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Paul Messina Receives 2018 CRA Distinguished Service Award

Paul Messina, Director, Computational Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory

Paul Messina has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the CRA Distinguished Service Award for his significant contributions to the advancement of high performance computing and decades of service to the field. Messina has an incredible record of building and managing large-scale, diverse research activities. Over the course of his career, he has designed, directed, and otherwise executed numerous initiatives that have influenced U.S. policy and programs resulting in the U.S. leadership position in high-performance computing.

His impact extends beyond the research community to the government, where he has helped manage the stewardship of our nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, served on innumerable advisory panels, and led the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Exascale Computing Project (ECP) – the key to the success of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NCSI). Under his leadership, Messina created, organized, and guided the ECP to accelerate delivering the US’s first exascale computer in the early 2020s, its systems software and programming tools, and mission-critical applications at unprecedented scale.

Paul Messina is a senior strategic advisor at the ALCF who focuses on future directions for the facility. In 2002-2004, he served as Distinguished Senior Computer Scientist at Argonne and as Adviser to the Director General at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). Previously at Caltech, Dr. Messina served as Director of the Center for Advanced Computing Research, as Assistant Vice President for Scientific Computing, and as Faculty Associate for Scientific Computing. He led the Computational and Computer Science component of Caltech’s research project funded by the Academic Strategic Alliances Program of the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative. He also acted as Co-principal Investigator for the National Virtual Observatory and TeraGrid. At Argonne, he held a number of positions from 1973-1987 and was the founding Director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division.

In this video from 2017, Paul Messina describes recent progress towards the development of machines with 50x applications performance than is possible today.

About the Award and Selection Committee

This year’s CRA Distinguished Service Award selection committee includes Greg Morrisett (Cornell University; Chair), Chris Johnson (University of Utah) and Min Wang (Visa Research). CRA’s Distinguished Service Award recognizes a person who has made an outstanding service contribution to the computing research community. This award recognizes service in the areas of government affairs, professional societies, publications or conferences, and leadership that has a major impact on computing research.

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