Allan Snavely Passes Away

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The HPC community lost one of its own this week with the passing of Allan Snavely from LLNL/UCSD. He apparently suffered a heart attack while was out road biking, which was one of his passions.

Allan Snavely is the CTO for supercomputing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

He is a noted expert in high performance computing (HPC), has published more than 75 cited papers with more than 1,400 citations on this subject (his current h-index is 23 i.e. 23 publications have been cited 23 or more times in other journal articles or conference proceedings), he has presented numerous invited talks including briefing U.S. congressional staff on the importance of the field to economic competitiveness, has twice been a finalist for the Gordon Bell Prize (2007 and 2008) in recognition for outstanding achievement in HPC applications, and in 2009 shared the SC09 Storage Challenge Award for the design of Dash, an innovative new supercomputer that makes extensive use of flash memory. Dash is just a prototype of a much larger system he and and his team have built: Gordon, the most powerful supercomputer in the world for accessing data with 100 GB/s of bandwidth to disk and 36 million IOPS of random data access from 300 TB of NAND flash. Allan Snavely received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego.

Update: SDSC has put out a press release stating that arrangements for a memorial service have not been finalized at this time.


  1. If true, this is very tragic. Allan had just moved his family to LLNL to take over the lead HPC technical role. He had a brilliant future there that was just starting up.

  2. Dotty Smith says

    It is with a heavy heart that I leave this comment. Not only was Allan a briilliant scientist but a genuinely beautiful human being. His early departure from this Earth will be felt by many. I want to believe that God has a very special project planned for Allan.

  3. Merry Maisel says

    Allan was a genius, and he nearly singlehandedly saved the San Diego Supercomputer Center at a time when it was very near bottom in its prospects. He was just about to take up a new and well deserved post at Livermore, and his death has come as a shock to all his friends and many admirers, me included.