Computer science professor William Gropp has been appointed the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of only two such chairs in the United States. The chair is the result of a $2 million gift from the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation.
Gropp, along with collaborators at Argonne National Laboratory, pioneered the design of the message passing interface (MPI). This standard – and its software implementation, also developed by Gropp and company – is essential to the parallel processing at the heart of supercomputing today.
'There’s no better place than the University of Illinois to advance the revolution in computational science. You need people who understand computing, math, and the particular problem area you’re studying – whether its drugs interacting with our body or black holes interacting with each other. Illinois’ College of Engineering brings those people together, and they’re really ready to collaborate,' said Gropp.
'I’m lucky to be here, and it’s an honour to be Illinois’ first Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science.'
MPI allows large-scale computations to be run on thousand to millions of processor cores simultaneously and for the results of those computations to be efficiently shared as the overall computing job progresses.