Dr. Wu-chun Feng

HPCwire's People to Watch 2011

Dr. Wu-chun Feng

Dr. Wu-chun Feng
Associate Professor of Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech (VT); Director, Synergy Laboratory, Virginia Tech

Or simply Wu, as he likes to be called, is literally an idea factory. His work in the field of efficient supercomputing and bioinformatics is credited in part for the renewed interest in computer science by the next wave of young talent making their career selections. A true Renaissance man, Feng is not only a gifted musician, avid cyclist, and ultimate Frisbee enthusiast, he is also a philanthropist and the founder of MyVICE@VT, a project dedicated to introducing computer science to rural and economically disadvantaged children in K-12. As a driving force in the next generation of thought leaders in HPC, Feng is definitely a person to watch in the months and years ahead.

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Dr. Feng is currently an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech (VT), where he directs the Synergy Lab and serves as a VT site co-director for the National Science Foundation Center for High-Performance Reconfigurable Computing (CHREC). In addition, he is an adjunct faculty member in the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Feng came to VT from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, following previous professional stints at Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Orion Multisystems, Vosaic, IBM, T.J. Watson Research Center, and NASA Ames Research Center. Dr. Feng has published nearly two hundred peer-reviewed technical publications in high-performance networking and computing, high-speed systems monitoring and measurement, low power and power-aware computing, and bioinformatics.

Highly regarded as a visionary of green computing, Feng first introduced the idea of “energy-efficient supercomputing” to the HPC community at SC ’01. He also invented Green Destiny, a 240-node cluster supercomputer in five square feet that consumed a mere 3.2 kilowatts of power (when booted diskless). This cluster ultimately produced a Linpack rating of 101 Gflops, which would have placed it in the TOP500 List at the time. As a consequence, this green supercomputer achieved a level of notoriety that led to international news coverage by the New York Times, CNN, the International Herald Tribune, PC World, Slashdot, and BBC News. Feng worked to establish a low-power supercomputing company, Orion Multisystems, and has been actively involved in architecting power-aware software that reduces energy consumption while maintaining performance. He is also credited with developing the concept of The Green500 List in 2006, which officially made its debut during SC ’07.

Dr. Feng holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a M.S. in Computer Engineering and B.S. degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Music from Penn State University. In addition to being an ACM Distinguished Scientist and Senior Member of the IEEE Computer Society, Dr. Feng was also honored as a 2004 HPCwire People to Watch recipient.

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