Sidney Fernbach Award

NOMINATE  |  Nomination Questions (pdf)  |  Open Nominations (pdf)

About the Sidney Fernbach Award

Deadline for 2018 Nominations: 1 July 2018

Established in 1992 in memory of Sidney Fernbach, one of the pioneers in the development and application of high performance computers for the solution of large computational problems. A certificate and $2,000 are awarded for outstanding contributions in the application of high performance computers using innovative approaches. Learn more about Sidney Fernbach.

The award nomination requires a minimum of 3 endorsements.

Fernbach Past Recipients

2017 Steven J. Plimpton For High Performance Simulation Frameworks that have advanced research in materials science, chemistry, biology and other related areas.
2016 Vipin Kumar For foundational work on understanding scalability, and highly scalable algorithms for graph partitioning, sparse linear systems and data mining.
2015 Alexander Szalay For his outstanding contributions to the development of data-intensive computing systems and on the application of such systems in many scientific areas including astrophysics, turbulence, and genomics.
2014 Satoshi Matsuoka For his work on software systems for high-performance computing on advanced infrastructural platforms, large-scale supercomputers, and heterogeneous GPU/CPU supercomputers.
2013 Christopher R. Johnson For outstanding contributions and pioneering work introducing computing, simulation, and visualization into many areas of biomedicine.
2012 Laxmikant V. Kale
Klaus Schulten
For outstanding contributions to the development of widely used parallel software for large biomolecular systems simulation.
2011 Cleve Moler For fundamental contributions to linear algebra, mathematical software, and enabling tools for computational science.
2010 James W. Demmel For computational science leadership in creating adaptive, innovative, high performance linear algebra software.
2009 Roberto Car
Michele Parrinello
For leadership in creating the modern theoretical and practical foundations for modeling the chemistry and physics of materials.  The software resulting from this work is one of the enabling tools for materials science modeling.
2008 William D. Gropp For outstanding contributions to the development of domain decomposition algorithms, scalable tools for the parallel numerical solution of PDEs, and the dominant HPC communications interface.
2007 David E. Keyes For outstanding contributions to the development of scalable numerical algorithms for the solution of nonlinear partial differential equations and exceptional leadership in high-performance computation.
2006 Edward Seidel For outstanding contributions to the development of software for HPC and Grid computing to enable the collaborative numerical investigation of complex problems in physics; in particular, modeling black hole collisions.
2005 John B. Bell For outstanding contributions to the development of numerical algorithms, mathematical, and computational tools and on the application of those methods to conduct leading-edge scientific investigations in combustion, fluid dynamics, and condensed matter.
2004 Marsha Berger For her many contributions, and enormous, influence to computational fluid dynamics including adaptive mesh refinement methods, Cartesian grid methods, and practical mathematical algorithms for solving significantly heretofore intractable problems.
2003 Jack J. Dongarra For outstanding and sustained contributions to the area of mathematical software, most particularly in the areas of communication and numerical libraries and performance benchmarks for high performance computing.
2002 Robert Harrison For developing a computational chemistry software package for applications development, by integrating fundamental algorithm research, novel ideas in computer science, and scalability, while delivering unprecedented modeling capabilities for chemistry applications.
2000 Stephen W. Attaway For pioneering advances in methods for modeling transient dynamics phenomena, enabling simulations of unprecedented scale and fidelity.
1999 Michael L. Norman For his leading edge research in applying parallel computing to challenge grand problems in astrophysics and cosmology.
1998 Phillip Colella For fundamental contributions to the development of software methodologies used to solve numerical partial differential equations, and their application to substantially expand our understanding of shock physics and other fluid dynamics problem.
1997 Charbel Farhat For outstanding contributions to the development of parallel numerical algorithms and parallel software packages that have helped the mechanical engineering world to embrace parallel processing technology.
1996 Gary A. Glatzmaier For innovative computational numerical methods to perform the first realistic computer simulations of the Earth's geodynamo and its resultant time-dependent magnetic field.
1995 Paul R. Woodward For your work in developing new algorithmic techniques in fluid dynamics, & your relentless & innovative pursuit of the hardware & software capabilities to carry out & visualize in real time the largest turbulence simulations.
1994 Charles S. Peskin For innovative application of mathematical modeling methods to important practical research questions in blood flow and the heart that has for more than 15 years pushed forward the leading edge of computational capability and helped to develop supercomputing technology as a valuable tool for improving the quality of human life.
1993 David H. Bailey For contributions to numerical computational science including innovative algorithms for FFT's, matrix multiply and multiple precision arithmetic on vector computer architecture.


Fernbach Subcommittee Chair

2017 Sidney Fernbach Subcommittee Chair

Marc Snir, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Nomination Deadline for 2018 Nominations: 1 July 2018


(Must sign in with your free IEEE Web account)

Fernbach Press Releases

Dr. Steven J. Plimpton Recognized with 2017 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 04 October 2017 – Dr. Steven J. Plimpton, distinguished member of technical staff in the Center for Computing Research at Sandia National Laboratories, has been named recipient of the 2017 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award.

Plimpton was recognized for “high performance simulation frameworks that have advanced research in materials science, chemistry, biology, and other related areas.”
Established in 1992 in memory of high-performance computing pioneer Sidney Fernbach, the Fernbach Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of high-performance computers using innovative approaches. The award consists of a certificate and a $2,000 honorarium.  Plimpton will be presented with his award at the SC17 Conference on 14 November in Denver Colorado.
Plimpton’s research has been primarily focused on methods and parallel algorithms for a variety of particle-based HPC applications.  Along the way he contributed to a few combinatorial algorithms for problems like contact detection and radiation transport.  
He is best known for leading the development of open-source codes used for modeling materials at different scales.  These include LAMMPS (classical molecular dynamics), SPPARKS (Monte Carlo modeling of materials processing at the mesoscale), and SPARTA (DSMC modeling of turbulence and flow in low-density gases).  The most widely used of these is LAMMPS, which has a world-wide community of 1000s of users and 100s of code contributors. 
Plimpton has also worked on MPI-based tools for big data processing on HPC platforms, including MapReduce and stream-processing libraries.  
A fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), Plimpton has also been honored with a special session at the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) annual meeting for the development of LAMMPS.
Plimpton received his Ph.D. in Applied & Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 1989.