Stanley C. Ahalt
Ohio Supercomputer Center
Why he's worth watching: Because he's an upstart. We appreciate Stan most as the inspiration behind "blue collar computing for industrial HPC," a concept that he has pioneered. He's scrappy and yearns to bring HPC to the masses. He's worked wonders at OSC, adding a research component and bringing the center to national prominence.
Aside from his work at OSC, where he leads a high performance computing and networking infrastructure that serves as an enabler for a diverse community, including education, academic research, industry and state government, Ahalt also is academic lead for Signal and Image Processing (SIP) in the Department of Defense's High Performance Computing Modernization Program's Programming Environment and Training (HPCMP PET) initiative. In addition, he's a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at The Ohio State University.
- Besides his work, Stan's greatest passions are his family and community.
- Stan's first paying job was as a day laborer for a construction company.
- His favorite place on earth is Madrid.
- If he had 24 hours to himself, Stan would have brunch, take a long bike ride, nap, have dinner, play cards and watch a movie with the kids -- all while ignoring email.
- Even his colleagues would probably be surprised to know Stan really enjoys fishing, tractor pulls and Monty Python.
Thom H. Dunning Jr.
National Center for Supercomputing Applications
Why he's worth watching: In his first year leading the NCSA, this prestigious chemist has met all the huge -- and myriad -- challenges head on, with a heady mix of steadfast determination and self-effacing humor. He looks like the right guy to skillfully balance the NCSA's legacy as a source of supercomputing resources with its future as a scientific research partner. We hope he will maintain the NCSA's diversity, both of people and programs.
Dunning also serves as distinguished chair for research excellence in chemistry as well as a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the university in January 2005. An accomplished, respected scientist, he is looked to provide the research skills and overall guidance to fulfill NCSA's mission of enabling scientific discovery. His recent research has focused on the development of techniques for the accurate solution of the electronic Schrodinger equation.
- Besides his work, Thom's other greatest passions are history and the environment. "The former because it helps us understand how the great ideas of science developed," he explained. "And the latter because it is one of the key things that we deed to our children and grandchildren."
- His first paying job was working on a truck farm in the bottomlands of the Missouri River. "I worked for a German immigrant who was very demanding, but had all of the good qualities that one associates with the German people."
- His favorite place on earth is the West. He loves snowcapped mountains; tall pines; crisp, clear air and big sky, and sweeping, magnificent vistas.
- If he had 24 hours to himself, Thom would spend the time doing numerical "experiments" on molecules to better understand why they do what they do.
- Even his colleagues would probably be surprised to know this about him: "Since I am so new at NCSA, my staff would be surprised at a number of things about me," he said.
Robert H. "Bo" Ewald
Linux Networx Inc.
Why he's so watchable: Because he was just named CEO at Linux Networx. In basic terms, we keep an eye on Bo because we've been watching him for so long; he's an industry legend. As a user, he was one of the original Cray-ons -- way back in the 1970s -- and he's been a key mover at both Cray Research Inc. and SGI. Aside from being a motivational leader, Bo brings a wealth of insider knowledge to up-and-coming LN.
Ewald has built an impressive track record serving in executive positions in the HPC industry. He was at Cray Research Inc. from 1984 to 1996, serving as president and COO the last three years. During his tenure, the company grew from about $200 million to more than $900 million. He also has served as executive vice president and COO for Silicon Graphics Inc. Ewald began his management career at Los Alamos National Laboratory as head of its Computing and Communications Division.
- Besides his work, Bo's greatest passion is learning about all the things he doesn't know, ranging from Greek civilization and the Roman Empire to hang gliding and telemark skiing.
- Bo's first paying job, aside from a newspaper route, was selling "peanuts, popcorn and crackerjack" at the Reno Silver Sox minor league baseball games. "In the summers, I 'cowboyed' for $1 a day and 'put up' hay for $5 a day in Clover Valley, Nev.," he added.
- His favorite place on earth is actually a few feet above the earth -- flying his 1941 open cockpit Stearman biplane. On a warm summer day, Bo likes feeling the wind on his face combined with the freedom of an eagle, smelling the freshly mowed hay in the fields. This typically puts a big smile on his face -- especially if there is no crosswind upon landing.
- If he had 24 hours to himself, Bo would work in his vegetable garden, then be transported to either the space station or a glacier in Greenland (with one of the thousands of books on his reading list) for an afternoon of exploring and a night of winter camping.
- Even his colleagues would probably be surprised to know Bo usually cooks Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. He favors family recipes from his mother and grandmother, including twice-raised "Parker House" yeast rolls.
