NVIDIA Chief Scientist Bill Dally Receives Lifetime Achievement Award From Leading Japanese Tech Society

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

First Non-Japanese Winner of Honor Since Marvin Minsky, Alan Kay

Japan's largest IT society, the Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ), today honored NVIDIA Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President of Research Bill Dally with the Funai Achievement Award for his extraordinary achievements in the field of computer science and education.

Dally is the first non-Japanese scientist to receive the award since the first two awards were given out in 2002 to Alan Kay (a pioneer in personal computing) and in 2003 to Marvin Minsky (a pioneer in artificial intelligence).

The Funai Achievement Award recognizes Dally's accomplishments in computer architecture, particularly in the areas of parallel computing and Very Large Scale Integration processing. The IPSJ noted that Dally has made major contributions in education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and in industry as NVIDIA's chief scientist.

"I'm honored to be selected for one of the world's major prizes in computer science. It's particularly rewarding to be in the company of computer science luminaries like Alan Kay and Marvin Minsky," said Dally, who received the award at an IPSJ event in Matsuyama, Japan. "I'm grateful to the IPSJ for acknowledging the importance of my research in parallel computing."

Professor Shuichi Sakai, dean of the Computer Science Department at the University of Tokyo, said, "Bill Dally has always been a revolutionary rather than a revisionist in computer science."

Dally's achievements across more than 30 years of work and research include developing the system and network architecture, signaling, routing and synchronization technology found in most large parallel computers today. He also introduced the Imagine processor, which employs stream processing architecture, providing high performance computing with power, speed and efficiency.

Prior to joining NVIDIA in 2009, Dally served from 2005-2009 as chairman of Stanford's Computer Science department, where he had taught since 1997. Previously, he led the group at MIT that built the J-Machine and M-Machine, parallel machines that pioneered the separation of mechanism from programming models.

While at the California Institute of Technology, he designed the MOSSIM Simulation Engine to provide the computing power required to verify complex Very Large Scale Integration chips. He also designed the Torus Routing chip, a self-timed chip that reduces the latency of communications that traverse more than one channel.

In 2010, Dally received the Eckert-Mauchly Award, considered the world's most prestigious prize for computer architecture, from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE). In awarding the prize, the ACM and IEEE called Dally a "visionary" for advancing the state of computing using parallel processors.

Dally has published more than 200 papers and holds over 100 patents. He is the author of three books, Digital Systems Engineering, Principles and Practices of Interconnection Networks, and Digital Design, A Systems Approach. He's a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of ACM, IEEE and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the 2000 ACM Maurice Wilkes Award and the 2004 IEEE Computer Society Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award.

Dally received a B.S. degree from the Virginia Institute of Technology and an M.S. from Stanford, both in electrical engineering. He has a Ph.D. in computer science from Caltech.

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