Cray and Fernbach award noms due July 1 (sooner than you think)

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Although the due dates aren’t until July 1, it is definitely not too early to be thinking about these. I waited until too late to start a nomination last year and couldn’t get it done: even now, you’ve only got about six weeks.

Both of these awards are presented during the annual SC conference, held in New Orleans this year during the canonical weeks. For those unfamiliar with the awards, here is a rundown


Established in late 1997. A crystal memento, illuminated certificate, and $10,000 honorarium are awarded to recognize innovative contributions to high performance computing systems that best exemplify the creative spirit demonstrated by Seymour Cray.


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.

I’ve written before on this site about the tremendous impact these awards can have on their recipients. In that article I wrote about Steve Wallach, founder of Convex and now Convey Computer, holder of 33 patents, member of the National Academy of Engineering, IEEE Fellow, founding member of PITAC, and all-around nice guy

Steve tells me that he has a shelf at home with many of his awards; pieces of plastic encasing the public offering of Convex, for example, and a plastic memento of the HP purchase of that company. All of this was moved off the shelf to make room for the Cray award, where it stands by itself today as a testament to a long, successful career.

Nominate someone: it makes a difference.