Peter A. Freeman
National Science Foundation
Why he's worth watching: His tenure at NSF is up in less than two years. So much of his funding is determined by peer review, so what will be the fate decided regarding the much-discussed national "shared cyberinfrastructure"? And how will he deal with his declared intention to focus on diversity issues?
After a distinguished career as the founding dean of the College of Computing at Georgia Tech, he took the position with the NSF for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE). With the NSF in the midst of making major decisions about funding new IT initiatives, Freeman heads the organization's Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate, which manages the country's three biggest supercomputing centers.
- Besides his work, Peter's other greatest passion is travel.
- His first paying job was "creator and owner of a cut-flower 'nursery' at age 12." He added, "I sold gladiolus to a local flower shop."
- Peter's favorite places on earth are Tuscany, Paris and Manhattan. "It's a toss-up between those three," he said.
- If he had 24 hours to himself, Peter would probably read, cook a good meal, take a long walk on the beach and sleep!
- Even his colleagues would probably be surprised to know this about Peter: He claims he is "actually rather quiet and shy -- at least compared to some in my family."
Eng Lim Goh
SVP & CTO
Silicon Graphics Inc.
Why he's worth watching: He's one of the quiet heroes of the HPC ecosystem. Despite the recent economic and restructuring challenges in his workplace, Goh continues to go-go-go with new product innovations. Worth particular attention is that he's in charge of SGI's Project Ultraviolet, the incubator for the company's next-generation, science-driven computer architecture.
A 14-year veteran at SGI, he became one of the chief scientists in 1998 and assumed CTO duties in 2001. He is co-author of SGI's recommendation to the high-end computing revitalization task force (HECRTF) for federal funding of key corresponding technologies. Known as a strong proponent of next-generation computer systems designed specifically for applications performance, he's also an advocate for computational density and a balanced multi-paradigm approach.
David K. Kahaner
Asian Technology Information Program
Why he's worth watching: "Mr. IT Asia" is a well-connected forward thinker who works the frontlines. Constantly traveling throughout Asia, he spreads the word not just on what people are talking about now, but what they soon will need to know. David's a relentless networker, and not only in the more developed regions of Asia, but also Thailand and Vietnam too. He serves the entire Asian community and is masterful in connecting scientists from all over the region.
Kahaner has been examining information-rich technologies in Asia for many years. He formerly served as associate director of the U.S. Office of Naval Research Asia (ONR) before spending more than two decades at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), formerly known as the National Bureau of Standards. One of his goals is the development of a technology-based information service that focuses on Asian activities but will be of strategic and business value to Westerners and Asians alike.
William T.C. Kramer
National Energy Research Scientific Computing
Why he's worth watching: Because he's chair of SC '05, that's why. But it only begins there. He secured Sir Bill (Gates, that is) as the event's keynoter. A visionary among SC leaders with a calm but rock-solid demeanor, Bill is building a legacy for this great event. While keeping the reins tight on the budget, he has watched exhibit space sell out. We can't wait for November.
Kramer's "real" job is being responsible for NERSC's computational facilities and support. Before coming to Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, he was with the NASA Ames Research Center, where he was chief of Advanced Air Transportation Technologies and was responsible for creating and implementing an R&D program for designing revolutionary new air traffic management systems. From 1988 to 1994, he was branch chief of NASA Computational Services, responsible for all aspects of operations and customer service for NASA's principal supercomputer center.
- Besides his work, Bill's greatest passion is being a dad. "I love experiencing life with my 10-year-old daughter. I learn new things with her such as our current adventures in geo-caching."
- Bill's first paying job was mowing lawns and shoveling snow as a grade schooler. His first job in computing was working for TRW on an environmental study of the Hudson River.
- His favorite place on earth is anywhere his wife and daughter are. "Otherwise, it would be underwater," he added. "I love to be with dolphins, whales and other marine mammals."
- If he had 24 hours to himself, not surprisingly, Bill would spend it with his wife and daughter. If alone, he would most likely be doing a woodworking project, going to the beach or reading a history or mystery book.
- Even his colleagues would probably be surprised to know Bill once was part of a team of scuba divers who recovered a safe from a sunken ship off the coast of New Jersey. Their discovery included 200-year-old coins and the ship captain's watch, which was returned to him.
Cherri M. Pancake
Professor, computer science and associate director for research
Oregon State University
Why she's worth watching: Because she's so electric as the voice of the common folk. She's also driven as a persuasive influence on the leaders of the HPC community, especially in her efforts around usability engineering. Please emerge from the shadows, Cherri, the HPC community sure could use more of your exuberant energy.
