The Association for Computing Machinary (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society, two of the premiere organizations for computer and computing scientists, and members of CRA, are looking for exceptional PhD students in the high-performance computing field to apply for the George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowship Program. The details of the program, including application requirements and award benefits, are listed in the press release below. We encourage everyone who is interested to apply.


ACM/IEEE-CS George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowship Program
Due May 1, 2015

The ACM/IEEE-CS George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowship honors exceptional PhD students throughout the world whose research focus is on high-performance computing applications, networking, storage, or large-scale data analysis using the most powerful computers that are currently available. The award committee is selected by the two societies and includes past winners as well as leaders in the field.

The Fellowship reflects the two societies’ (ACM and IEEE-CS) long-standing commitment to workforce diversity. We encourage applications from women, minorities, international students, and all who contribute to diversity.


  • $5000 honorarium
  • Travel and registration to attend SC15 in Austin, TX and be honored at the Awards Session
  • Recognition with other HPC award winners on the ACM, IEEE-CS, and ACM SIGHPC websites

Selection Criteria

Candidates must be enrolled in a full-time PhD program at an accredited college or university and must meet the minimum scholarship requirements at their institution. They are expected to have completed at least one year of study, and have at least one year remaining between the application deadline and their expected graduation. Applications will be evaluated based on the following factors:

  • Overall potential for research excellence
  • Degree to which technical interests align with those of the HPC community
  • Evidence of academic progress to-date, including presentations and publications
  • Recommendations by faculty advisor and (optionally) others
  • Evidence of a plan of study to enhance HPC-related skills
  • Demonstration of current and planned future use of HPC resources


Candidates should submit their applications for the ACM – IEEE-CS George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowship using the online form available at Applications include the following components:

  • Name, email address, and contact information for the candidate
  • Name of the institution where candidate is enrolled, department chair, and basic enrollment information
  • Advisor’s recommendation: name and contact information for the applicant’s PhD advisor, who will be contacted to certify the applicant’s eligibility and to provide a written recommendation (candidates are responsible for providing information about the fellowship and their application to the advisor)
  • Endorsements: name and contact information for up to 2 additional faculty members or others who will be contacted to attest to the quality and value of the applicant’s graduate research (candidates are responsible for providing background information to each person included as an endorser)
  • Candidate’s statement: Brief description of the candidate’s PhD program, covering: (a) description of current research and its connection to HPC; (b) academic progress including classes taken; (c) description of a plan of study to enhance HPC-related skills; (d) description of current and future use of HPC resources. This is limited to 1500 words or a 2-page PDF file (using typical technical paper page standards: 11-point font or larger, single spaced text, fitting within 7.5” x 10” text area). Applications exceeding these limits will be disqualified.
  • Listing of presentations, papers, and posters authored by candidate


Submissions close: FRIDAY, 01 May 2015




The prestigious Marconi Society, established in 1974 to honor Guglielmo Marconi, the Nobel laureate who invented radio, is seeking nominations for its Paul Baran Young Scholar Awards. The award, “recognizes young scientists and engineers with the potential to make game-changing contributions in the field of communications and the Internet.” While this award is separate from the well-known Marconi Prize, the identified young scholars for the Paul Baran Young award are seen as having the potential to someday become Marconi Prize winners too.

The awards will be present in London on October 20th at the Royal Society. Awardees will receive $4000 cash prize plus $1000 in expenses to attend the event. This also gives an opportunity for these young scholars to gain well-deserved recognition, as well as meet and network with some of the industry’s best-known scientists and engineers. If you know a student who has, “demonstrated outstanding research capability, entrepreneurial spirit, and technical vision,” head over to the Marconi Society’s webpage to submit your nominations. The deadline is June 30th 2015.

President Obama released his annual budget request on Monday February 2nd (interesting note: Fiscal Year 2016 is the first time his administration released the budget on time). As we have done in years past, the CRA Policy Blog will be doing a series of posts on the assorted budget requests for key science agencies, particularly highlighting the ones that are of importance to the computing community. Check back for more agencies.

First up is the Department of Energy (DOE). The two key parts of DOE for the computing community are the Office of Science (SC), home of most of the agency’s basic research support, and ARPA-E. For SC, the office would see a very healthy increase of 5.4 percent from FY15 to FY16 (going from $5.07B to $5.34B). Seeing as the agency has limped through the Sequestration era with up-and-down budgets, this request is very good.

Perhaps most important for computing researchers is the Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program. ASCR would see a huge increase in funding, going up by 14.8 percent (or $541M in FY15 to $621M in FY16). Most of the justification for this increase (~$87M) is set aside for the exascale computing initiative. In fact, Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz said that exascale computing, both hardware and software, is a “top priority across the Office of Science.” Some other details from ASCR’s request are that their user facilities are operating, “optimally and with >90% availability;” and “deployment of 10-40 petaflop upgrade at NERSC and continued preparation for 75-200 petaflop upgrades at the Leadership Computing Facilities” continue. Also, the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship is restored at $10M to, “fully fund a new cohort.” (You’ll recall we joined with the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) to call on Congress to preserve the CS Grad Fellowship program.)

Digging a little deeper, the majority of the ASCR increase — $77.5M — is provided for the High Performance Computing and Networking Facilities (HPCF) subaccount. The Mathematical, Computational, and Computer Sciences Research subaccount would receive a more modest increase of $2.5M.

As for ARPA-E (or Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy), it would see the same increase the President requested last year: 16.1 percent (or $280M in FY15 to $325M in FY16). The agency, “advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment.” This increase has become something of a tradition for ARPA-E, where the White House recommends a significant increase but Congress decides to flat fund the agency. There are few indications that this dynamic will change with this budget.

The big question now is will Congress pass this request? While it is true that support for computing research is widespread and bipartisan, it is still unlikely that this budget will breeze through the legislative process. For starters, throughout his request, the President has rejected funding levels called for by the budget deal that brought us sequestration, or the mandatory, across-the-board budget cuts, that are still US law. In rolling back sequestration, Obama is making an argument that the country is coming out of the recession and that these cuts need to be replaced with something more targeted. It’s unlikely that the Republican-controlled Congress shares that view. In addition to the sequestration rollback, it’s likely that congressional Republicans will have a different set of priorities within the Dept of Energy budget about things like climate change, sustainable energy, and clean coal programs, and those will require adjustments throughout the proposed budget to accommodate. So chances are very good that the final FY16 budget for DOE will look very little like the President’s request. But there appears to be strong bipartisan support for DOE computing programs (see, for example, last week’s hearing), and ASCR has recently fared well even when other aspects of the Office of Science budget have been flat-funded (or worse). So perhaps a little cautious optimism is warranted.

We’ll be watching this budget, and the other science agencies’ budgets, as they progress through Congress this year. Check back for more updates.

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