Indiana University professor receives high performance computing award

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS) have named Geoffrey C. Fox of Indiana University Bloomington as the recipient of the 2019 ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award. Fox was cited for foundational contributions to parallel computing methodology, algorithms and software, and data analysis, and their interfaces with broad classes of applications. The award will be presented at SC 19: The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, November 17-22, in Denver, Colorado.

Through a long and distinguished career, Fox has made several important technical contributions to high performance computing. Fox identified the principles behind the use of decomposition and efficient message passing in early MIMD (multiple instruction, multiple data) hypercubes., which pioneered application development on parallel machines. In several well-received papers, Fox demonstrated the synergies between Message Passing Interface (MPI) and MapReduce. In one paper, for instance, he introduced the programming model and architecture of Twister, an enhanced map-reduce runtime that supports iterative MapReduce computations efficiently. His more recent Twister 2 system systematically provides HPC performance with functionalities similar to Apache Spark, Flink, Storm, and Heron. His recent work at the interface of HPC and data-intensive computing has resulted in the SPIDAL (Scalable Parallel and Interoperable Data-intensive Application Library) project. SPIDAL supports a very diverse collection of data-intensive applications on high performance computing platforms.

Geoffrey C. Fox, a professor at Indiana University, has been named the recipient of the ACM IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award. The award recognizes achievements in high performance computing. Credit: Indiana University

Fox’s service to the community includes involvement with several organizations, including the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education which identifies research opportunities in computing for the students and staff of minority serving institutions (MSIs). Since 1997, he has also taught Java and parallel computing courses across the internet to historically black colleges and universities and MSIs. Fox’s MOOC (massive online open course), “Big Data Applications,” was cited by Computerworld as one of the “7 Great MOOCs for Techies,” and he has made important contributions to computing standards through leadership roles with the Open Grid Forum and the Java Grande Forum. Fox has also taken on many volunteer roles, including General Chair, of several conferences and workshops.


Fox is Director of the Digital Science Center, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, and a professor of Informatics and Computing and Physics at Indiana University Bloomington. He is principal investigator of FutureGrid, a new cyberinfrastructure test to enable development of new approaches to scientific computing. He has more than 1,200 publications in physics and computer science. Fox has previously held positions at the California Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, and Florida State University. He received his PhD in Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University.