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Mailing Address:
Professor Ken Kennedy
Rice University
HiPerSoft, MS-41
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005-1892


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Penny Anderson

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Ken Kennedy - Biography

Ken Kennedy attended Rice University, receiving a B.A. in mathematics (summa cum laude) in 1967. He pursued graduate studies at New York University, where he earned a M.S. in mathematics in 1969 and a Ph.D. in computer science in 1971. He returned to Rice University in 1971 to join the faculty of the Mathematical Sciences Department, rising to the rank of professor in 1980. He founded the Rice Computer Science Department in 1984 and served as its chair until 1988. He was named the Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science in 1985. In 1997, he became the first John and Ann Doerr Professor of Computational Engineering and, in 2002, he was promoted to University Professor. He currently directs the the Center for High Performance Software Research (HiPerSoft), which is the administrative home for several multi-institutional research projects.  

Professor Kennedy founded the Rice Computer and Information Technology Institute in 1987 and served as its first chair. In 1989, he established the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a NSF Science and Technology Center, and directed it throughout its lifetime. He currently directs the NSF-supported Virtual Grid Application Development Software (VGrADS) Project, a collaborative seven-institution research effort focused on application development support for computational grids. He is also the project director of the academic partner contract for the Los Alamos Computer Science Institute (LACSI), which is headquartered at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  

Dr. Kennedy's research interests include parallel computing in science and engineering, scientific programming environments, and optimization of compiled code. He has published two books and over two hundred technical articles on programming support software for high-performance computer systems. Over his career, he has supervised thirty-six Ph.D. dissertations and he has directed the construction of several substantial software systems for programming parallel computers, including an automatic vectorizer for Fortran 77, an integrated scientific programming environment, compilers for Fortran 90 and High Performance Fortran, and a compilation system for domain languages based on Matlab. His current research focuses on new strategies for supporting high-level architecture-independent programming in science and engineering, with a particular emphasis on scalable parallel computers and the Grid. As director of the Telescoping Languages Project, he also works on implementation strategies for high-level domain-specific programming languages.  

Professor Kennedy was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1990. He was named a Fellow of the AAAS in 1994 and of the ACM and IEEE in 1995. In 2005, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In recognition of his achievements in compilation for high performance computer systems, he was honored as the recipient of the 1995 W. W. McDowell Award, the highest research award of the IEEE Computer Society. In 1999, he was named recipient of the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Achievement Award, the third time this award was given.  

Professor Kennedy's service to the national community includes time as member (1997-2001) and co-chair (1997-99) of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC). For his leadership in producing the PITAC report, "Information Technology Research: Investing in Our Future," he received the Computing Research Association Distinguished Service Award (1999) and the RCI Seymour Cray HPCC Industry Recognition Award (1999).

Technical Biography: Click here for a more complete compilation of Professor Kennedy's career technical accomplishments.

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Last updated: December 4, 2005