Most of Pancake's research focuses on usability engineering, studying how software can be engineered to be more usable, especially for practicing scientists and engineers. Recently, she has focused on problems particular to scientists and engineers when they need to find and access large databases across the Internet. Her Pancake Research Group pioneered the use of multi-level web-to-database interfaces to customize access to meet the needs of such diverse groups as middle-school children and professional scientists. Of late she has been active in data discovery, as it applies to our natural environment, bioinformatics and earthquake engineering.
- Besides her work, Cherri's other greatest passion is reading. "I average three books a week, even during busy weeks," she said.
- Her first paying job was on the editorial staff of "The Southern Review," a literary journal that the "New Yorker" once named one of the "top 25 journals for intellectuals."
- Cherri's favorite place on earth is the high Andes of Peru.
- If she had 24 hours to herself, Cherri would go whitewater kayaking, followed by a long, long massage.
- Even her colleagues would probably be surprised to know Cherri was the piano accompanist for two semi-professional musicals.
Steven L. Scott
Why he's worth watching: Because Cray is HPC's 900-pound gorilla. All CTOs are smart, that's a given, but what makes Steve so intriguing is he's no one-trick pony. He's been chief architect for several successful products, most notably the T3E system and the X1, Cray's "comeback" product. And through Cray's ups and downs, he has remained a sweetheart of a guy who listens as well as he thinks and executes.
Scott was chief architect on Cray's X1 scalable vector supercomputer, which has helped make possible advancements in weather and climate prediction, aerospace engineering, automotive design as well as a variety of government and academic research applications. He joined Cray -- then Cray Research -- in 1992. He architected the groundbreaking Cray T3E, the world's best-selling massively parallel processing system and the first supercomputer to sustain one teraflop in a real-world application. The holder of 14 U.S. patents, Scott currently is designing the integrated infrastructure that will drive Cray's next-generation supercomputer.
- Besides his work, Steve's other greatest passion is traveling with his family. "I also like to ski and play volleyball when I get the chance," he added.
- His first paying job was as tutor to a very precocious eight-year-old girl. "I taught her algebra and computer programming," he explained.
- Steve said his favorite place on earth is "next to a still lake on a cool summer morning, with a mug of coffee in my hand."
- If he had 24 hours to himself, Steve would probably be processing email. But, he added, "If I could ignore work, I'd be reading a novel -- or two."
- Even his colleagues would probably be surprised to know Steve has "a life goal of going bungee jumping with my grandchildren."
Centre for Supercomputing in Ireland, National University of Ireland Galway
Why he's worth watching: Ireland recently started its supercomputing efforts with an award for a national facility, and Andy is heading it. We also like him because his head is in the sky (he's a serious astronomer) yet his feet are firmly on the ground.
His research interests are astrophysics (optical pulsars, observations, data analysis and modeling), medical imaging (enhancement of X-Rays), imaging (the development of parallel image deconvolution systems) as well as Grid and Meta computing.
- Besides his work, Andy's greatest passion is his family. Cooking and (eating) fish also are high on his list, but he admitted, "that doesn't sound very passionate."
- His first paying job was tying buds onto apple trees at a fruit farm for £11 a week.
- Andy's favorite place on earth is a mixture of the West coast of Ireland on a good day and a Greek Island. "That's a hard question," he added.
- If he had 24 hours to himself, Andy would complete the Maumturk Ridge Walk.
- Even his colleagues would probably be surprised to know, Andy said, "That some people like me."
Director, high-performance computing and communications program
Argonne National Laboratory
Why he's worth watching: While seasoned HPCites need no explanation as to why Stevens is so influential, for newbies, his appeal is of "E.F. Hutton" proportions -- everybody listens. Besides "ponytailed," to describe him in one word, we'd say "powerbroker."
Stevens holds no less than four titles at ANL. Aside from his work in HPC, he's also director of the mathematics and computer science division, head of the computing and communications future laboratory and acting associate laboratory director for physical, biological and computing sciences. He started the futures lab in 1994 as a research group to investigate problems in large-scale scientific visualization and advanced collaboration environments. He's also served as a professor in the computer science department at the University of Chicago since 1999.
- Besides his work, Rick's other greatest passion is camping and wilderness adventures with his family.
- His first paying job was at the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Nature Center as a counselor teaching natural history, environmental science and outdoor skills.
- His favorite place on earth is the American West. "Both the place and the state of mind," he added.
- If Rick had 24 hours to himself, he would hack some bioinformatics code while listening to Uncle Tupelo and drinking a decent red (say, a Joseph Phelps 1992 Insignia).
- Even his colleagues would probably be surprised to know that Rick thinks "the most important thing you can give your kids is a set of deep questions about life and the universe and to help them keep the inborn curiosity needed to pursue them."
