David O'Hallaron, associate professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, is the new director of Intel Research Pittsburgh. O'Hallaron, whose research focuses on scientific supercomputing, computational database systems and virtualization, assumed leadership of the Pittsburgh lab July 1. He succeeds Todd Mowry, who has returned to the university as an associate professor of computer science.
Founded in 2002, Intel Research Pittsburgh is one of three labs Intel Corp. has established near major universities so staff members can work closely with leading academicians. Under Mowry's leadership, the lab has increased its reputation for research excellence in a wide range of computing areas, expanding collaborations beyond Intel and Carnegie Mellon to include the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The lab is housed in the Collaborative Innovation Center on the Carnegie Mellon campus.
"Todd Mowry has been an outstanding leader for Intel Research Pittsburgh, driving new directions in dynamic physical rendering and personal robotics," said Intel's Vice President of Research Andrew A. Chien. "We expect David O'Hallaron, a world-renowned expert in large-scale and data-intensive computing, to continue the strong traditions of research excellence and collaboration with the academic community that typifies Intel research."
As a faculty member, O'Hallaron has been working with the Intel lab on Internet Suspend/Resume, a technology that enhances the mobility of computer users by enabling their computing environment to follow them from computer to computer, rather than requiring them to carry a laptop.
O'Hallaron joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1989 after earning a doctorate in computer science at the University of Virginia and a stint as a staff scientist at General Electric. He is co-leader of the Carnegie Mellon Quake Project, which uses supercomputer simulations to predict ground motions during strong earthquakes. The Quake Project has won numerous awards for O'Hallaron and his colleagues, including the 2003 Gordon Bell Prize, the top international prize in high-performance computing.
O'Hallaron also initiated the Computational Database Systems project, which drives a vision for new techniques that would enable scientists to perform physical simulation processes directly on databases.
As an educator, O'Hallaron developed a core computer systems course and wrote an associated textbook with School of Computer Science Dean Randal E. Bryant in 2003 that has been adopted by numerous schools worldwide. In 2004, the School of Computer Science awarded him the Herbert Simon Award for Teaching Excellence.
"I am very excited about the future of the lab under Dave O'Hallaron's leadership," Mowry said. O'Hallaron's expertise in parallel processing — the use of multiple processors to tackle large problems, a routine practice in today's supercomputers — is timely now that the latest computer chips each house multiple computer processors.
About Carnegie Mellon: Carnegie Mellon is a private research university with a distinctive mix of programs in engineering, computer science, robotics, business, public policy, fine arts and the humanities. More than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students receive an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovation. A small student-to-faculty ratio provides an opportunity for close interaction between students and professors. While technology is pervasive on its 144-acre Pittsburgh campus, Carnegie Mellon is also distinctive among leading research universities for the world-renowned programs in its College of Fine Arts. A global university, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in Silicon Valley, Calif., and Qatar, and programs in Asia, Australia and Europe. For more, see www.cmu.edu.