The ITA CityLIGHTS awards, given annually to key thought leaders and companies from the Illinois technology sector, span several categories, and recognize the technology ecosystem from ideation to application in non-tech products. Ian Foster was celebrated as the individual "whose talent has championed true technology innovation, either through new application of existing technology or the development of technology to achieve a truly unique product or service".
Ian Foster, who has led development of methods and software that underpin many large national and international cyberinfrastructures, might even be considered a technologist triple threat: he holds manifold research appointments and positions at the University of Chicago and at Argonne National Laboratory, and has co-founded a successful company that provides Grid and Cloud computing solutions.
In his current role as director of the Computation Institute - a joint initiative of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory - Ian Foster brings together computational scientists and discipline thought leaders to work on a wide range of projects involving computation as a key component. Researchers at the CI have access to facilities at both institutions, which include storage resources, major parallel computing clusters, advanced display environments, and high-capacity network links.
"I am honoured to receive this award", stated Ian Foster. "Computation is rapidly becoming a fundamental catalyst to research in almost every discipline, driven in large part by the massive growth in data. It is especially rewarding to have our work in this area recognized by the Illinois technology community."
As co-inventor - with research colleagues Carl Kesselman and Steve Tuecke - of Grid computing along over a decade ago, Ian Foster continues to lead the development of innovative tools and infrastructure that will enable future breakthroughs in research. His MacArthur Foundation-funded CIM-EARTH project aims to combine the best of modern computational and economic science to guide climate and energy policy. Ian Fosters most recent effort with Steve Tuecke, Globus Online, is a Cloud-based service that transforms how researchers deal with big datafrom how they manage it to how they share it among their colleagues.
The ITA CityLIGHTS awards were presented at a gala in the Great Hall at Union Station in Chicago on May 10, 2012.