Longtime HPC community member Ann Ellen Redelfs, 62, died Saturday, April 18, in a hospital in Duluth, Minn., due to complications from a blood clotting disorder. The illness was not related to the coronavirus.
Redelfs applied her educational background in science, administration, and public affairs to a career in high-performance computing. She was deputy director of the Cornell Theory Center from 1986 to 1991. She went on to assist Ken Kennedy in launching the Center for Research on Parallel Computation at Rice University, and then led external communications at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California.
In 2002, Redelfs joined the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as associate director of public programs. As an avid birdwatcher, it was a dream job for her.
Since 2004, Redelfs operated independent consultancy Redelfs LLC, lending her grant writing, project management and leadership skills to numerous organizations. As a contractor, she contributed to a successful SC 30th anniversary program, providing support, coordination and historical perspective to commemorate the historic milestone of the industry’s biggest conference during the SC18 proceedings in Dallas.
Over the years, Redelfs worked with Tabor Communications, Inc. (TCI) – publisher of HPCwire – on a number of projects. She served as the editorial director for two books published by TCI: “High Performance Computing – Contributions to Society” (1996) and “Emergence of Grid and Service-Oriented IT” (2006).
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Redelfs moved to Oklahoma City when she was 11 years old. She lived in Ithica, N.Y., Houston and San Diego before settling in Duluth in 2007. She delighted in the area’s natural attractions: the invigorating weather, pristine hiking spots and of course the wildlife.
Redelfs received her undergraduate degree in wildlife biology with a minor in mass communications from Oklahoma State University, where she also earned her master’s of science. Redelf’s degree thesis, Wetland Values and Losses in the United States, was distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to more than 500 natural resources professionals and offices.
Redelfs was an outspoken advocate for women’s, minority and LGBT rights, especially as it related to IT. She was the original Diversity Officer for the San Diego Supercomputer Center and was a founding emeritus board member of the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology. She served on the steering committees of numerous conferences, including the Grace Hopper and Richard Tapia Celebration conferences, and the SC conference series.
“Ann was one of the stalwarts of the Supercomputing Conference series for many years. She was someone that every general chair wanted involved because of her passion for the HPC community and her can-do spirit. She was a mountain mover,” said Tom Tabor, CEO of TCI and publisher of HPCwire.
“This is so shocking and incredibly sad. Ann was such a wonderful person and was a shining light in our SC family. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers,” commented SC07 General Chair Becky J. Verastegui of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
There are no details yet on arrangements.