22 Jan 2018 Urbana-Champaign - Laxmikant "Sanjay" Kale, a professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a NCSA Faculty Affiliate, was named to the the 2017 class of fellows from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the scientific computing community's largest society.
At Illinois, Professor Kale has pioneered an effort to integrate adaptive runtime systems into parallel programming, leading to collaboration and the development of scalable applications across industries, from biophysics to quantum chemistry and even astronomy. Professor Kale also leads the Parallel Programming Laboratory at the University of Illinois.
The ACM Fellows Programme, the organisation's most prestigious honour, recognizes the top 1 percent of ACM members for outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology. This prestigious honour comes on the back of the implementation of Adaptive Runtime Systems in parallel computing, which has been pioneered by Professor Kale and his group, and implemented into the Charm++ parallel programing framework, maintained at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
"We co-developed several science and engineering applications using Charm++, which allowed us to validate and improve the Adaptive Runtime techniques we were developing in our research in the context of full applications", stated Professor Kale. "The application codes developed include NAMD (biophysics), OpenAtom (quantum chemistry/materials modelling), ChaNGa (astronomy), EpiSimdemics (simulation of epidemics), etc. These are highly scalable codes that run from small clusters to supercomputers, including Blue Waters, on hundreds of thousands of processor cores."
This new adaptive runtime system allows code to run much more efficiently than before, keeping an ever-vigilant digital eye on individual processors and how they are processing data, eliminating downtime and ultimately shortening processing time.
"Our approach allows parallel programmers to write code without worrying about where (i.e. on which processor) the code will execute, or which data will be on what processor", explained Professor Kale. "The runtime system continuously watches the programme behaviour and moves data and code-execution among processors so as to automatically improve performance, for example, via dynamic load balancing. This approach especially helps development of complex or sophisticated parallel algorithms."
Thus, Professor Kale's continued work will enable the continued expansion of parallel algorithms for high performance computing, and as such, see expanded use as time goes on.
"The credit for my success and for this award certainly goes to generations of my students who worked on various aspects of adaptive runtime systems", Professor Kale concluded.
Sanjay Kale is also a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a faculty affiliate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.