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CRD’s Kathy Yelick Named One of HPCwire’s People to Watch in 2006

June 13, 2006

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Kathy Yelick was named one of HPCwire's "People to Watch" in 2006.

Kathy Yelick, leader of the Future Technologies Group in LBNL’s Computational Research Division, has been named on of 16 “People to Watch” in 2006 by HPCwire, a weekly newsletter covering high performance computing and networking. In addition to her role at the Lab, Yelick is also an associate professor of computer science at UC Berkeley.

According to HPCwire, Yelick is worth watching “because she's already a proven dynamo based on her contributions to the development of the Titanium language, along with her involvement in the design of Unified Parallel C (UPC)—and she's not finished yet. Her multi-faceted research goal is to develop techniques for obtaining high performance on a wide range of computational platforms, all while easing the programming effort required to achieve high performance. Her current work has shown that global address space languages like UPC and Titanium offer serious opportunities in both productivity and performance, and that these languages can be ubiquitous on parallel machines without excessive investments in compiler technology.”

This year’s list, selected by a committee that includes past People to Watch as well as a long list of advisors for the publication, features educators, researchers, and industry veterans who are making significant contributions to the cause of high performance computing. Yelick is one of two women on this year’s list.

"This is an exciting time for those of us who work in high-performance computing, because parallel computing is now becoming mainstream, and people outside the field are looking to our community for insight into what works and what doesn't,”" Yelick said.

Yelick says that away from work, her family is the top priority. Both she and her husband work in the HPC field, and Yelick says that they rely on their kids to keep their lives in balance. Part of that balance is the family's annual getaway to their favorite vacation spot, Yosemite National Park. "I love the beauty and grandeur of Yosemite, and since my kids love it, too, it's an easy spot for an annual vacation."

"Whether it's about soccer from my kids, numerical algorithms from my husband, or new insights into parallelism and performance from my research group, I love learning new things," says Kathy.

Yelick says her first job was making pizzas at Shakey's restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa. "I had wanted a job in the local hardware store, but they weren't convinced that I could handle the register," says the more than capable professor, who has taught courses in computing that would make the act of counting back change look humorously menial.

Yelick says that her colleagues and friends might be surprised to learn that she once rowed on the MIT crew team, including one summer with the first incarnation of a women's lightweight national team.