The Department of Energy has honored University of Chicago scientists Ian Foster and Josh Frieman for their transformative research and scientific leadership, selecting them as part of its inaugural Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellowship program.
Foster, a renowned computer scientist who has influenced the field of data science, and Frieman, an eminent physicist who led the Dark Energy Survey for nearly a decade, will each receive $1 million over three years to deepen collaboration between academic institutions and national laboratories.
Office of Science distinguished scientist fellows were chosen from nominations submitted by nine U.S. national laboratories. Foster and Frieman are two of only five scientists selected, chosen for their scientific leadership, engagement with the academic research community, scientific excellence and significant scientific achievement.
Foster, who is Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science at UChicago and a division director at UChicago-affiliated Argonne National Laboratory, was recognized for “pioneering work in distributed and high-performance computing with fundamental and long-lasting impacts on both computer science as a discipline and the practice of computing across the Office of Science.”
Frieman, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UChicago and head of the Particle Physics Division at UChicago-affiliated Fermilab, was listed for “pioneering advances in the science of dark energy and cosmic acceleration, including leading the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-II Supernova Survey, co-founding the Dark Energy Survey and service as its director.”
Foster is director of the Data Science and Learning Division at Argonne. Foster’s work has been focused on using parallelism and rapid communications to promote discovery, whether by accelerating complex computational processes, linking remote computers, and data or enabling distributed virtual teams. He is leading cutting-edge research in artificial intelligence —specifically, machine learning systems for science.
“This recognition of Argonne’s exceptional computer science program and culture, and the work of my many collaborators over many years, is extremely gratifying,” Foster said. “I am excited to be able to use this support to pursue new research directions at the intersection of artificial intelligence and science.”
Foster’s award-winning data management software, Globus, is used across the DOE national laboratories and at thousands of other research institutions worldwide. A team led by Argonne researchers recently used Globus to achieve a recording-setting file transfer that moved 2.9 petabytes of data as part of a research project involving three of the largest cosmological simulations to date.
Foster has published hundreds of scientific papers and eight books on computing and data. Methods and software developed under his leadership underpin many large national and international cyberinfrastructures.
“Ian has been instrumental in developing data management methods for science and architecting software critical to users of the nation’s first exascale computer,” said Paul Kearns, director of Argonne. “He also dedicates significant time to teaching our next generation of computer scientists.”