Dr. Didem Unat is the 2021 ACM SIGHPC Emerging Woman Leader in Technical Computing award winner. Dr. Unat is an assistant professor in the department of Computer Engineering at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is recognized for her innovative work in the field of programming models for data locality in High Performance and Scientific Computing, as well as her leadership role in the international HPC community.
The Emerging Woman Leader in Technical Computing award is unique in recognizing mid-career women in the technical and high performance computing communities. The award is presented every two years, recognizing the candidate’s impact on her chosen field as indicated by early career achievements, and her commitment to growing our community through service and mentorship. The award is presented at the annual SC conference, the HPC community's most prestigious annual gathering.
Dr. Unat’s research addresses the critical challenge of how programming systems can simplify the difficult task of building software for the wide variety of current and future supercomputing architectures. Her research provides architecture-independent abstractions that make it possible for developers to create scientific software that maps to complex memory hierarchies and accelerator structures, with high-performance results.
Throughout her professional career, Professor Unat has received Fellowships and Awards in the United States, Europe, and her home country of Turkey. She is currently leading a EuroHPC Joint Undertaking project, focused on sparse computations mapped to emerging architectures – the first such project based in Turkey. She is also the Programming Systems Track Chair for SC21 and PhD Symposium Co-Chair for Europar’21.
"I am so pleased that Dr. Unat has been selected to receive the SIGHPC Emerging Woman Leader in Technical Computing Award,” commented Dr. Cristina Beldica, Chair of the EWLTC Committee, and director of HPC software development at Intel Corporation. “Dr. Unat’s rigorous technical work has directly impacted the productivity of application scientists. This is critical not only for high performance computing, but science in general. Prof. Unat is the first recipient of this award outside the US, reaffirming SIGHPC’s commitment to inspire and grow the HPC community globally, and to increase women’s participation in HPC. With leaders like Dr. Unat, the future of our field is in good hands."
Dr. Unat received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering at Boğaziçi University, and her Masters and PhD in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. She also served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She also received the Alvarez Fellowship at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.