Regents' Lecture - January 31, 2008

The Challenge of the Multi Cores: Think Sequential, Run Parallel

photo of Frances Allen Frances Allen
IBM Fellow Emerita & 2006 Turing Award Winner
IBM T. J. Watson Research Center

4:00 pm, Thursday, January 31, 2008
Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

A reception will follow in the Garbarini Lounge, Bechtel Engineering Center


Multi-core computers are ushering in a new era of parallelism everywhere. As more cores (and parallelism) are added, the potential performance of the system can increase at the traditional rate. But how will users and applications take advantage of all the parallelism? This talk will review some of the history of languages and compilers for high performance systems and consider opportunities for performance on multi-core systems. The talk is intended to encourage the exploration of new approaches.


Fran Allen is an IBM Fellow Emerita at the T. J. Watson Research Laboratory with a specialty in compilers and program optimization for high performance computers. This work led to Fran being named the recipient of ACM.s 2006 Turing Award .For pioneering contributions to the theory and practice of optimizing compiler techniques that laid the foundation for modern optimizing compilers and automatic parallel execution..

She is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Engineers, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, ACM, IEEE, and the Computer History Museum. She has served on numerous national technology boards including CISE at the National Science Foundation and CSTB for the National Research Council. Her many awards and honors include honorary doctorates from the University of Alberta (1991), Pace University (1999), and the University of Illinois at Urbana (2004).

Fran is an active mentor, advocate for technical women in computing, environmentalist, and explorer.