ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award
United States – 2015

For advancing the programmability of HPC systems, strategic national leadership, and mentorship in academia and government labs.

Press Release

ACM-W Athena Lecturer Award  
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory/University of California, Berkeley United States – 2013

For contributions to improving fundamental understanding and practice of parallel programming.

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United States – 2012

For contributions to parallel languages that improve programmer productivity.

UC Berkeley Lab’s Yelick Lauded For Advances In Programmability Of High Performance Computing Systems

Katherine Yelick  has been awarded the 2015 ACM/IEEE Computer Society Ken Kennedy Award for innovative research contributions to parallel computing languages that have been used in both the research community and in production environments. She was also cited for her strategic leadership of the national research laboratories and for developing novel educational and mentoring tools. The award will be presented at SC 15: International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis November 17, in Austin, TX.


Press release


Katherine Yelick is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley and the Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her research is in programming languages, compilers, parallel algorithms, and automatic performance tuning.  She is well known for her work in Partitioned Global Address Space languages, including co-inventing the Unified Parallel C (UPC) and Titanium languages.  She and her students developed program analyses and optimization techniques for these languages and the Berkeley Lab team built compiler and runtime support that is used by several other research and production projects. She and led the Sparsity project, the first automatically tuned library for sparse matrix kernels, and she co-led the development of the Optimized Sparse Kernel Interface (OSKI).  She has worked on interdisciplinary teams developing scientific applications ranging from simulations of chemistry, fusion, and blood flow in the heart to analysis problems in phylogenetics and genome assembly.

Yelick was Director of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) from 2008 to 2012 and currently leads the Computing Sciences Area at Berkeley Lab, which includes the NERSC supercomputing center, the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and a research division of scientists and engineers in applied math, computer science, data science and computational science. She earned her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT and has been a professor at UC Berkeley since 1991 with a joint research appointment at Berkeley Lab since 1996.

Yelick is an ACM Fellow and recent recipient of the ACM-W Athena award.  She is a member of the National Academies Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB), and previously served on the California Council on Science and Technology and the LLNS/LANS Science and Technology Committee overseeing research at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. 

Brief video about Katherine Yellick and the ACM-W Athena Lecturer Award

 The ACM Athena Lecturer Award was known as the ACM-W Athena Lecturer Award from 2006 – 2016.