4.9.2003 -- The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering announced today that Francine Berman has been appointed first holder of the Endowed Chair in High Performance Computing. Berman is a UCSD professor of computer science and engineering and directs the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UCSD. “Fran Berman is a pioneer in grid computing and a leader in the international effort to build a comprehensive information infrastructure to support 21st century research in science and engineering,” said Jacobs School Dean Frieder Seible. “We are pleased to be able to honor Fran with this endowed chair appointment, and recognize her for her worldwide leadership in science and technology.”
Berman also directs the National Science Foundation's (NSF) National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), a consortium of 41 research groups, institutions, and university partners with the goal of developing information infrastructure to extend the reach of science and engineering. She chairs the executive committee of the NSF's $88 million TeraGrid project, an expanding, multiyear effort to build and deploy the world's largest, fastest, distributed computing infrastructure for open scientific research.
As director of the SDSC, Berman oversees a staff of more than 400 scientists, technologists, and support staff, as well as computational resources capable of trillions of calculations per second, and massive data storage and management systems. SDSC scientists and technologists are leaders and collaborators in a variety of substantive collaborative research efforts including the Geosciences Network (GEON), the Protein Data Bank (PDB), the Alliance for Cellular Signaling (AfCS), the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN), and others.
"Fran is obviously a stellar scientist, but she also has many other strengths in a variety of areas that have made her a prominent national leader, particularly in high-performance computing," said Maria Klawe, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University and president of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), the international association of computer professionals. "Fran has exhibited a special talent over and over in her career at identifying important issues and important research problems, and putting together plans to address them."
Berman obtained a B.A. in Mathematics from UCLA in 1973, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Washington in 1979. She is a fellow of the ACM. Her academic research career has focused on high-performance and grid computing, and in particular in the areas of programming environments, adaptive middleware, scheduling, and performance prediction for parallel applications and computational science.
Endowed chair professorships are one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on senior-level professors. The purpose is to recognize excellence in teaching, research, and service. Income from the endowment can be used at the chairholder’s discretion for student support, equipment, curriculum development and other initiatives. Currently, 20 of the Jacobs School’s 160 faculty members hold endowed chairs.