The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology, selected Gao as an IEEE Fellow “for contributions to architecture and compiler technology of parallel computers.” The association has more than 370,000 members in over 160 countries.
Gao, one of 295 IEEE Fellows elected to the 2008 class, is now a member of an elite group from around the globe. According to IEEE, the award recognizes unusual distinction in the profession, for accomplishments that “shall have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology, bringing the realization of significant value to society.”
Gao also has been named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) “for contributions to multiprocessor computers and compiler optimization techniques.” The global educational and scientific society has more than 82,000 members from industry, academia and government institutions.
Gao is one of 38 members of ACM recognized as 2007 ACM Fellows for “their contributions to computing technology that have brought advances in the way people live and work throughout the world.”
The honorees, based at leading universities, industries and research labs, have created innovations in a range of computing disciplines that affect theory and practice, education and entertainment, industry and commerce.
“These men and women are the inventors of technology that impacts our society in profound and tangible ways every day,” Stuart Feldman, ACM president, said. “They have pushed the boundaries of their respective computing disciplines to create remarkable achievements that have the potential to make our world more accessible, more secure and more advanced.”
A consummate researcher and educator, Gao has conducted pioneering work on novel computer architecture models and system software, including the compilers that optimize applications for efficient execution. This technology serves as the basis for high-performance parallel supercomputers, which are considered to be at the pinnacle in processing capacity, particularly in speed of calculation.
Parallel computing is an important technology employed by supercomputer architectures to use multiple processors (CPUs) to speed up the execution of application programs. According to Gao, today's high-end supercomputers consist of up to 10,000 to 100,000 CPUs, while future generations will employ 1 million CPUs and beyond.
Gao also is the founder and director of the Computer Architecture and Parallel Systems Lab (CAPSL) located in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UD. The lab's primary research includes high-performance parallel computing architecture, system software, parallel programming and tools for both traditional supercomputers as well as high-performance embedded systems. The lab also specializes in mapping applications to a number of areas, including bioinformatics.
Gao has led numerous research programs in parallel computing architecture and software sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and other U.S. and Canadian government agencies and private organizations.
Over the years, he has helped organize several international conferences and workshops, delivered keynote lectures at a number of international scientific meetings, presented numerous invited talks and served on the editorial boards of IEEE Transaction on Computers, IEEE Concurrency and IFIP Parallel Processing Letters.
Gao received both his master's and doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“I wish to recognize the support that I have received from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the College of Engineering and the University of Delaware,” Gao said. “I also wish to thank the Computer Architecture and Parallel System Laboratory and my students and staff. Without their creative and hard work together, these honors would not be possible. These awards are also recognition of their work.”
Gao joins five other faculty in the UD Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering who are IEEE Fellows, including Gonzalo R. Arce, chairperson of the department and the Charles Black Evans Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, and professors Robert Hunsperger, Leonard Cimini, Allen Barnett and David Mills. Mills also is an ACM Fellow.
Article by Tracey Bryant