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Thomas Sterling

HPCwire's People to Watch 2013

Thomas Sterling

Thomas Sterling
Professor of Computer Science at Indiana University, a Faculty Associate at California Institute of Technology, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Thomas Sterling is Professor of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University. He serves as the Executive Associate Director of CREST and as its Chief Scientist. Since receiving his Ph.D from MIT as a Hertz Fellow in 1984, Sterling has conducted research in parallel computing systems in industry, academia, and government centers. He is most widely known for his pioneering work in commodity cluster computing as leader of the Beowulf Project, for which he and colleagues were awarded the Gordon Bell Prize

Professor Sterling currently leads a team of researchers at IU to derive the advanced ParalleX execution model and develop a proof-of-concept reference implementation to enable a new generation of extreme scale computing systems and applications. He is the co-author of six books and holds six patents.

Sterling served 7 years in the US Navy before entering MIT in the late 1970s, and earned his masters at the Electrical Power Engineering Lab (EPSEL). Intrigued by the early concepts of parallel computers, Sterling built one for his Master’s thesis and has been working in this domain for the last 35 years.

As a child he was a member of a professional boys choir in New York and performed with the New York Philharmonic both at Carnegie Hall and at Lincoln Center at the tender age of 12. His life-long hobbies and interests include sailing, late Bronze Age history and Astronomy.

Thomas’ Top 5 HPC initiatives or technologies to watch in 2013:

  • System-scale parallel adaptive runtime software
  • Exascale computing concepts (execution model) and directions
  • Extreme scale dynamic graph analytics
  • 3-D die stacking for integrated multi-core & memory chips
  • Parallel programming models and interfaces to expose billion-way

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