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Taufer Selected to Receive 2021 IBM Faculty Award

Michela Taufer

Michela Taufer

Michela Taufer, ACM Distinguished Scientist and Dongarra Professor in High Performance Computing in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was selected in December to receive a 2021 IBM Faculty Award. This is the second time in three years that Taufer has been selected for this highly competitive award.

The Faculty Award recognizes the research of Taufer’s group, the Global Computing Laboratory (GCLab). The GCLab focuses on various aspects of High Performance Computing (HPC) and its application to the sciences.

“We are engaged in the design and testing of efficient computational algorithms and adaptive scheduling policies for scientific computing on GPUs, cloud computing, and volunteer computing,” said Taufer. “Interdisciplinary research with scientists and engineers in fields such as chemistry and chemical engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, seismology, and mathematics is at the core of our activities and philosophy.”

The IBM Faculty Award is part of the broader IBM Academic Award program. IBM Global University Program’s Academic Awards scale from an individual faculty member’s research to much larger university-based concepts and programs.

This award program fosters collaboration between researchers at leading universities and IBM researchers and technologists worldwide. IBM Academic Awards can also promote curriculum innovation to stimulate growth in emerging academic disciplines. IBM Academic Awards can consist of hardware, software, services, IBM Cloud access, and cash components.

“IBM and I sponsored the nomination for an IBM Academic Award for Dr. Taufer,” said
IBM Strategy and Development General Manager Jamie Thomas. “Funding will help recruit and train computer science and mathematics students for interdisciplinary research to create a pipeline of motivated future software developers that will deliver robust software infrastructures to scientists.”

For decades, the IBM Faculty Awards have promoted research and innovation in areas of strategic, mutual interest between IBM and universities. IBM Global University Programs Awards will continue to promote collaborative research projects that advance science and share the outcomes of those projects with the technology community and the world.

To qualify for an IBM Global University Program Academic Award, the nominee must be a full-time professor at an accredited university that has a PhD or Masters’ program in the nominee’s field. Candidates must have outstanding contributions in their field, or in the case of junior faculty, show unusual promise.

“The science community and IBM—interested in quantum, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the future of computing—will benefit from any breakthrough in the efforts of Dr. Taufer and her students, and this sponsorship will help them advance their work,” said Thomas. “Michela’s project will build a diverse pipeline of scientists who are knowledgeable in all of these areas, and all the information that will be developed and published could be applicable to technologies that will be developed in the near future.”

Taufer was also recognized by IBM in 2019 with the Faculty Award, for her HPC leadership and demonstrating its importance to the computing industry.