), Burroughs BSP, Alliant, and Cedar. Ken Kennedy’s own work was heavily influenced by David Kuck. While on sabbatical at IBM, David provided Kennedy with access to Kuck’s Parafrase system, which was the spark that initiated vectorization research both at Rice (the PFC system) and at IBM (PTRAN).
Kuck graduated more than 25 students, many of whom have gone on to have significant influence in the field in their own right, as academics, authors of influential books, and leaders in industry. They include: Duncan Lawrie, Stott Parker, David Padua, Ron Cytron, Constantine Polychronopolous, Alex Veidenbaum, Michael Wolfe, and Utpal Banerjee.
Last year’s Computer Pioneer Award recipients were Jean Sammet, one of the first developers and researchers in programming languages; and Lynne Conway, who made pioneering contributions to superscalar architecture and the widespread teaching of simplified VLSI design methods.
The 2008 recipients were ENIAC programmer Betty Jean Jennings Bartik and Edward J. McKluskey, developer of the first algorithm for logic synthesis (the Quine-McCluskey method). Bartik, shown in her acceptance video, passed away earlier this month. Click here for the full list of Computer Pioneer recipients.
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.