2023 SIGHPC Doctoral Dissertation Award Winner 

2023 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award Winner, Dr. Keren Zhou of Rice University

Recognized for his dissertation "Performance Measurement, Analysis, and Optimization of GPU-accelerated Applications"

Advisor: John Mellor-Crummey

2023 SIGHPC Doctoral Dissertation Award Winner  

ACM's Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing (SIGHPC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Keren Zhou has won the 2023 SIGHPC Doctoral Dissertation Award.  This award is given each year for the best doctoral dissertation completed in high performance computing (HPC) in the previous year.  Nominations were evaluated on the novelty of the work, quality of scholarship, significance of the research contributions, and potential impact on theory and practice.  The award includes a $2,000 cash prize, a plaque, and recognition at the International Supercomputing Conference (SC23) in November.

Dr. Zhou's dissertation tackled the difficult research problem of understanding the performance of application codes accelerated on graphical processing units (GPUs), through the design and development of innovative techniques for performance instrumentation, measurement, and analysis, particularly in the context of the latest GPU technologies in use on high-end HPC platforms.  His work not only made novel contributions to the state of performance art, but the methods have been integrated in real HPC tools and applied in the optimization of real-world heterogeneous HPC applications on modern supercomputers.

"The increasing use of GPUs in a variety of fields highlights the importance of rapidly identifying performance bottlenecks in complex GPU-accelerated applications," said Dr. Zhou.  "I am pleased that our collaborations with hardware companies have led to the development of critical performance monitoring functionalities in GPUs.  Moreover, GPU application developers are beginning to use these features for performance measurement and analysis.  It is my humble hope that the techniques described in my dissertation will also provide useful insights for analysis and optimization of GPU-accelerated applications."  

Dr. Zhou received his PhD in Computer Science from Rice University in 2022.  Following completion of his graduate studies, Dr. Zhou worked as a member of the technical staff at OpenAI. Dr. Zhou will be an Assistant Professor at George Mason University starting in August 2023.

"The nomination pool was exceptionally strong this year," said Christine Harvey, SIGHPC Chair. "The tour de force of Dr. Zhou's research together with its strong technical translation in real tools demonstrates the importance of HPC's dual nature of theory AND practice that is need to drive future innovations.  We hope all of the nominees will continue to contribute to HPC techniques and technologies in the future.”

The Doctoral Dissertation Award committee was composed of six HPC researchers: Florina Ciorba (University of Basel), Camille Coti (Ecole de Technologie Superiere), Shantenu Jha (Rutgers University), Andrew "Barney" Maccabe (University of Arizona), Allen D. Malony (Chair, University of Oregon), and Dingwen Tao (Indiana University).