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Charles E. Leiserson to Receive Ken Kennedy Award at SC14

Charles E. Leiserson, MIT

Charles E. Leiserson, MIT

Today ACM-IEEE announced that Charles E. Leiserson of MIT will receive the 2014 Ken Kennedy Award for his influence on parallel computing systems and their adoption into mainstream use through scholarly research and development. He was also cited for his mentoring of computer science leaders and students. Leiserson introduced the notion of cache-oblivious algorithms, which can exploit the memory hierarchy near optimally despite having no tuning parameters for cache size or cache-line length. He also developed the Cilk multithreaded programming technology, and led the development of several Cilk-based parallel chess-playing programs, winning numerous prizes in international competition. The award will be presented at SC14 on Tuesday, 18 November in New Orleans.

The coauthor of “Introduction to Algorithms,” one of computer science’s most cited publications, Leiserson is also the creator of MIT undergraduate courses on algorithms and on discrete mathematics for computer science. He headed the computer-science program for the pioneering Singapore-MIT Alliance distance-education program and developed MIT’s undergraduate class on software performance engineering, which teaches parallel programming as one of several techniques for writing fast code.

Leiserson joined the MIT faculty in 1981, where he heads the Supertech research group in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He received a BS degree from Yale University and a Ph.D. degree from Carnegie Mellon University. He is an ACM Fellow, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a Senior Member of IEEE and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

Earlier this year, he was recognized with an IEEE Computer Society Taylor L. Booth Education Award for his contributions to computer science education. He is also a co-recipient of the 2014 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award for contributions to efficient and robust parallel and distributed computing.

ACM and the Computer Society co-sponsor the Kennedy Award, which was established in 2009 to recognize substantial contributions to programmability and productivity in computing and significant community service or mentoring contributions. It was named for the late Ken Kennedy, founder of Rice University’s computer science program and a world expert on high-performance computing. The Kennedy Award carries a US $5,000 honorarium endowed by the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture (SIGARCH) and the Computer Society.

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