VP, deep computing
Why he's worth watching: Because he's the man at IBM who is responsible for delivering the products and services to meet the needs of high-performance computing. In addition, Dave doesn't take his high-profile task lightly; he knows Big Blue plays an absolutely critical role in creating leadership for HPC worldwide.
Now in his fourth decade at IBM, he is responsible for what the company calls its "Deep Computing" business; in other words, the wares and services that meet the diverse demands of high performance computing customers. Most recently, Turek was responsible for IBM's Linux Cluster business and launched the company's efforts around supercomputing on demand as well as high performance Grid computing.
- Besides his work, Dave's other passions are his family, the World Cup, the Tour de France, the Yankees, steak au poivre and Dr. Mike's ice cream.
- His first paying job was on his grandfather's tobacco farm (at age seven).
- His favorite places on earth are Acadia National Park, the beach in Rhode Island, the Grand Tetons and anywhere on his bike.
- If he had 24 hours to himself Dave would... "wonder how that happened," he said.
- Even his colleagues would probably be surprised to know Dave makes the best raspberry pies in the world.
Why he's worth watching: Because his name created such buzz, coming up most often when industry insiders were asked who to include on this year's People to Watch list. While his System X marks the spot, the real diamond is his Deja Vu fault-tolerant software.
Architect of System X, the third fastest supercomputer of 2004, located at the Terascale Computing Facility at Virginia Tech. Consisting of 1,100 Mac G5s, it was built for only $5.2 million yet offered a sustained performance of 10.28 Teraflops.
- Besides his work, Srinidhi's other greatest passions are history and political science.
- His first paying job was as a free-lance computer programmer.
- Srinidhi's favorite place on earth is an empty beach with good waves.
- If he had 24 hours to himself, "I would not know what to do with it," Srinidhi said.
- Even his colleagues would probably be surprised to know, Srinidhi said, "I have a life -- sometimes."
Corporate VP & CTO
Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Why he's worth watching: His cunning 32-bit/64-bit bit strategy has accelerated AMD's position in high-end computing. We also admire his stance as a "David" relentlessly fighting the good fight in the ongoing battle vs. the Goliath named Intel.
In the mid-1990s, Weber envisioned bringing the power of 64-bit x86-based computing to everyone. This led to the 2003 launch of AMD's Opteron and Athlon 64 processors, which offer an admirable mix of investment protection and exceptional performance through simultaneous 32-bit/64-bit operation. In 2003, he delivered his vision for "x86 Everywhere," revealing the undeniable benefits of migrating from low-power x86-based microprocessors to a host of new products, including PDAs, mobile phones, TVs, set-top boxes and storage peripherals.
- Besides his work, Fred's greatest passion is building. "I am constantly designing and building landscape and outbuildings at my house," he said. "When I was in high school I created a 60-foot-high waterfall/stream in my father's backyard. I recently completed a pool house, which is designed in the style of a converted barn on the property of my 100-year-old Victorian home. I spent last weekend pouring 2.5 yards of concrete for a foundation for a greenhouse at my home."
- His first paying job was delivering newspapers. "My first high tech job was developing plotting software at Lawrence Berkeley Lab during a summer while I was in high school," he said.
- His favorite place on earth is New Zealand.
- If he had 24 hours to himself, Fred would... "Hmmm, just 24 hours," he said. "Not enough time to hike into Evolution basin. Not enough time to travel somewhere new. I'd probably spend it working around the house. Start the day with some building, then take a swim with the kids and then go visit a nursery."
- Even his colleagues would probably be surprised to know Fred and his mother-in-law worked together to prepare most of the food for his wedding.
Deborah L. Wince-Smith
Council on Competitiveness
Why she's worth watching: At a time when more and more jobs are going offshore, Wince-Smith is leading the CoC's mission of helping the U.S. stay ahead of our global competition.
Wince-Smith, who has headed the CoC since December 2001, is an internationally recognized expert on science and technology policy, innovation strategy, technology commercialization and global competition. She serves as corporate chair and director of several high technology companies as well as on boards, committees, and policy councils of numerous national nonprofit organizations, including the University of Chicago Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory, the Council of the Woodrow Wilson Center as well as the University of California Review Committees for Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.
- Besides her work, Deborah's other greatest passion is archaeology. More specifically, she says, "Bronze age Aegean archaeology, Mycenaean and Minoan."
- Her first paying job was working in the lingerie department of a department store in Akron, Ohio.
- Her favorite place on earth is the Peloponnesus of Greece.
- If she had 24 hours to herself, Deborah would go to her favorite sites or museums in a city away from home and then have a great dinner and start a new book.