Ian Foster to Receive Distributed Computing Award
Ian T. Foster has been named as a recipient of this year’s IEEE Tsutomu Kanai Award, which recognizes major contributions to state-of-the-art distributed computing systems and their applications. Foster will receive the award at a ceremony on May 25, 2011, which consists of a crystal model, certificate and $10,000 honorarium.
Foster is the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago and an Argonne Distinguished Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory. He is also the Director of the Computation Institute, a joint unit of Argonne and the University.
The primary focus of Foster’s research has been the acceleration of discovery in a networked world. In partnership with many others, notably Carl Kesselman and Steven Tuecke, Foster developed and promulgated concepts and methods that underpin grid computing. These methods allow computing to be delivered reliably and securely on demand, as a service, and permit the formation and operation of virtual organizations linking people and resources worldwide. These results, and the associated Globus open source software, have helped advance discovery in such areas as high energy physics, environmental science and biomedicine. Grid computing methods also have proved influential outside the world of science, contributing to the emergence of cloud computing.
Among recent projects, Globus Online seeks to outsource complex and time-consuming research management processes to software-as-a-service providers; the goal here is to make the discovery potential of massive data, exponentially faster computers, and deep interdisciplinary collaboration accessible to every researcher, not just a select few “big science” projects.
Foster received a BSc (Hons I) degree from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and a Ph.D. from Imperial College, United Kingdom, both in computer science. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Computing Machinery and British Computer Society. His other awards include the Global Information Infrastructure Next Generation award, the British Computer Society’s Lovelace Medal, R&D Magazine’s Innovator of the Year, and honorary doctorates from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and CINVESTAV, Mexico. He co-founded Univa, a company established to deliver grid and cloud computing solutions.
The Tsutomu Kanai Award was established in 1997 by a generous endowment from Hitachi and was named in honor of Dr. Tsutomu Kanai who serves as Hitachi’s president for 30 years. The Kanai Award may be presented annually upon the recommendation of the Kanai Award subcommittee, endorsement of the Awards Committee and approval of the Board of Governors.
The award is open to all, and anyone may nominate. The award requires three endorsements. In the evaluation process, the following criteria are considered: seminal nature of the achievements, practical impact, breadth and depth of contributions, and quality of the nomination.