For Immediate Release (General Audience):

Ken Kennedy To Co-Chair Clinton's HPCC Advisory Committee


IndentPresident Clinton today appointed Rice University Computer Science Professor Ken Kennedy to co-chair a new committee that will advise the federal government on issues that impact high-end computing, information technology, and networking. Kennedy, who also serves as Director of the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), headquartered at Rice, was one of 20 representatives from academia, industry, and government to be invited to serve on the Advisory Committee on High Performance Computing and Communications, Information Technology, and the Next Generation Internet. Kennedy expects that the committee, which will advise the White House through the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), will "focus on federal programs of research investment in high-end computer, information, and communication technologies, like the Next Generation Internet, but will stay away from regulatory issues."

Throughout his career, Kennedy has made major contributions to the field of high performance computing. As Director of the CRPC, an NSF-funded Science and Technology Center, Kennedy coordinates seven participating institutions and six affiliated sites across the country in a program of research to make scalable parallel computer systems as usable as sequential systems are today. The center is also committed to education and outreach efforts that prepare future generations for scientific problem solving and parallel computation. CRPC funding of approximately $56 million from 1989 to the year 2000 represents the largest research grant in the history of Rice University.

Kennedy has been a faculty member at Rice since 1971 and has held the Noah Harding Professorship in the Department of Computer Science since 1985. He has been recognized as an outstanding teacher, receiving the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching in 1979. His 30th Ph.D. student will graduate this year. He is also a founding member of the W.M. Keck Center for Computational Biology at Rice University, a joint effort of Rice, Baylor College of Medicine, and the University of Houston.

"President Clinton could not have made a wiser choice than Ken Kennedy," said Rice President Malcolm Gillis. "Ken will bring to the advisory committee a wealth of experience in high-performance computing and a bold vision for the future of computers. Ken's direction of the CRPC at Rice has been an indispensable element of our initiatives in computational engineering. We can expect that, under his leadership, the committee will achieve its ambitious goals."

Kennedy's research at Rice and with CRPC scientists has led to the development of influential technologies to make parallel computing truly usable, including parallel versions of common programming languages and technologies for making different computers work together. The CRPC's work is allowing American businesses to more accurately and quickly test and design new products, and analyze information for petroleum exploration, environmental clean up, and health care management.

Kennedy is an active member of many professional organizations and the community at large. He has served as Artistic Advisory Vice President of the Houston Society for the Performing Arts since 1986. In 1990, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Currently, he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Association for Computing Machinery. He won the W. Wallace McDowell Award for Contributions to Compiler Optimization and Leadership in Software Development for Parallel Computation in 1995. He is on the Board of Directors for AccessWare (Houston, TX) and Tera Computer Company (Seattle, WA), and is a consultant for Hewlett Packard (Palo Alto, CA).

For more information, contact Danny Powell at, 713-348-6011, or 713-348-5136 (fax).

[Ken Kennedy's Home Page - CRPC Home Page - Search the CRPC Web Site]


Updated by Debbie Campbell (
Posted February 13, 1997.