LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 22 February , 2010 – William Gropp, winner of the IEEE Computer Society’s 2008 Sidney Fernbach Award, was among 68 new members and nine foreign associates elected to the US National Academy of Engineering.
Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature," and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."
The Paul and Cynthia Saylor Professor of Computer Science at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Gropp was elected “for his contributions to numerical software in the area of linear algebra and high-performance parallel and distributed computation.”
Gropp played a major role in creating the message processing interface (MPI), the standard interprocessor communication interface for large-scale parallel computers. Gropp is also co-author of MPICH, one of the most influential MPI implementations to date, and co-wrote two books on MPI: Using MPI and Using MPI2. He also co-authored the Portable Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation (PETSc), one of the leading packages for scientific computing on highly parallel computers.
Among his other accomplishments, Gropp developed adaptive mesh refinement and domain decomposition methods with a focus on scalable parallel algorithms, and discussed these algorithms and their application in Parallel Multilevel Methods for Elliptic Partial Differential Equations.
Gropp serves as co-principal investigator for Blue Waters, a project at the UIUC National Center for Supercomputing Applications to build the first sustained-petascale resource for open scientific computing. Gropp also serves as deputy director for research at the Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technology at the University of Illinois.
The Fernbach Award was established in 1992 in memory of high-performance computing pioneer Sidney Fernbach. It acknowledges outstanding contributions in developing numerical algorithms and mathematical software that are important for computational modeling and simulation, or for using high-performance computers to solve large computational problems.