Marc Snir, Israeli-American Professor of Computer Science

Marc Snir, Israeli-American Professor of Computer Science

Fri, 09/11/2018


Doctor Honoris causa of ENS de Lyon, November 9, 2018


Marc Snir is currently Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in the United States.

After defending a mathematics thesis at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1979, he worked on the New York University Ultracomputer Project from 1980 to 1982.

In 1986, he joined IBM and until 2001, he was a senior manager at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center where he led the Scalable Parallel Systems research group that created the IBM Blue Gene system, the first machine to deploy a massive number of processing cores. He is one of the major contributors to the computer architectures of today.

He was head of the computer department at the UIUC from 2001 to 2007, and then, Director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) from 2011 to 2016.
Marc Snir's publications cover a broad spectrum of computing, covering parallel algorithms, programming models and computer architecture. He has published numerous articles and scientific works including The Future of Supercomputing. In this book, Marc Snir says that while continued progress is possible, it will require significant international research effort and major investments in future, large-scale "computational instruments".

Recognized as a key contributor to theoretical computing on the complexity of circuits and interconnection networks, Marc Snir is currently pursuing research work in Parallelism. His specialty is high performance computing (HPC).

Marc Snir is a major player in many areas such as distributed systems or fault tolerance. He played a decisive role in the creation of the MPI parallel programming interface, which is the standard language for the programming of large-scale scientific applications.

He has declared himself as being the mathematical descendant of Jacques Salomon Hadamard (1865-1963). He also has an Erdős number 2 – a figure which measures, through joint publication, an author’s "collaborative distance" with the Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős (1913-1996).

From theoretical computing to the design of a parallel machine that has made its way into the history of calculus, through the development of the universally used MPI standard, Marc Snir's career is exemplary and the impact of his work has earned him many international awards.

Awards and distinctions

Doctor Honoris causa from ENS de Lyon in 2018

Fellow of the American association for the advancement of science (AAAS)

Fellow of the Association for computing machinery (ACM)

Fellow of the Institute of electrical & electronics engineers (IEEE)

EEE Award for Excellence in Scalable Computing

IEEE Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award


Supercomputing book cover Getting Up To Speed: The Future Of Supercomputing

Susan L. Graham, Marc Snir and Cynthia A. Patterson (Editors)

National Academies Press, 2004