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ACM Council on Women Honors World Leader in High Performance Computing

Berkeley Lab's Yelick Named "Athena Lecturer" for Contributions to Parallel Programming Languages that Improve Programmer Productivity

ACM Council on Women Honors World Leader in High Performance Computing

Katherine Yelick

ACM's Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W) has named Katherine Yelick of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as the 2013-2014 Athena Lecturer. Yelick, also a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has improved fundamental understanding and practice of parallel programming, which uses multiple processing elements simultaneously to solve a problem. She developed novel performance tuning, compilation and runtime systems, which implement the core behavior of computer languages.   The Athena Lecturer award celebrates women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science. It includes a $10,000 honorarium provided by Google Inc.

"Yelick's innovative software is used in both the research community and in production environments," said Mary Jane Irwin, who heads the ACM-W awards committee.  “She has taken on the challenges of software developers in the age of exascale computing and helped them become more efficient in this environment. An effective teacher and mentor, she been a role model for the computing community."

Yelick co-invented UPC (Unified Parallel C), an extension of the C programming language designed for high performance computing on large-scale parallel machines. She also co-invented Titanium, an explicitly parallel dialect of Java, one of the most popular programming languages in use, to support high-performance scientific computing on large-scale multiprocessors. Yelick has demonstrated the applicability of these languages across architectures through the use of novel runtime and compilation methods.  Her work also includes automatic performance tuning techniques as well as performance analysis, modeling, and optimization for a range of programming tools.

The Athena Lecturer is invited to present a lecture at an ACM event. Yelick's lecture will be delivered at SC13 in Denver, CO, November 17-22. Each year, the Athena Lecturer honors a preeminent woman computer scientist. Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom; with her knowledge and sense of purpose, she epitomizes the strength, determination, and intelligence of the "Athena Lecturers." The 2013-2014 Athena Lecturer award will be presented at the ACM Annual Awards Banquet, June 15, in San Francisco, CA.

Read the ACM press release.