The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and IEEE Computer Society IEEE-CS) named Vivek Sarkar of the Georgia Institute of Technology as the recipient of the 2020 ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award. Sarkar is recognized for "foundational technical contributions to the area of programmability and productivity in parallel computing, as well as leadership contributions to professional service, mentoring, and teaching."
The Kennedy Award recognizes Sarkar’s leadership in several areas. Sarkar has made foundational technical contributions to programmability and productivity in parallel computing, and has developed innovative programming-model, compiler, and runtime technologies for parallel computing that have influenced other researchers, as well as industry products and standards. Sarkar has led open source software projects that have had significant impact on the research community, he has created new pedagogic materials to make parallel programming more accessible to undergraduate students using the Coursera learner community, and has mentored junior colleagues at IBM and several PhD students after moving to academia. He has also demonstrated leadership in community service by serving as program chair and general chair for major conferences in his research area, serving on US Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) advisory committee since 2009, and on the Computing Research Association (CRA) Board of Directors since 2015.
ACM and the IEEE Computer Society co-sponsor the Kennedy Award, which was established in 2009 to recognize substantial contributions to programmability and productivity in computing and significant community service or mentoring contributions. It was named for the late Ken Kennedy, founder of Rice University’s computer science program and a world expert on high performance computing. The Kennedy Award carries a $5,000 honorarium endowed by IEEE-CS and ACM.