New Joint Appointment Program with Argonne Provides Opportunities for Illinois Tech

Three Argonne Scientists Join Department of Computer Science’s Faculty



By Casey Moffitt

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Valerie Taylor, Xingfu Wu, and Michael Kruse

Three scientists from the Mathematics and Computer Science (MCS) Division at Argonne National Laboratory have accepted joint appointments in the Department of Computer Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology, a collaboration that will open research opportunities for Illinois Tech students and faculty.

Valerie Taylor has accepted an appointment as a research professor, while Xingfu Wu and Michael Kruse have been named research associate professor through Argonne and Illinois Tech’s joint appointment program. The program’s goal is to maximize the intellectual and physical resources of both Argonne and Illinois Tech in order to promote research and collaboration in areas that align with the scientific priorities of Argonne and the United States Department of Energy. Taylor, Wu, and Kruse are collaborating with several computer science faculty members at Illinois Tech in the area of high-performance computing.

“We are delighted to announce these new appointments, which will bring a wealth of opportunity to our faculty and students, including additional funding, more diverse research, and increased collaboration,” says Professor Shlomo Argamon, the chair of Illinois Tech’s Department of Computer Science. “This brings great benefits to our department, the College of Computing, and the university as a whole.” 

“The expertise and experience of these researchers will strengthen our research and collaboration with Argonne and will help attract more students interested in pursuing careers in high-performance computing,” says Zhiling Lan, Illinois Tech professor of computer science.

Lan says the appointees may serve as co-advisers to Ph.D. candidates at Illinois Tech, exposing them to the cutting-edge research projects, as well as open networking pathways and full-time internships at a Department of Energy lab. Although the program has focused in high-performance computing research, Lan says she anticipates that the program could expand to collaborations in other computer science areas, such as computational science, data science and learning, environmental science, and bioscience.

Taylor received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991. She then joined Northwestern University, where she rose to full professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. In 2003 she joined Texas A&M University as head of Computer Science and Engineering and as the Royce E. Wisenbaker Professor, and subsequently was a Regents Professor and the senior associate dean of academic affairs in the College of Engineering. In 2017 Taylor joined Argonne as director of the MCS division, and in 2019 was named Argonne Distinguished Fellow.  Her research is in the areas of performance, power and scalability analysis, and resiliency on leadership-class computers.

Wu received his Ph.D. in computer science from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Following a postdoctoral position at Northwestern University, he joined the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station as a research scientist and later was promoted to research associate professor. In 2017 Wu joined Argonne as a principal computer science specialist in the MCS division. His research has focused on application performance modeling and analysis and on strategies to increase the performance and reduce the power and energy consumption of high-performance computing systems.

Kruse received his Ph.D. from the University of Paris-Sud 11. He joined the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility as a postdoctoral appointee and transferred to the MCS division in 2020, where he is as an assistant computer scientist. Kruse’s research focuses on optimizing compilers for high-performance computing. He is an active developer of LLVM and is working on standardizing loop transformations in OpenMP.

“A strength of computer science department at Illinois Tech is high-performance computing, and Argonne is a national leader in high-performance computing,” Lan says.

Photo: [From left] Valerie Taylor, Xingfu Wu and Michael Kruse (provided)