Professor Receives High Honor for Supercomputing Accomplishments

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Jack DongarraJack Dongarra, distinguished professor of computer science in the College of Engineering, is being honored for his leadership in high performance computing.

He will receive the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)-Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society Ken Kennedy Award on November 19 in Denver at SC13, the International Conference on High Performance Computing.

Dongarra is being recognized for designing and promoting standards for mathematical software used to solve numerical problems common to high-performance computing. His work has led to the development of major software libraries of algorithms and methods that boost performance and portability in high-performance computing environments.

“Jack continues to provide foundational supercomputing research that allows researchers in all corners of the world to push the frontiers of knowledge,” said Wayne Davis, dean of the College of Engineering. “It is hard to imagine what would have not been discovered without his work. I cannot think of a more deserving person for this award.”

Dongarra is a leader in research on implementing linear algebra algorithms for high-performance computing architecture that has defined the mathematical software field. Many supercomputer vendors have adopted these software packages as the basis of their own numerical libraries.

He also has been instrumental in developing standards for mathematical software package, such as LINPACK and LAPACK, which are widely accepted in computer and computational science for evaluating the performance of supercomputers. In 1993, he formed the internationally known “TOP500″ list, which used his LINPACK benchmark to show the 500 most powerful commercially available computer systems. He has co-developed a new benchmark that is being used to rank the latest list of supercomputers, released at the November conference.

“Jack saw the need to keep pace with the evolution in high-performance computing hardware and software in a world that demands higher speeds and performance levels,” said Vint Cerf ACM president and one of the “Fathers of the Internet.” “His innovations have contributed immensely to the steep growth of high-performance computing and its ability to illuminate a wide range of scientific questions facing our society.”

The Kennedy Award cited Dongarra for “influential contributions to mathematical software, performance measurement, and parallel programming, and significant leadership and service within the HPC community.”

Established in 2009, the award is named for the late Ken Kennedy, one of Dongarra’s mentors, founder of Rice University’s computer science program and a world expert on high-performance computing. The award carries a $5,000 honorarium endowed by the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture and the Computer Society.

“Having worked closely with Ken for many years I am humbled and very honored to be receiving this award,” said Dongarra. “This award is the result of the efforts of many people over the years, and I would like to thank all that have contributed.”

Dongarra is the founder and director of the UT Innovative Computing Laboratory, a distinguished research staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, an adjunct professor of computer science at Rice University, and holds the Turing Fellowship at the University of Manchester. He is also director of Tennessee’s Center for Information Technology Research.

To learn more about ACM, the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, visit

To learn more about the IEEE Computer Society, one of the world’s leading computing membership organizations, visit

C O N T A C T :

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460,

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