New “Test of Time” Award Recognizes Transformative Impact on Practice of Supercomputing

DENVER, Colo. — The annual SC conference – the premier international conference for high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis – has a long tradition of excellence, from ground-breaking new research to industry-shaping product announcements. Because of the quality of the conference and the caliber and depth of attendees, several major professional society awards are presented at the conference each year, including the ACM Gordon Bell Prize, the IEEE-CS Seymour Cray Computer Engineering and Sidney Fernbach Memorial Awards, and the ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award.

Published continuously for the past 25 years, the SC conference technical program has been the launching point for many of the technical innovations that have radically reshaped the supercomputing community. In recognition of this rich legacy of impact, and in celebration of SC’s 25th year, the conference has created the “Test of Time” award, which will be presented for the first time this November in Denver, Colorado (USA) at SC13.

“In any field, there are a few papers that have had a particularly large impact on the field,” said William Gropp, the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science at the University of Illinois, co-creator of MPI, and the general chair of SC13. “For the 25th anniversary of SC, we started the Test of Time award to recognize those papers from SC that have transformed high performance computing, storage, or networking.  Because of SC’s long history and high quality technical program, we have many papers from which to choose!

The Test of Time award recognizes a paper from a past conference that has deeply influenced the HPC discipline. It is a mark of historical impact, and requires clear evidence that the paper has changed HPC trends.  The award will be presented annually to a single paper selected from the conference proceedings of 10-25 years ago.

The inaugural Test of Time Award will be presented in November to William Pugh from the University of Maryland for "The Omega Test: a fast and practical integer programming algorithm for dependence analysis,” published in the proceedings of Supercomputing’91. The selection process involved 9 exceptionally renowned researchers who nominated 13 papers for the period 1988 to 2002, covering the first 15 years of the SC conference series. The award committee, chaired by Franck Cappello, Argonne National Laboratory, and Leonid Oliker, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, selected the winner after a rigorous presentation and discussion of the merits of each contender.

“The Omega test provided a very elegant solution to an extremely difficult problem in compiler technology,” commented Daniel Reed, Vice-President for Research and Economic Development and Computational Science and Bioinformatics Chair at the University of Iowa. “The paper had a huge impact at the time, and its results are still shaping today's compilers.”

As part of the award, Pugh will give a presentation during the awards session on the paper, its history, the research difficulties that had to be overcome to provide the result and the impact that the paper has had, both in HPC and beyond.

About SC13
SC13, sponsored by the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) and the IEEE Computer Society, offers a complete technical education program and exhibition to showcase the many ways high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis lead to advances in scientific discovery, research, education and commerce. This premier international conference includes a globally attended technical program, workshops, tutorials, a world-class exhibit area, demonstrations and opportunities for hands-on learning. For more information on SC13, please visit: