The University of New Mexico is planning a celebration on Monday, Oct. 10 in honor of alumnus Jack Dongarra, the recipient of the 2021 The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) A.M. Turing Award, often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of computing.”

The celebration will include events for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Dongarra earned his doctorate in applied mathematics from UNM in 1980. His research was foundational to the field of computer science at UNM and in particular, high-performance computing. His advisor, Cleve Moler (who was the author of the first version of MATLAB), helped create the UNM Department of Computer Science in the late 1970s.

Dongarra is currently an emeritus distinguished professor at the University of Tennessee in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The ACM credited Dongarra with “pioneering contributions to numerical algorithms and libraries that enabled high-performance computational software to keep pace with exponential hardware improvements for over four decades.”

The following events are planned for the Dongarra celebration:

  • Noon - Student Q&A. SUB Ballroom C
  • 4 p.m. - Lecture. Larrañaga Engineering Auditorium, Centennial Engineering
  • 5:30 p.m. - Reception. Stamm Commons, Centennial Engineering Center

The Student Q&A will include lunch (provided) with Dongarra, as well as an opportunity to ask the A.M. Turing Award winner any questions about the industry of computer science technology, his contributions to the field and more. Reservations are required. RSVP by Oct. 8 at 5 p.m.

The title of Dongarra’s lecture is “A Not So Simple Matter of Software.” In the talk, he will examine how high-performance computing has changed over the last 40 years and will look toward future trends.

Reservations are also required for both the talk and the reception. RVSP by Oct. 8 at 5 p.m.

The events are sponsored and organized by the UNM Office of the Vice President for Research, the School of Engineering, and the College of Arts & Sciences.

For the latest details about the events, see the Dongarra event site.