ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award 

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About the Ken Kennedy Award

Next Deadline: 1 July 2017

Established in memory of Ken Kennedy, the founder of Rice University's nationally ranked computer science program and one of the world's foremost experts on high-performance computing. A certificate and $5,000 honorarium are awarded jointly by the ACM and the IEEE Computer Society for outstanding contributions to programmability or productivity in high-performance computing together with significant community service or mentoring contributions.  Learn more about Kenneth Kennedy

The award nomination requires a minimum of 2 endorsements.

Kennedy Past Recipients

2016 William D. Gropp For highly influential contributions to the programmability of high-performance parallel and distributed computers, and extraordinary service to the profession.
2015 Katherine Yelick For advancing the programmability of HPC systems, strategic national leadership, and mentorship in academia and government labs.
2014 Charles Leiserson For your enduring influence on parallel computing systems and their adoption into mainstream use through scholarly research and development and for distinguished mentoring of computer science leaders and students.
2013 Jack Dongarra For influential contributions to mathematical software, performance measurement, and parallel programming, and significant leadership and service within the HPC community.
2012 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.
2011 Susan L. Graham For foundational compilation algorithms and programming tools; research and discipline leadership; and exceptional mentoring.
2010 David Kuck For his pioneering contributions to compiler technology and parallel computing, the profound impact of his research on industry, and the widespread and long-lasting influence of his teaching and mentoring.

Francine Berman

For her influential leadership in the design, development and deployment of national-scale cyberinfrastructure, her-inspiring work as a teacher and mentor, and her exemplary service to the high performance community.


Kennedy Subcommittee Chair

2016 Ken Kennedy Subcommittee Chair

Vivek Sarkar, Rice University

IEEE-CS Representative

Nomination Deadline for 2017 Nominations:  1 July 2017


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Kennedy Press Release

William Gropp Recognized for Major Contributions to High-Performance Computing

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Professor to Receive ACM/IEEE-CS Kennedy Award

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., October 06, 2016 – The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and IEEE Computer Society have named William D. Gropp, a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as the recipient of the 2016 ACM/IEEE Computer Society Ken Kennedy Award ( for highly influential contributions to the programmability of high-performance parallel and distributed computers.  The award will be presented at SC 16: International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, beginning November 13 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Gropp was one of the leaders in the development of the Message Passing Interface (MPI) standard. MPI has become the de facto standard for programming distributed-memory computers in scientific applications, and has enabled a wide range of scientists and engineers to use the enormous performance potential of highly parallel computer systems for over two decades. He was a key author in the development of MPI-I, MPI-2, and MPI-3. As part of the standardization process, Gropp also designed and developed MPICH, the first functional implementation of MPI. This freely available software remains one of the most widely used implementations of MPI, with nearly 2,000 downloads per month.
Along with collaborators David Keyes and Xiao-Chuan Cai, Gropp developed and analyzed key scalable parallel algorithms for adaptive mesh refinement and domain decomposition methods, which are now widely used in parallel applications. This work led to the development of a numerical library, the Portable, Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation (PETSc), which Gropp developed in collaboration with Barry Smith. PETSc has been used in a variety of applications, including nano-simulations, biology, fusion, geosciences, environmental modeling, fluid dynamics and software engineering, among others.  
In bestowing the Ken Kennedy Award, ACM and IEEE also cited Gropp’s outstanding service to the field. In 2011, Gropp helped launch the ACM Special Interest Group for High-Performance Computing (SIGHPC), the first international group devoted to the needs of students, faculty and practitioners in high-performance computing. He also served as the editor of CONNECT, the newsletter for SIGHPC, as chair of the Gordon Bell Prize Committee, and in various capacities for numerous conference committees.
Gropp holds the Thomas M. Siebel Chair of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also the Acting Director and Chief Scientist of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.  He has authored more than 187 technical publications, including the book Using MPI, which is in its third edition and has sold over 18,000 copies.  Gropp received the 2014 SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering, along with the PETSc Core Development Team (Satish Balay, Jed Brown, Matthew Knepley, Lois Curfman McInnes, Barry Smith and Hong Zhang). He was elected an ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow, and SIAM Fellow, and is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.
About IEEE Computer Society
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About SC16
SC16 (, sponsored by ACM and IEEE-CS, offers a complete technical education program and exhibition to showcase the many ways high-performance computing, networking, storage, and analysis lead to advances in scientific discovery, research, education, and commerce. This premier international conference includes a globally attended technical program, workshops, tutorials, a world class exhibit area, demonstrations, and opportunities for hands-on learning.