DataSys: Data-Intensive Distributed Systems LaboratoryData-Intensive Distributed Systems Laboratory

Illinois Institute of Technology
Department of Computer Science

ACM A.M. Turing Award Lecture at Illinois Tech   

Jack Dongarra

Professor Emeritus, University of Tennessee

Appointments with Oak Ridge National Laboratory

                    & the University of Manchester


April 12th, 2023 at 12:45PM: Lecture in Hermann Hall Ballroom

                                    1:45PM: Reception in Hermann Hall’s Gallery Lounge


Register for free at


Join us for a celebration of an Illinois Tech alumni, Jack Dongarra, winning the most prestigious award in computing, the 2021 ACM A.M. Turing Award. Jack’s pioneering contributions to numerical algorithms and libraries that enabled HPC software to keep pace with exponential hardware improvements for over four decades has, through the years, accelerated HPC. You won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to hear first-hand from one of the giants in the field of computing!

About the Award

The ACM A.M. Turing Award was named for Alan M. Turing, the British mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing, and who was a key contributor to the Allied cryptanalysis of the Enigma cipher during World War II. Since its inception in 1966, the Turing Award has honored the computer scientists and engineers who created the systems and underlying theoretical foundations that have propelled the information technology industry. The award, often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Computing,” carries a $1 million prize, with financial support provided by Google.

A Lifetime of Contributions

While most in our HPC community recognize Jack as a collaborator in developing the code for the Linpack benchmark and establishing the TOP500 list, his trailblazing work stretches back to 1979. He has led the world of HPC through his contributions to efficient numerical algorithms for linear algebra operations, parallel computing programming mechanisms, and performance evaluation tools.

For nearly 40 years, Moore’s Law produced exponential growth in hardware performance. During that same time, while most software failed to keep pace with these hardware advances, high performance numerical software did—in large part due to Jack’s algorithms, optimization techniques, and production-quality software implementations.

These contributions laid a framework from which scientists and engineers made important discoveries and game-changing innovations in areas including big data analytics, healthcare, renewable energy, weather prediction, genomics, and economics, to name a few. His work also helped facilitate significant advances in computer architecture and supported innovations in computer graphics and deep learning.

Jack’s initial contribution was in creating open-source software libraries and standards which employ linear algebra as an intermediate language that can be used by a wide variety of applications. These libraries have been written for single processors, parallel computers, multicore nodes, and multiple GPUs per node. 

Jack’s libraries also introduced many important innovations including autotuning, mixed precision arithmetic, and batch computations.

As a leading ambassador of HPC, Jack led the field in persuading hardware vendors to optimize these methods, and software developers to target his open-source libraries in their work. Ultimately, these efforts resulted in linear algebra-based software libraries achieving nearly universal adoption for high performance scientific and engineering computation on machines ranging from laptops to the world’s fastest supercomputers. These libraries were essential in the growth of the field—allowing progressively more powerful computers to solve computationally challenging problems.

Jack was also instrumental in developing MPI (Message-Passing Interface), the portable interface for parallel programming that allows users to move their code from one HPC system to another. His work has touched every HPC computer and virtually every HPC application developed over the last couple of decades. You can learn more about Jack’s award-winning, pioneering work in the video below from the ACM A.M. Turing Award presentation as well as in this article from The New York Times. You can also see the original Turing Award Lecture presented at IEEE/ACM Supercomputing/SC 2022 conference.

For more information about this lecture, see