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David Bricker
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Friday, December 10, 2004

It calculates: Wise elected an ACM fellow, will oversee powerful new computer

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The world's largest society of computer experts has named Indiana University Bloomington computer scientist David S. Wise one of its fellows, the Association for Computing Machinery announced this week.

Wise and 19 others were selected this year for having "made significant advances in both the theoretical and practical aspects of computing that are having lasting effects on the lives of citizens throughout the world," according to ACM. Wise was specifically selected because of his "leadership in the computer science community and contributions to functional programming languages." The 2004 fellows will be recognized during an awards ceremony in June 2005.

But there's more good news. Wise and IU computer science colleagues Beth Plale, Andrew Lumsdaine, Geoffrey Fox, Randall Bramley, Kay Connelly, Dennis Gannon and David Leake expect to receive next week a pair of powerful new computing machines for their scientific research, paid for with $825,000 from the National Science Foundation and IU.

The two machines actually comprise 150 individual computers, more than 300 individual 2-gigahertz, 64-bit processors, and will support 10 computer science projects. The IU projects have a "grid applications" theme -- the researchers will develop software that makes it possible for people in different locations to collaborate more easily and effectively.

The computers' multiple processors will enable 300 computing tasks to happen at the same time (in parallel), which significantly speeds up complex calculations. And tasked those processors will be. The IU projects are so computationally intense that air conditioning in Lindley Hall will be upped from 20 percent of capacity to perhaps 75 percent, as the computers are expected to generate a lot of heat.

"Professor Wise has contributed to some of the most fundamental new ideas in the theory of programming languages, including work done in our department with Professor Daniel Friedman on the concepts of representing infinite objects," said IUB Computer Science Chair Andrew Hanson. "His work has helped to make our department a recognized center of innovations in the concepts of programming languages."

Wise's two-year term as ACM vice president ended in June. He continues to serve as a member of the 16-member ACM Council, as well as the organization's history committee and audit committee.

To speak with David S. Wise, please contact David Bricker at 812-856-9035 or